Report on the Medicinal Use of Eleven Lamiaceae Species in Lebanon and Rationalization of Their Antimicrobial Potential by Examination of the Chemical Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of Their Essential Oils

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2547169. doi: 10.1155/2016/2547169. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Abstract

Many Lamiaceae species are consumed in the Lebanese cuisine as food or condiment and are largely used in the traditional medicine of Lebanon to treat various diseases, including microbial infections. In this article we report the traditional medicinal uses of eleven Lamiaceae species: Coridothymus capitatus L., Lavandula stoechas L., Lavandula angustifolia Mill., Mentha spicata L. subsp. condensata, Origanum syriacum L., Rosmarinus officinalis, Salvia fruticosa Miller., Satureja cuneifolia Ten., Satureja thymbra L., Thymbra spicata L., and Vitex agnus-castus L. and study the chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of their essential oils (EOs). Our survey showed that Lamiaceae species are mainly used against gastrointestinal disorders and microbial infections. Chemical analysis of the EOs obtained from these plants allowed us to identify seventy-five compounds describing more than 90% of the relative composition of each EO. Essential oils with high amounts of thymol and carvacrol possessed the strongest antimicrobial activity. As expected, these two compounds demonstrated an interesting antifungal efficacy against the filamentous fungus T. rubrum. Our results confirmed that some of the Lamiaceae species used in Lebanon ethnopharmacological practices as antimicrobial agents do possess antibacterial and antifungal potential consistent with their use in alternative or complementary medicine.