Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 241–248 | Cite as

Antifungal activity of the essential oil of Angelica major against Candida, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus and dermatophyte species

  • Carlos Cavaleiro
  • Lígia Salgueiro
  • Maria-José Gonçalves
  • Karnjana Hrimpeng
  • Jéssica Pinto
  • Eugénia PintoEmail author
Original Paper


The composition and antifungal activity of the essential oil (EO) of Angelica major and its main components α-pinene and cis-β-ocimene against clinically relevant yeasts and moulds were evaluated. EO from the plant’s aerial parts was obtained by hydrodistillation and analysed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The oil showed high contents of α-pinene (21.8 %) and cis-β-ocimene (30.4 %). Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were measured according to the broth macrodilution protocols by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). The EO, α-pinene and cis-β-ocimene displayed low MICs and minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) against dermatophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans, with α-pinene being the most active. Regarding Candida species, the EO susceptibility profiles seem to be diverse and not correlated with fluconazole susceptibility patterns. Moreover, an inhibition of yeast–mycelium transition was demonstrated at sub-inhibitory concentrations of the EO, α-pinene and cis-β-ocimene in C. albicans. In addition, their haemolytic activity was low. The activity displayed by A. major EO and its main components associated with low cytotoxic activity confirms their potential as an antifungal agent against fungal species frequently implicated in human mycoses, particularly cryptococcosis and dermatophytosis. The association with commercial antifungal compounds could bring benefits, by the effect on germ tube formation, and be used in mucocutaneous candidiasis treatment.


Angelica major Volatile oil Antifungal activity Inhibition of yeast–mycelium transition Haemolytic activity 



The authors are grateful to Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) through grants PEst-OE/SAU/UI0177/2011 and CEQUIMED-PEst-OE/SAU/UI4040/2014.

The Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Burapha University, Thailand is acknowledged for collaboration with the Lotus—Erasmus Mundus Action Two Partnership (EMA2) of European and South-East Asian Higher Education Institutions (HEI).

Thanks are also due to Dra Ana Cristina Tavares (CEF/Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra) for her help in prospecting plant material.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Cavaleiro
    • 1
  • Lígia Salgueiro
    • 1
  • Maria-José Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Karnjana Hrimpeng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jéssica Pinto
    • 2
  • Eugénia Pinto
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy/CEF and CNCUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CEQUIMED-UP, Microbiology Service, Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Microbiology Department, Faculty of ScienceBurapha UniversityChonburiThailand
  4. 4.CIIMAR/CIMAR, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e AmbientalUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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