In vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the essential oils and various extracts of Thymus eigii M. Zohary et P.H. Davis
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This study was designed to examine the in vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the essential oil and various extracts obtained from aerial parts of Thymus eigii. The essential oil was particularly found to possess stronger antimicrobial activity, whereas other nonpolar extracts and subfractions showed moderate activity and polar extracts remained almost inactive. GC-MS analysis of the oil resulted in the identification of 39 compounds, representing 93.7% of the oil; thymol (30.6%), carvacrol (26.1%), and rho-cymene (13.0%) were the main components. The samples were also subjected to a screening for their possible antioxidant activity by using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and beta-carotene-linoleic acid assays. In the former case, the polar subfraction of the methanol extract was found to be superior to all extracts tested, only 16.8 mug/mL of which provided 50% inhibition, whereas all extracts, particularly the polar ones, seem to inhibit the oxidation of linoleic acid in the latter case. These data were further supported by total phenolics analysis, indicating that the antioxidative potential of the extracts was closely related to their phenolic constituents.