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The objective of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial effect of essential oils from local Thai plants. Eight essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. (Lemongrass), Cymbopogon nardus Rendle (Citronella grass), Citrus hystrix DC. (Leech lime), Citrus medica Linn (Citron), Ocimum basilicum L. (Sweet basil), Piper nigrum L. (Black pepper), Ocimum sanctum L. (Holy basil) and Ocimum basilicum L.f. var citratum Back (Hairy basil) were evaluated for their antimicrobial properties by agar-disc diffusion technique against pathogenic bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Typhimurium and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The results showed that various degrees of antibacterial activity were found from different essential oils. The essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. showed higher tendency to inhibit tested pathogens when compared with other essential oils used in this study. However, the inhibitory effects of essential oils from Ocimum sanctum L. and Ocimum basilicum L.f. var citratum Back were not observed. Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) of Cymbopogon citratus Stapf. essential oil by microbroth dilution test was ranged between 125-500 ppm for all tested pathogenic bacteria. The results showed the antimicrobial activities of essential oils from different plants against pathogenic bacteria.
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