Publications serve as the concrete art form for the scientist. It is his modus operandi. Authorship is akin to success and achievement. It cannot and should not deteriorate into a bargaining tool or commodity.
de Rapper, S., Van Vuuren, S.F., Kamatou, G.P.P., Viljoen, A.M. and Dagne, E. 2012. The additive and synergistic antimicrobial effects of select frankincense and myrrh oils – a combination from the pharaonic pharmacopoeia. Letters in Applied Microbiology 54: 352-358.
Aims: The in vitro antimicrobial activity of three essential oil samples of frankincense (Boswellia rivae, B. neglecta, B. papyrifera) and two essential oil samples of myrrh and sweet myrrh(Commiphora guidotti and C. myrrha), collected from different regions of Ethiopia, were investigated independently and in combination to determine their anti-infective properties.Methods and Results: The microdilution minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assay was performed, whereby it was noted that generally Cryptococcusneoformans (MIC values in the range of 0.8–1.4 mg ml-1) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MIC values in the range of 0.5–1.3 mg ml-1) often appeared to be the most susceptible micro-organisms against oils of both Boswellia and Commiphora spp. When assayed in various combinations, the frankincense and myrrh oils displayed synergistic, additive and non-interactive properties, with no antagonism noted. When investigating different ratio combinations against Bacillus cereus, the most favourable combination was between B. papyrifera and C. myrrha.The composition of the oils were determined by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC–MS) to document the specific chemotypes used in the study and the chemical profiles were found to be congruent with previously reported data. Conclusions: The majority of interactions identified synergistic and additive effects, with strong synergism noted between B. papyrifera with C. myrrha.Significance and Impact of the Study: Frankincense and myrrh essential oils have been used in combination since 1500 BC, however, no antimicrobial investigations have been undertaken to confirm their effect in combination. This study validates the enhanced efficacy when used in combination against a selection of pathogens.