Aceitillo essential oil has great antimicrobial activity

Scientists from various research institutions in Mexico showed that aceitillo (Bursera morelensis) essential oil has potent antibacterial and antifungal activity. This finding, which was published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, supports the traditional use of aceitillo as a treatment for skin infections and wounds.

  • Aceitillo is a tree endemic to Mexico that belongs to the Burseraceae family of plants. Members of this family are known for their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and cytotoxic properties.
  • Studies on the aceitillo tree have led to the discovery of lignans with cytotoxic activity and triterpenoids. However, there has been no prior information on the antimicrobial properties of this plant.
  • In this study, the researchers extracted essential oils from fresh plant, young stems, and bark of aceitillo through steam distillation. They then conducted a phytochemical profile analysis, which resulted in the identification of 28 compounds, with the most prevalent ones being alpha- and beta-fellandrene, o-cymene, isocaryophyllene, and alpha-pinene.
  • The team then proceeded to test the essential oil for antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Vibrio cholerae, E. coli,  Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Proteus mirabilis.
  • Meanwhile, they tested antifungal activity against Fusarium sporotrichioides, Fusarium moniliforme, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Aspergillus niger, and Rhizoctonia lilacina.
  • Results showed that aceitillo extracts had potent antibacterial activity, which was most effective against S. aureus, S. pneumoniae, V. cholerae, and E. coliAceitillo also exhibited antifungal activity that inhibited the production of A. niger spores, possibly indicating that it is an anti-sporulating agent.

From these results, the researchers concluded that aceitillo essential oil has potent antimicrobial activity, which can be attributed to the different phytochemicals that it contains.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Canales-Martinez M, Rivera-Yanez CR, Salas-Oropeza I, Lopez HR, Jimenez-Estrada M, Rosas-Lopez R, Duran DA, Flores C, Hernandez LB, Rodrigues-Monroy MA. Antimicrobial Activity Of Bursera Morelensis Ramírez Essential Oil. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines. 2017;14(3). DOI: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i3.8

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