Microbiol Res. 2018 Oct ;215:76-88. Epub 2018 Jun 25. PMID: 30172312
Matricaria genus as a source of antimicrobial agents: From farm to pharmacy and food applications.
Matricaria is a widespread genus of flowering plants of the family Asteraceae that grow in temperate regions of Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Some of the species are also naturalized in Australia. Some species of this genus such as Chamomiles are recognized medicinal plants and cultivated in several countries for commercial purposes: to obtain its blue essence, as herbal tea, and for pharmaceutical or cosmeceutical uses. The phytochemical composition of Matricaria spp. includes volatile terpenoids (e.g.,α-bisabolol, bisabolol oxide A and B, β-trans-farnesene and chamazulene), sesquiterpene lactones such as matricin, and phenolic compounds (flavonoids, coumarins and phenolic acids). Their essential oil is obtained from the fresh or dried inflorescences by steam distillation, and additionally cohobation of the remaining water. The volatile composition of the essential oil, especially the content of the valuable components α-bisabolol and chamazulene, depends on the plant part, origin and quality of the source, genetic, and environmental factors. Moreover, other parameters, such as season ofharvest and methods of extraction, can affect the extraction yield of the essential oils/extracts, their composition and, therefore, their bioactivity. Due to the importance of this genus and particularly M. recutita (M. chamomilla), this review focus on its cultivation, factor affecting essential oils' composition and their role in traditional medicine, as antibacterial agents and finally as food preservatives.