Mexican Oregano ( Lippia graveolens Kunth) as Source of Bioactive Compounds: A Review

Molecules. 2021 Aug 25;26(17):5156. doi: 10.3390/molecules26175156.


Lippia graveolens is a traditional crop and a rich source of bioactive compounds with various properties (e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, UV defense, anti-glycemic, and cytotoxicity) that is primarily cultivated for essential oil recovery. The isolated bioactive compounds could be useful as additives in the functional food, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. Carvacrol, thymol, β-caryophyllene, and p-cymene are terpene compounds contained in oregano essential oil (OEO); flavonoids such as quercetin O-hexoside, pinocembrin, and galangin are flavonoids found in oregano extracts. Furthermore, thermoresistant compounds that remain in the plant matrix following a thermal process can be priced in terms of the circular economy. By using better and more selective extraction conditions, the bioactive compounds present in Mexican oregano can be studied as potential inhibitors of COVID-19. Also, research on extraction technologies should continue to ensure a higher quality of bioactive compounds while preventing an undesired chemical shift (e.g., hydrolysis). The oregano fractions can be used in the food, health, and agricultural industries.

Keywords: Lippia graveolens; bioactive compounds; extraction techniques; phenolic compounds.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Cosmetics
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Functional Food
  • Humans
  • Lippia / chemistry*
  • Phytochemicals / isolation & purification
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects


  • Cosmetics
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts