Objective: In this work, we investigated the chemical composition and the antioxidant and
antimicrobial activities of the Algerian Cistus clusii Dunal essential oil.
Methods: Cistus clusii essential oil has been extracted using hydrodistillation method and characterized
by GC/MS. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by two different methods DPPH free radical scavenging,
and β-carotene bleaching test. The antimicrobial activity was carried out using disc diffusion
method against reference strains; Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27865), Escherichia coli (ATCC
25922), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), clinical bacterial (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis,
Staphylococcus aureus) and fungal (Candida albicans) isolates.
Results: The chemical profile of the oil showed 31 compounds. This profile was dominated by the presence
of monoterpene hydrocarbons (78.4%), oxygenated derivatives (18.8%) and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons
as minor constituents of this essential oil (1.9%). The major constituents were Camphene
(20.6%), γ-Terpinene (16.5%), Sabinene (12.8%), and Terpineol-4 (13.5%). Other compounds were
found in moderately good amounts like α-Terpinene (8.9%), α-Thujene (5.9%), α-Pinene (4.2%), and α-
Terpinolene (3.1%). The results of the antimicrobial activity showed that the highest activity was observed
against C. albicans and it was higher than positive control Fluconazole. The essential oil exhibited
a strong antioxidant activity, especially in the β-carotene system.
Conclusion: This study indicates that Cistus clusii essential oil showed potent antioxidant and moderate
antimicrobial activities which could be used to explain the use of this species in traditional medicine.