Guatemalan medicinal plants were collected and screened for the presence of essential oils using steam distillation. Oil was found in 63 species from 24 families and was tested in tube dilution assays for activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Candida albicans. Several essential oils were highly active with 20 instances of oils inhibiting the microbes at an MIC of 0.31 µl/ml. Oils were also tested against cancerous and established cell lines using a 15% (v/v) agar-media which was developed to improve essential oil solubility. Assays were performed against three cancer lines: Stomach (AGS: CRL-1739), Skin (A375: CRL-1619), Tongue (CAL27: CRL-2095) and an established Monkey Kidney cell line (Vero C 1008: CRL-1586). Assessment of viability was performed using the Neutral Red assay with results indicating that many of the oils significantly inhibited cancer cell lines in vitro with 24 individual instances producing an IC50 of 0.20 µl/ml or less. Therapeutic indices indicated that many of the highly inhibitory oils were more cytotoxic to cancerous cell lines than to the established cell line.
College and Department
Life Sciences; Biology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Miller, Andrew B., "Antimicrobial and Anticancer Activity of Essential Oils from Guatemalan Medicinal Plants" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2411.
Guatemala, medicinal plant, essential oil, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Candida albicans, MIC, solubility, cytotoxicity, cancer, stomach, AGS, skin, A375, tongue, CAL27, Vero C 1008, neutral red, IC50, therapeutic index