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Open Access Research article

Antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities of Anthemis palestina essential oil

Sanaa K Bardaweel*, Khaled A Tawaha and Mohammad M Hudaib

Author Affiliations

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Jordan, Queen Rania Street, Amman 11942, Jordan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:297  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-297

Published: 12 August 2014



Anthemis palestina (Asteraceae) extends across the Mediterranean region, southwest Asia and eastern Africa. Although traditionally used for several applications, in vitro investigation of biological functions associated with Anthemis palestina essential oil had never been reported.


The air-dried flowers of Anthemis palestina were subjected to hydrodistillation to yield the oil. The antioxidant activity of the hydrodistilled oil was characterized using various in vitro model systems such as DPPH, ferric-reducing antioxidant power and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. Antibacterial activity was tested against six bacterial species, representing both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. Antifungal activity was evaluated using three Candida species. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for each examined microorganism was determined using the microdilution method. The oil’s antiproliferative effects against eight human cancer cell lines were also studied and the lethal doses that resulted in 50% reduction of cell viability (LD50) were determined.


The results indicate that the essential oil of Anthemis palestina exhibited substantial antioxidant activities as demonstrated with DPPH, ferric reducing antioxidant power, and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. In addition, a broad-spectrum antibacterial activity of the oil was revealed with better susceptibility of Gram positive bacteria towards the oil. The MIC values ranged between 6–75 μg/ml. Besides, the oil demonstrated a moderate inhibitory effect on the three Candida species examined; with MIC values ranging between 48–95 μg/ml. Potent cytotoxic activities, especially against HeLa cell line; with LD50 of 32 μg/ml, BJAB cell line; with LD50 of 57 μg/ml, and Caco-2 cell line; with LD50 of 61 μg/ml, were observed.


The results obtained indicate high potential of Anthemis palestina essential oil as bioactive oil, for nutraceutical and medical applications, possessing antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities.

Anthemis palestina; Essential (volatile) oil; Antioxidant; Antimicrobial; Antiproliferative