chapter  19
30 Pages

Aromatic Plants and Essential Oils in the Treatment and Prevention of Infectious Diseases

The number of new pharmaceutical and dietary products based on natural raw materials has been constantly growing on the global market. More than 60% of the new chemical drugs were inspired by natural products. Scientic research has conrmed a wide range of biological and pharmacological activities for a variety of natural products, regardless of whether they are isolated compounds or complex extracts. In certain therapeutic areas, the productivity is higher: 78% of antibacterials and 74% of anticancer compounds are natural products or have been derived from, or inspired by, a natural product (Newman et al., 2003). Over the past 70 years, a wide range of antimicrobial agents have been discovered and synthesized to combat microbial pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. However, it has clearly

19.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 367 19.2 Respiratory Infections .................................................................................. 369 19.3 Urinary Infections ........................................................................................ 370 19.4 Genital Infections ......................................................................................... 371 19.5 Gastrointestinal Infection ............................................................................. 374 19.6 Skin Infections .............................................................................................. 376

19.6.1 Bacterial Infections ........................................................................... 376 19.6.2 Fungal and Yeast Infections ............................................................. 379

19.7 Viral Infections .............................................................................................380 19.8 Safety Issues ................................................................................................. 382 References .............................................................................................................. 383

been evidenced that many pathogens display antimicrobial resistance, leading to drug resistance. The incidences of antimicrobial resistance have steadily increased globally. Besides increasing morbidity and mortality rates, resistance to antimicrobial agents has resulted in treatment failures and increased health care costs (Howard  et  al., 2003). The increased resistance to conventional antibiotics is one of the main factors justifying the search for and development of new antimicrobial agents, especially those of natural origin. Among them, essential oils deserve special attention.