Antimicrobial Activities of Essential Oils of Some Common Spices

  • S. Sharma Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur; Kathmandu
  • A. Singh Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur; Kathmandu
  • M. P. Baral Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology


Eight common spices of Nepal were selected for this research on the basis of their use as household medicines.The essential oils of those spices were assayed for antibacterial and antifungal activities against eight diferent genera of test bacteria and three fungi which included pathogenic, spoilage and toxigenic strains.The essential oils of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Syzygium aromaticum and Zanthoxylum alatum showed high degree of inhibition whereasthat of Piper nigrum and Coriatzdrum sativum showed comparatively less inhibition. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of C. zeylanicum oil were lowest against the tested microorganisms. The highest andbroadest activity was found that of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, which was followed in decreasing order by S. aromaticum, Zanthoxylum alatum, Cuminum cyminum, Myristica fragrans, Amomum subulatum,Coriandrum sativum and P. nigrum. Among the test organisms two Gram positive species Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, the yeast Candida albicans and the fungal strain Aspergillus niger were inhibited by all the tested essentialoils. The Gram negative species were found more resistant to the inhibitory activity of essential oils.