Antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities of volatile oils and extracts from stems, leaves, and flowers of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and Eucalyptus torquata.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2008 Mar ;7(3):399-403. Epub 2007 Dec 2. PMID: 18075306
Hossam M Ashour
Eucalyptus species leaves have been traditionally used to heal wounds and fungal infections. Essential oils and extracts of some Eucalyptus species possess antimicrobial and antitumor properties. We sought to determine antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of oils and extracts of leaves, stems, and flowers of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and Eucalyptus torquata grown in Egypt. An agar diffusion method was used to analyze antimicrobial activities of essential oils and extracts of Eucalyptus against medically important gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. A sulphorhodamine B assay was used to analyze the in vitro cytotoxic activities of oils and extracts against Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HEPG2), and Human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF7). Gram-positive bacteria were highly susceptible to oils and extracts of both Eucalyptus species. With the exception of Escherichia coli, gram-negative bacteria were resistant to extracts, but susceptible to the oil obtained from at least one organ of E sideroxylon and E torquata. Although Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger were resistant to the extracts, essential oils of E sideroxylon and E torquata generally exhibited moderate to high antifungal activities against Candida albicans, A flavus and A niger. Oils of E torquata stems exhibited cytotoxic activities on MCF7 cells followed by oils of E torquata leaves and E sideroxylon leaves. However, oils from both species failed to exert cytotoxic effects on HEPG2 cells. This is the first report of antimicrobial and antitumor properties of E sideroxylon and E torquata. Results suggest a wider use of Eucalyptus species products in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food preparations.