Hayes AJ, Markovic B
Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2002
The antimicrobial and toxicological properties of the Australian essential oil, lemon myrtle, (Backhousia citriodora) were investigated. Lemon myrtle oil was shown to possess significant antimicrobial activity against the organisms Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Aspergillus niger, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Propionibacterium acnes comparable to its major component-citral. An in vitro toxicological study based on the MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium) cytotoxicity assay was performed. In vitro cytotoxicity testing indicated that both lemon myrtle oil and citral had a very toxic effect against human cell lines: HepG2 (a hepatocarcinoma-derived cell line); F1-73 (a fibroblast cell line derived from normal skin) and primary cell cultures of human skin fibroblasts. Cytotoxicity IC50 (50% inhibitory concentration) values ranged from 0.008 to 0.014% (w/v) at 4 h to 0.003-0.012% (w/v) at 24 h of exposure. The no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for lemon myrtle oil was calculated as 0.5 mg/l at 24 h exposure and the RfD (reference dose) was determined as 0.01 mg/l. A product containing 1% lemon myrtle oil was found to be low in toxicity and could potentially be used in the formulation of topical antimicrobial products.
Hayes AJ, Markovic B. Toxicity of Australian essential oil Backhousia citriodora (Lemon myrtle). Part 1. Antimicrobial activity and in vitro cytotoxicity. Food Chem Toxicol. 2002;40(4):535-543.