Antimicrobial screening of Mentha piperita essential oils
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Essential oils of peppermint Mentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae), which are used in flavors, fragrances, and pharmaceuticals, were investigated for their antimicrobial properties against 21 human and plant pathogenic microorganisms. The bioactivity of the oils menthol and menthone was compared using the combination of in vitro techniques such as microdilution, agar diffusion, and bioautography. It was shown that all of the peppermint oils screened strongly inhibited plant pathogenic microorganisms, whereas human pathogens were only moderately inhibited. Chemical compositions of the oils were analyzed by GC and GC/MS. Using the bioautography assay, menthol was found to be responsible for the antimicrobial activity of these oils.