RESUMO.-[Atividade antimicrobiana, toxicidade aguda e crônica do óleo essencial de Lippia origanoides.]Atualmente nota-se um aumento do interesse pelas plantas medicinais, fruto da grande procura por terapias alternativas. Neste trabalho foi avaliada a atividade antimicrobiana e a toxicidade do óleo essencial da Lippia origanoides (alecrim-pimenta). O óleo essencial de alecrim-pimenta foi obtido por arraste com vapor d'água e seus constituintes foram identificados por cromatografia acoplada a espectrofotômetro de massa (GC/MS). Entre os 15 compostos identificados os mais abundantes foram o carvacrol (29%), o-cimeno (25,57%) e metil timol éter (11,50%). Os óleos foram submetidos a ensaios antimicrobianos para determinação da CIM e da CBM. Os resultados mostraram que a dose de 120μl/mL de qualquer um dos óleos testados foi eficiente em inibir o crescimento dos micro-organismos Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) Currently, there is a growing interest in medicinal plants, because of an increased demand for alternate therapies. In this study, the antimicrobial activity and toxicity of the essential oil of Lippia origanoides (L. origanoides) were investigated. The essential oil of L. origanoides was extracted by steam-dragging distillation and its constituents were identified by chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Among the 15 compounds identified, the most abundant were carvacrol (29.00%), o-cymene (25.57%), and thymol methyl ether (11.50%). The essential oil was studied in antimicrobial assays to determine the MIC and MBC. The results indicated that a concentration of 120μL/mL of oil was sufficient to inhibit the growth of the following microorganisms: Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923) and Salmonella cholerasuis (ATCC 10708). Acute and chronic toxic effects of orally administered oil were investigated in Wistar rats by using standard methods. Doses of 30, 60 and 120mg/kg of the essential oil did not induce significant changes in weight, behavior or hematological and biochemical parameters in the animals. There were no signs of any histopathological changes to the liver, kidneys or heart of the treated rats, suggesting that Lippia origanoides oil is non--toxic after oral administration in acute or chronic toxicity studies. The results obtained in this study show that the essential oil of L. origanoides has a high safety margin, with no detectable toxic effects in rats treated with doses to 120mg/kg. In addition, L. origanoides oil demonstrated potent antimicrobial activity against S. aureus, E. coli and S. cholerasuis. Based on these findings, this essential oil may have practical application as a veterinary antimicrobial.INDEX TERMS: Lippia origanoides, essential oil, antimicrobial, acute toxicity, chronic toxicity.
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