Plant biodiversity of Greece: Utilization of aromatic and medicinal plants’ essential oils and extracts for their antimicrobial activity
Mamoucha S. (1), Liapis V. (2), Prombona A. (1)
(1) Institute of Biosciences and Applications, National Centre for Scientific Research DEMOKRITOS, 15341 Ag. Paraskevi, Attiki
(2) Army Share Fund Hospital, Monis Petrakis 10-12, 11521 Athens, Attiki
The Mediterranean Basin is one of the Global Biodiversity Hot Spots. Greece hosts the largest plant biodiversity per unit of area basis. From the 6.600 species and sub-species of angiosperms, 500-600 are characterized as aromatic and medicinal plants (A.M.P.). In the recent years, there is an increasing demand on natural pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, based on A.M.P. constituents. This resulted in the extended cultivation of medicinal plants on new farming areas. In the present research, essential oils and extracts of A.M.P. were studied for their antimicrobial activity. The goal of our investigation is the utilization of plants’ extracts as natural preservatives in cosmetics. Bioactivity tests were performed by Disk Diffusion Assay and Agar Well Diffusion Assay. Four standard bacterial strains were used. Essential oils from Citrus species were the most active and exhibited greater inhibition activity against gram positive than gram negative bacteria.
Acknowledgement: The research is carried out in collaboration with Mellifora, a natural products company that provided the plant extracts and all necessary financial support.