Chemical composition and biological activity of the volatile extracts of Achillea millefolium.Nat Prod Commun. 2011 Oct; 6(10):1527-30.NP
In this study, flowering aerial parts of wild Achillea millefolium growing on the Mediterranean coast (Sardinia Island, Italy) and on the Atlantic coast (Portugal- Serra de Montemuro) were used as a matrix for supercritical extraction of volatile oil with CO2 (SFE). The collected extracts were analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS methods and their composition were compared with that of the essential oil isolated by hydrodistillation. A strong chemical variability in essential oils depending on the origin of the samples was observed. The results showed the presence of two type oils. The Italian volatile extracts (SFE and essential oil) are predominantly composed by alpha-asarone (25.6-33.3%, in the SFE extract and in the HD oil, respectively), beta-bisabolene (27.3-16.6%) and alpha-pinene (10.0-17.0%); whereas the main components of the Portuguese extracts are trans-thujone (31.4-29.0%), trans-crhysanthenyl acetate (19.8-15.8%) and beta-pinene (1.2-11.1%). The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimal lethal concentration (MLC) were used to evaluate the antifungal activity of the oils against Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. guillermondii, C. parapsilosis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Trichophyton rubrum, T. mentagrophytes, T. mentagrophytes var. interdigitale, T. verrucosum, Microsporum canis, M. gypseum, Epidermophyton floccosum, Aspergillus niger, A. fumigatus and A. flavus. The oils showed the highest activity against dermatophyte strains, with MIC values ranging from 0.32-1.25 microL mL(-1).