Assessment of antimicrobial and antiprotozoal activity of the olive oil macerate samples of Hypericum perforatum and their LC-DAD-MS analyses

Food Chem. 2013 Jun 1;138(2-3):870-5. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.11.053. Epub 2012 Nov 20.


Twenty-one samples of traditionally-prepared (home-made) and ready-made (commercial) St. John's Wort olive oil macerates were profiled for their in vitro antimicrobial and antiprotozoal activity. Their cytotoxic potential was evaluated on MRC-5 fibroblasts. In the antiprotozoal assays, ten of the oils inhibited Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (IC(50) 15.9-64.5 μg/mL), while only one oil exerted antimicrobial activity towards Staphylococcus aureus (IC(50)=88.7 μg/mL). LC-DAD-MS data revealed the presence of pseudohypericin (0.135-3.280 μg/g) and hypericin (0.277-6.634 μg/g) in all the oils, whereas chlorogenic acid (1.063 μg/g) was detected only in one oil sample. Hyperforin was detected in four (0.977-2.399 μg/g) and adhyperforin in six samples (0.005-3.165 μg/g). Hypericin and pseudohypericin were common in the active oils, whereas hyperforin, adhyperforin, and chlorogenic acid were absent in these samples. Our results indicated that if the correct plant material is used, the infused oils from Hypericum perforatum may contain active components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / chemistry*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypericum / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils