Volume 44 (2009) Issue 3 Pages 253-259
The essential oil of silver fir (Abies alba) is known to help respiratory system and have easing and soothing effect for muscle. In the present study, we investigated the chemical composition, cytotoxicity and its biological activities of silver fir (Abies alba) essential oil. The composition of the oil was analyzed by GC-MS and bornyl acetate (30.31%), camphene (19.81%), 3-carene (13.85%), tricyclene (12.90%), dl-limonene (7.50%), α-pinene (2.87%), caryophyllene (2.18%), β-phellandrene (2.13%), borneol (1.74%), bicyclo[2.2.1]hept-2-ene,2,3-dimethyl (1.64%) and α-terpinene (1.24%) were the major components in the oil. The results tested by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay indicated that the oil showed no cytotoxic effect, at concentrations of 1 and 5%, for as long as 24 and 3 h, respectively. The antiradical capacity was evaluated by measuring the scavenging activity of the essential oil on the 2,20-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-bis 3-ethyl benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radicals. The oil was able to reduce the both radicals dose-dependently, and the concentration required for 50% reduction (RC50) against DPPH radicals (2.7 ± 0.63%) was lower than ABTS radicals (8.5 ± 0.27%). The antibacterial activity of the oil was also evaluated using disc diffusion method against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Listeria monocytogenes, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, and Vibrio parahaemolyticcus. The oil exhibited no antibacterial activity against all the bacterial strains tested except S. aureus of mild activity.