Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils Extracted From Lamiaceae Family (Basil, Mint and Thyme)
Extraction of essential oils from medicinal plants is as old as human history. Moreover, more than 500 plants are used to extract essential oils however; their composition and percentage yield depends on various factors mainly type of plant, type of organ (leaf, fruit, flowers, stem, roots, and seeds), geographical distribution of specie, weather conditions and methods used for their extraction. Different conventional methods such as super critical fluid extraction, hydro distillation, steam distillation, Soxhlet extraction and advance method such as solvent free microwave extraction are in practice for extraction of essential oils. To find the constituent composition varied chromatographic techniques are in practice that reports presence of phenols, flavonoids, aldehydes, terpenes, phenolics, esters, ketones, alcoholics and various other antimicrobial compounds in them. The essential oils showed wide range of antimicrobial activities against bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic strains. Furthermore, extracted oils are used as food additives, in cosmetics and for different pharmaceutical/medicinal purposes such as minor burns, skin cuts, acne, to resolve respiratory problems, skin allergies, promote relaxation and sleep. The main advantage of essential oils is the susceptibility of MRS (Multiple Resistant Strains) to these oils due to the presence of phenolic compounds in them. S. aureus, E. coli, Salmonella, candida albicansand many other food borne pathogens are found to be inhibited by activity of essential oils. In this paper composition, uses and antimicrobial activities of Basil (tulsi), Peppermint (podina) Callistemons (bottle brushes) and various other plant species are reviewed.