Helenicy N.H. Veras, Adriana R Campos, Fabíola F.G. Rodrigues, Marco A Botelho, Henrique D.M. Coutinho, Irwin R.A. Menezes, José Galberto M da Costa

Pharmacognosy Magazine 2011 7(28):334-337

Background: Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown, popularly known as "erva-cidreira," is commonly found in northeastern Brazil. The leaves tea is used to treat digestive disturbances, nausea, cough, and bronchitis. Objective: This work reports the chemical composition and erythromycin-modifying activity by gaseous contact against Staphylococcus aureus. Materials and Methods: The leaves of L. alba were subjected to hydrodistillation, and the essential oil extracted was examined with respect to the chemical composition, by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and the essential oil extracted was evaluated for antibacterial and antibiotic-modifying activity by gaseous contact. Results: The overall yield of essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation was 0.52%. The GC-MS analysis has led to the identification of the main components: geranial (31.4%) and neral (29.5%). It was verified that the essential oil interfered with erythromycin antibiotic activity against S. aureus ATCC 25923 was enhanced (221.4%) in the presence of 12% essential oil. The 3% essential oil increased the effect against S. aureus ATCC 25923 (41.6%) and S. aureus ATCC 6538 (58.3%). Conclusion: The essential oil of L. alba influences the activity of erythromycin and may be used as an adjuvant in antibiotic therapy against respiratory tract bacterial pathogens.