Antimicrobial activity of lippia species from the brazilian semiarid region traditionally used as antiseptic and anti-infective agents

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:614501. doi: 10.1155/2013/614501. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Lippia origanoides Kunth, Lippia alnifolia Schauer, and Lippia thymoides Martius and Schauer are shrubs used in the traditional Brazilian medicine as antiseptics, as well as in the treatment of infectious diseases. This study was designed to investigate the antibacterial and antifungal activities of the methanolic extracts of these species, as new potential sources of antimicrobial drugs. The antimicrobial activity of methanolic extracts was investigated against resistant yeasts and bacteria by agar disk diffusion. Then, the MIC determination of the most active species and its fractions in hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, and water was performed. By the agar diffusion assay, all species were active against at least two microorganisms, giving evidence to support their use in the popular medicine. L. origanoides leaves exhibited the widest antimicrobial action, inhibiting the growth of two Gram-positive bacteria and two yeasts; this activity was also confirmed by the MIC evaluation. The fractionation of L. origanoides crude extracts improved the activity in spectrum and intensity. The results obtained in this study indicate that L. origanoides may be a promising alternative in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections and in the seeking of new antimicrobial drugs.