The aim of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition and the antimicrobial activity of essential oils of Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum collected in four different stations in South -Western Sardinia.
The composition of the essential oils was determined by gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The oil samples showed different chromatographic profiles. The oil of the station 4 revealed the presence of significant amount of neryl acetate (33.6%); in oils from stations 1 and 2 we found γ-curcumene (28%) and in station 3 γ-curcumene (12%) and linalool (11%), while there was no trace of neryl acetate. Standard microbiological assays demonstrated that essential oils obtained by plants collected in station 1 and 2, very rich in curcumene, showed an interesting anticandidal activity, dose- and time-dependent, which is enhanced by sub-inhibitory concentrations of chitosan.
Our results suggest that the essential oil of Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum, associated with chitosan in innovative formulations, could be considered as a therapeutic alternative in the treatment of Candida opportunistic infections. The results of this study shows that the chemotypization of the species examined could lead to their targeted clinical use, in a concept of a rational scientific aromatherapy.