Commercial Carlinae radix herbal drug: botanical identity, chemical composition and antimicrobial properties.Pharm Biol. 2012 Aug; 50(8):933-40.PB
Carlinae radix is an herbal drug, commonly used by the locals in southeastern Serbia for the treatment of respiratory and urogenital diseases and, externally, for various skin conditions. There still seems to be no detailed studies correlating the chemical composition of this drug and its ethnopharmacological uses.
Chemical composition, antimicrobial activity and mode of action of C. radix essential oil, isolated from commercial samples (confirmation of whose true biological identity was also the aim of this work) were analyzed. Antimicrobial potential of decoctions (extracts prepared by boiling plant material in a given solvent), used in ethnomedicine preferentially to the pure essential oil, was also investigated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation was screened for antimicrobial activity by disc diffusion and broth microdilution methods. Effects of the oil on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus cells were investigated using turbidimetric measurements and visualized using scanning electron microscopy. Analyses of the chemical composition of the oils were done using gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Both the essential oil and the decocts exhibited a very high antimicrobial activity against all tested strains, with S. aureus as the most sensitive one [e.g., for the oil sample the values for minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) were 0.02, 0.04 µL/mL, respectively]. Growth curves of S. aureus demonstrated a significant decrease in turbidity (for the MIC concentration this amounted to ca. 70%) showing a concentration-dependent lysis of the cells, confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Chemical composition, anatomical and morphological features of the sample pointed to Carlina acanthifolia L. (Asteraceae) instead of Carlina acaulis L. (Asteraceae).
The results showed significant antimicrobial effect of the essential oil and the decoctions and support the use of this plant in ethnomedicine for the treatment of various human infections, especially those caused by S. aureus. Adulteration of the drug would not cause significant differences in its biological activity, since chemical composition of the sample showed high similarity with those containing C. acaulis roots.