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Composition and anti-inflammatory effect of the common myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) essential oil growing wild in Algeria

Composition et activité anti-inflammatoire du myrte commun (Myrtus communis L.) poussant spontanément en Algérie


This study was designed to evaluate the chemical composition and anti-inflammatory activity of the common myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) essential oil. The composition of Myrtus communis L. essential oil, extracted by steam distillation, was characterized by a high fraction (80.9%) of oxygenated monoterpenes. The major components were myrtenyl acetate (38.7%), eucalyptol (12.7%), α-pinene (13.7%), and linalool (7.00%). The chemical profile of this essential oil allows us to classify it as myrtényle acétate/α-pinène chemotype, but with atypical proportions, related to the harvesting area. In the carrageenan-induced paw edema, five different groups were established and the essential oil was administered orally in three different doses. The common myrtle essential oil (100 mg/kg) was able to reduce the paw edema, with a comparable effect to that observed with diclofenac (positive control). This is the first report to demonstrate a significant anti-inflammatory activity of Algerian common myrtle essential oil.


Cette étude a été conçue pour évaluer la composition chimique et l’activité anti-inflammatoire de l’huile essentielle de myrte commun (Myrtus communis L.). La composition de l’huile essentielle extraite par distillation à la vapeur a été caractérisée par une fraction élevée de monoterpènes oxygénés (80,9 %). Ses composants majeurs sont l’acétate de myrtényle (38,7 %), l’eucalyptol (12,7 %), l’α-pinène (13,7 %) et le linalool (7,00 %). Le profil chimique de cette huile essentielle lui permet d’être classée dans le chémotype d’acétate myrtényle/α-pinène, mais avec des proportions atypiques, relatives à la région de collecte. Dans le test d’induction de l’inflammation par la carragénine, trois doses différentes de l’huile essentielle ont été testées. L’huile essentielle de myrte commun (100 mg/kg) a été en mesure de réduire l’oedème de la patte postérieure avec un effet comparable à celui observé avec le Diclofénac® (contrôle positif). Ce rapport est le premier à démontrer une activité antiinflammatoire significative de l’huile essentielle du myrte commun algérien.

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Correspondence to M. Touaibia.

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Touaibia, M. Composition and anti-inflammatory effect of the common myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) essential oil growing wild in Algeria. Phytothérapie (2017).

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  • Myrtus communis L.
  • Essential oil
  • Composition
  • Anti-inflammatory activity

Mots clés

  • Myrtus communis L.
  • Huile essentielle
  • Composition
  • Activité anti-inflammatoire