Antifungal Activities of Essential Oils from Himalayan Plants

  • Chandra Shekhar Mathela
  • Vinod Kumar
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 19)


Himalayan temperate and subalpine flora with its diverse medicinal and aromatic species occupies an important position in the field of herbal pharmaceuticals. The spread of multidrug-resistant strains of fungi and relatively small number of antifungal drugs available made it necessary to look for new sources of antifungal molecules. This has led to the search for therapeutic alternatives, particularly among medicinal and aromatic plants and compounds isolated from them for their antifungal potential. Essential oils are naturally occurring phytochemicals with generally less deleterious side effects than corresponding synthetic drugs. Also, the resurgence of interest in natural control of human infectious fungal pathogens and increasing demand for effective, safe natural extracts and their constituents could lead to new antifungal agents. This could support the use of the plants in the treatment of various infective human diseases and protection of plant crops. This chapter gives an overview on the susceptibility of human and phytopathogenic fungi toward different essential oils and their chemical constituents, largely belonging to the tropical and subalpine Indian Himalayan region, viz. Nepeta, Erigeron, Aster, Cinnamomum, Thymus, Mentha, Senecio and their constituents such as new terpene iridoids, actinidine, nepetalactone, acetylenic esters, thymol, carvacrol and eugenol. Several of these have been found to possess high antifungal properties against various fungi.


Himalayan plants Essential oils Antifungal activity Human and plant pathogenic fungi Iridoids Actinidine Nepetalactone 





Essential oils


Gas chromatography-Fourier transform infrared


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry




Hierarchical cluster analysis


50% Inhibitory concentration


Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry


Liquid chromatography-nuclear magnetic resonance


Medicinal and aromatic plants












Minimum inhibitory concentration


Poison food


Potato dextrose agar


Principal component analysis


Sodium chloride


Sodium sulfate



The authors are grateful to Department of Chemistry, Kumaun University, Nainital, for providing laboratory facilities, Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Dehradun, for plant identification and Department of Plant Pathology, College of Agriculture, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, for their valuable help in carrying out some experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryKumaun UniversityNainitalIndia

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