Essential oils in ocular pathology: an experimental study

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2015 Jul 4;9(6):650-4. doi: 10.3855/jidc.6842.


Introduction: The antimicrobial activity of essential oils (EOs) has been known for ages; in particular, the EOs of Melaleuca alternifolia, Thymus vulgaris, Mentha piperita, and Rosmarinus officinalis have been used for the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections.

Methodology: This study focused on the in vitro cytotoxicity to normal human conjunctiva cells and antimicrobial activity of 20 EOs.

Results: The oils tested showed no cytotoxic effect at very low concentrations. Rosmarinus officinalis, Melaleuca alternifolia, and Thymus vulgaris L. red thyme geraniol sel oils had good antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains.

Conclusions: The results of this study are of great interest and may have a major impact on public health, providing useful tips to optimize the therapeutic use of some natural drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / toxicity*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / toxicity*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Oils, Volatile