<em>Epilobium angustifolium</em> L. Essential Oil-Biological Activity and Enhancement of the Skin Penetration of Drugs-In Vitro Study
Molecules. 2021 Nov 26;26(23):7188. doi: 10.3390/molecules26237188.
Epilobium angustifolium L. is a popular medicinal plant found in many regions of the world. This plant contains small amounts of essential oil whose composition and properties have not been extensively investigated. There are few reports in the literature on the antioxidant and antifungal properties of this essential oil and the possibility of applying it as a potential promoter of the skin penetration of drugs. The essential oil was obtained by distillation using a Clavenger type apparatus. The chemical composition was analyzed by the GC-MS method. The major active compounds of E. angustifolium L. essential oil (EOEa) were terpenes, including α-caryophyllene oxide, eucalyptol, β-linalool, camphor, (S)-carvone, and β-caryophyllene. The analyzed essential oil was also characterized by antioxidant activity amounting to 78% RSA (Radical Scavenging Activity). Antifungal activity against the strains Aspergillus niger, A. ochraceus, A. parasiticum, and Penicillium cyclopium was also determined. The largest inhibition zone was observed for strains from the Aspergillus group. The EOEa enhanced the percutaneous penetration of ibuprofen and lidocaine. After a 24 h test, the content of terpene in the skin and the acceptor fluid was examined. It has been shown that the main compounds contained in the essential oil do not penetrate through the skin, but accumulate in it. Additionally, FTIR-ATR analysis showed a disturbance of the stratum corneum (SC) lipids caused by the essential oil application. Due to its rich composition and high biological activity, EOEa may be a potential candidate to be applied, for example, in the pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries. Moreover, due to the reaction of the essential oil components with SC lipids, the EOEa could be an effective permeation enhancer of topically applied hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs.