Antimicrobial activity of essential oil from Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC. (carqueja-amarga)

Érika Yoko Suzuki, César Augusto Caneschi, Romário Costa Fochat, Marcos Antônio Fernandes Brandão, Nádia Rezende Barbosa Raposo

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Introduction: The recent enhancement of interest in ‘green’ consumerism has given rise to a renewed scientific awareness towards essential oils. Essential oil from Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC. (B. trimera) (Asteraceae) is cited as one of the ten most consumed oils by the cosmetic and other industries in Brazil.

Objective: to investigate the antimicrobial activity of the essential oil from the leaves of B. trimera against Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 12228, Proteus vulgaris ATCC 13315, Micrococcus luteus ATCC 7468 and Corynebacterium xerosis IAL105, which are the main bacteria responsible for bad perspiration odor.

Methods: The gas chromatography (GC) analysis was performed and the antimicrobial activity was evaluated by means of the turbidimetric method, using a microdilution assay.

Results: Twenty constituents were identified, being that β-pinene (23.4%) was the major compound found. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the essential oil ranged from 500 μg/mL to 1,000 μg/mL. A detrimental effect of the essential oil was observed on the morphology of cell membranes of the bacteria studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).

Conclusions: The results demonstrate the essential oil of B. trimera has potential in the application of antimicrobial agents in personal care products.

Key words: Baccharis, bacteria, medicinal plants, personal hygiene products, products with antimicrobial action, scanning electron microscopy.