The geographical variation and antimicrobial activity of African wormwood (Artemisia afra Jacq.) essential oil

Viljoen A. M. , van Vuuren S. F. , Gwebu T., Demirci B., Baser K. H. C.

JOURNAL OF ESSENTIAL OIL RESEARCH, vol.18, pp.19-25, 2006 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10412905.2006.12067114
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.19-25


The aerial parts of 16 individual Artemisia afra plants from four natural populations were hydrodistilled and the essential oil analyzed by GC/MS. The oil composition varied quantitatively and qualitatively within and between natural populations and showed no correlation to the geographical distribution. The antimicrobial activity was demonstrated by means of time-kill methodology using the respiratory pathogens C. neoformans and K pneumoniae. Antimicrobial activity was most prominent within 10 min at concentration 0.75% for K pneumoniae and within 60 min at concentration 1% for C. neoformans. Investigation of the four major compounds most abundant in the A. afra oil (artemisia ketone, 1,8-cineole, alpha- and beta-thujone) indicated minimal antimicrobial activity when investigated independently and in various combinations against K pneumoniae.