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Fitoterapia 73 (2002) 532535

Short report

Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of


Artemisia annua essential oil
` b,
Fabien Juteaua, Veronique Masottia,*, Jean Marie Bessiere
Michel Dherbomezc, Josette Vianoa
a

de Provence,
Laboratoire Dynamique et Ressources du Vegetal,
E.A. 2202-Biodiversite-Universite
UFR DENTES et SVTE, case 17, 3 place Victor Hugo, F-13331 Marseille cedex 3, France
b

Ecole Nationale Superieure


de Chimie de Montpellier, CNRS URA 1193, 8 rue Ecole Normale,
F-34296 Montpellier cedex 5, France
c
Laboratoire SMAB, IUT de La Rochelle, rue de Roux, 17026 La Rochelle cedex, France
Received 7 June 2002; accepted 21 July 2002

Abstract
The essential oil of Artemisia annua aerial parts, consisting of camphor (44%), germacrene
D (16%), trans-pinocarveol (11%), b-selinene (9%), b-caryophyllene (9%) and artemisia
ketone (3%), was screened for its antimicrobial activity. The essential oil remarkably inhibited
the growth of tested Gram-positive bacteria Enterococcus hirae and both tested fungi. This
oil has shown an antioxidant activity equivalent to 18% of the reference compound (atocopherol).
2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Artemisia annua; Essential oil; Antimicrobial activity; Antioxidant activity

Plant. Artemisia annua L. (Asteraceae) w1x, aerial parts collected in June 2000 on
the banks of Huveaune river (alt. 120 m), near Marseilles (France).
Identification of the species w1x is guaranteed by a confirmed botanist. A voucher
specimen is deposited in the herbarium of the University of Provence (MARS
2000.2).
*Corresponding author. Tel: q33-4-91-10-62-61; fax: q33-4-91-10-63-66.
E-mail address: vmasotti@newsup.univ-mrs.fr (V. Masotti).
0367-326X/02/$ - see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII: S 0 3 6 7 - 3 2 6 X 0 2 . 0 0 1 7 5 - 2

F. Juteau et al. / Fitoterapia 73 (2002) 532535

533

Table 1
Chemical composition of Artemisia annua essential oil (GC and GC-MS analysis)
Compound

RIa

1,8-cineole
artemisia ketone
artemisia alcohol
trans-pinocarveol
camphor
pinocarvone
chrysanthenol
borneol
terpinene-4-ol
myrtenal
a-terpineol
myrtenol
pinocarveyl acetate
a-copaene
benzyl isovalerate
b-cubebene
b-caryophyllene
(E)-b-farnesene
germacrene D
b-selinene
bicyclogermacrene
(E,E)-a-farnesene
germacrene A
g-cadinene
epi-a-cadinol
Total identified

1026
1058
1082
1146
1146
1161
1165
1166
1177
1192
1192
1197
1297
1379
1383
1391
1423
1457
1484
1489
1495
1503
1507
1518
1619

1,2
2,8
0,2
10,9
43,5
2,1
0,3
0,2
0,3
0,1
0,1
0,2
0,1
1,8
tr
0,1
8,9
0,1
15,6
9,4
0,3
tr
0,7
0,1
0,2
99,1

tr: traces (-0.1%).


a
Retention index on DB5 and according to n-paraffins.

Uses in traditional medicine. Plant is known to be antimalarial w2x, anti-inflammatory w3x, antitumor w4x and allelopathic w5,6x.

Previously isolated classes of constituents. Mono- and sesquiterpenoids, flavonoids


and coumarins w7x.
Tested material. Essential oil prepared by hydrodistillation (in a Clevenger-type
apparatus) of shade-dried plant material (yield: 0.5%) and analysed with GC and
GC-MS w8x. Identified components (25 on a total of 30 peaks) are listed in Table
1.

Studied activity. Antibacterial and antifungal activity from essential oil by liquid
diffusion method w9x. Antioxydant activity measured by chemiluminescence w10x.

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F. Juteau et al. / Fitoterapia 73 (2002) 532535

Table 2
Antibacterial activity of Artemisia annua essential oil
Microorganisms

Essential oil

Penicilline G

Nystatine

Escherichia coli

NT

Staphylococcus aureus

Enterococcus hirae

GIC50s0.05
CIs0.1
GIC50s0.1
CIs0.2
GIC50s0.1
CIs0.2

GIC50s0.03
CIs0.05
GIC50s3=10y4
CIs5=10y4
GIC50s3=10y4
CIs8=10y4
NT

Candida albicans
Saccharomyces cerevisiae

NT

NT
NT
GIC50s3=10y3
CIs6=10y3
GIC50s3=10y3
CIs6=10y3

: no effect at tested concentrations.


GIC50: Growth inhibitory concentration for 50% of the microorganisms (mgyml).
CI: Complete Inhibition concentration (mgyml).
NT: not tested.

Used microorganisms. Listed in Table 2.

Results. Antimicrobial activities are reported in Table 2. Antioxidant activity is


equivalent to 18% of the reference compound (a-tocopherol) w11x.

Conclusions. The essential oil of Artemisia annua aerial parts remarkably inhibited
the growth of all tested fungi and Enterococcus hirae. The essential oil composition
wcamphor (44%), germacrene D (16%), trans-pinocarveol (11%), b-selinene (9%),
b-caryophyllene (9%) and artemisia ketone (3%)x and the observed antibacterial
properties show that the oil has a good potential for use in aromatherapy, despite
its weak antioxidant activity.
References
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w3x L. Huang, J. Liu, L. Liu, et al., Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi 18 (1993) 44.
w4x G.Q. Zheng, Planta Med 60 (1994) 54.
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