Chemical and Bioactive Characterization of the Essential Oils Obtained from Three Mediterranean Plants uri icon


  • Cupressus sempervirens L., Juniperus communis L. and Cistus ladanifer L. are Mediterranean arboreal and shrub species that possess essential oils (EO) in their leaves and branches. This study aimed at characterizing the EOs obtained by steam distillation from the three species collected in different locations from Spain (Almazán, Andévalo, Barriomartín, Cerezal, Ermitas and Huéscar). For this purpose, volatiles composition was determined by GC-MS, and different bioactivities were evaluated. The highest content in terpenes was observed in C. sempervirens (Huéscar origin) followed by J. communis (Almazán origin), corresponding to 92% and 91.9% of total compounds, respectively. With exception of C. ladanifer from Cerezal that presented viridiflorol as the most abundant compound, all the three species presented in common the -pinene as the major compound. The EOs from C. ladanifer showed high antibacterial potential, presenting MIC values from 0.3 to 1.25 mg/mL. Concerning other bioactivities, C. ladanifer EO revealed an oxidation inhibition of 83%, while J. communis showed cytotoxicity in the MCF-7 cell line, and C. sempervirens and C. ladanifer EOs exhibited the highest potential on NCI-H460 cell lines. Nevertheless, some EOs revealed toxicity against non-tumoral cells but generally presented a GI50 value higher than that of the tumor cell lines.
  • Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) for financial support through national funds FCT/MCTES to the CIMO (UIDB/00690/2020). L. Barros, R. Calhelha and S.A. Heleno (CEEC-IND/03040/2017) thank the national funding by FCT, P.I., through the institutional and individual scientific employment program-contract for their contracts. This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 887917 BeonNAT. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Bio Based Industries Consortium.

publication date

  • December 2021