Backgroud: Lippia alba (Verbenaceae) is a plant widely used in folk medicine to treat various diseases. The present work deals with the chemical composition of the crude essential oil extracted from leaves of L. alba and evaluation of its antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities. Methods: Leaves of L. alba were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) as well as by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities of crude essential oil were evaluated in vitro using MTT and broth microdilution assays, respectively. Results: Chemical analysis afforded the identification of 39 substances corresponding to 99.45% of the total oil composition. Concerning the main compounds, monoterpenes nerol/geraniol and citral correspond to approximately 50% of crude oil. The cytotoxic activity of obtained essential oil against several tumor cell lines showed IC50 values ranging from 45 to 64 µg/mL for B16F10Nex2 (murine melanoma) and A549 (human lung adenocarcinoma). In the antimicrobial assay, was observed that all tested yeast strains, except C. albicans, were sensitive to crude essential oil. MIC values were two to four-folds lower than those determined to bacterial strains. Conclusion: Analysis of chemical composition of essential oils from leaves of L. alba suggested a new chemotype nerol/geraniol and citral. Based in biological evidences, a possible application for studied oil as an antifungal in medicine, as well as in agriculture, is described.
Santos, N.O.; Pascon, R.C.; Vallim, M.A.; Figueiredo, C.R.; Soares, M.G.; Lago, J.H.G.; Sartorelli, P. Cytotoxic and Antimicrobial Constituents from the Essential Oil of Lippia alba (Verbenaceae). Medicines 2016, 3, 22.