CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Planta Medica International Open 2020; 07(03): e114-e121
DOI: 10.1055/a-1186-2400
Original Papers

Biological Activity of Matricaria chamomilla Essential Oils of Various Chemotypes

1   Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Jürgen Wanner
2   Kurt Kitzing Co., Wallerstein, Germany
Nurhayat Tabanca
3   USDA-ARS, Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Miami, USA
Abbas Ali
4   National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
Velizar Gochev
5   Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, “Paisii Hilendarski”-University of Plovdiv, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Erich Schmidt
1   Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Vijay K. Kaul
6   CSIR – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Virendra Singh
6   CSIR – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Leopold Jirovetz
1   Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
› Author Affiliations


The essential oil of Matricaria chamomilla L., which is commonly used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes, can be differentiated between several chemotypes. In the current study, six essential chamomile oil samples of various origins (four of commercial sources, one of cultivation, one of wild collection) were examined regarding their composition and biological activities, i. e., antibacterial, antifungal, mosquito repellent, and larvicidal effects. GC-MS analyses revealed that the samples largely varied in composition and could be attributed to various chemotypes. In contrast to the other two samples, the four commercial samples were unusually high in trans-β-farnesene. The overall antimicrobial effects were only moderate, but it could be shown that a higher content in α-bisabolol and a smaller in α-bisabolol oxides A and B had a positive effect on overall activity. All samples had a biting deterrent effect comparable to DEET. Higher concentrations of (Z )- and (E )-spiroethers improved larvicidal activity, whereas trans-β-farnesene had the opposite effect. In conclusion, the importance of α-bisabolol for the biological activity of chamomile essential oil could be demonstrated.

Publication History

Received: 16 December 2019
Received: 15 May 2020

Accepted: 18 May 2020

Article published online:
15 July 2020

© 2020. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG
Stuttgart · New York

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