Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 55–61 | Cite as

Patchouli alcohol: in vitro direct anti-influenza virus sesquiterpene in Pogostemon cablin Benth.

  • Hiroaki KiyoharaEmail author
  • Chikara Ichino
  • Yuka Kawamura
  • Takayuki Nagai
  • Noriko Sato
  • Haruki YamadaEmail author
Original Paper


During the screening of anti-influenza virus substances from traditional herbal medicines, the methanol extract from the leaves of Pogostemon cablin Benth. showed potent in vitro antiviral activity (99.8% inhibition at a concentration of 10 μg/mL) against influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). The anti-influenza virus principle was isolated from the hexane-soluble fraction, through solvent fractionation, repeated silica gel column chromatography, and reversed-phase HPLC. The major active principle was a volatile substance that was identified as a sesquiterpene, patchouli alcohol (1), on the basis of its spectral analyses. When anti-influenza virus activity against A/PR/8/34 was evaluated by the plaque forming assay, patchouli alcohol reduced the number of plaques by 75% at 2 μg/mL and 89% at 10 μg/mL. Patchouli alcohol showed dose-dependent anti-influenza virus activity, and its IC50 value was estimated to be 2.635 μM. Although 11 different sesquiterpenes were tested for antiviral activity against influenza virus A/PR/8/34, no or negligible activity was observed except for patchouli alcohol. Patchouli alcohol did not show anti-influenza virus activity against A/Guizhou/54/89 (H3N2), but showed weak activity against B/Ibaraki/2/85 (IC50 = 40.82 μM). Patchouli alcohol did not show inhibitory activity against influenza virus neuraminidase.


Pogostemon cablin Benth. Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Patchouli alcohol Influenza virus 



The authors thank the Takasago International Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) for kind gifts of standard sesquiterpenes. A part of the present work was supported by The 21st Century COE Program, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Kiyohara
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Chikara Ichino
    • 1
  • Yuka Kawamura
    • 2
  • Takayuki Nagai
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Noriko Sato
    • 4
  • Haruki Yamada
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Drug Discovery Sciences, Kitasato Institute for Life SciencesKitasato UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Infection Control SciencesKitasato UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Basic Research, Oriental Medicine Research CenterKitasato UniversityTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Central Analytical Laboratory, School of PharmacyKitasato UniversityTokyoJapan

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