Phenolic, Flavonoid Contents, Antioxidant, and Antibacterial Activity of Selected Eucalyptus Species: Review

Getaneh Worku Moges, Gizachew Mulugeta Manahelohe, Melese Ababay Asegie


Many medicinal plants and their essential oils are used to treat or prevent diseases without the risk of mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, or teratogenicity. Eucalyptus essential oils are commonly used as preservatives, flavoring agents, and various consumer goods. Eucalyptus leaves are being widely studied due to their volatile essential oils, including 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, α- and β-pinene, limonene, citronellal, citral, eudesmol, terpinen-4-ol, terpineol, α–phellanderene, and 9β-sitosterol. Among these compounds, 1,8-cineole is the most abundant. Eucalyptus leaves are rich in flavonoids and phenolic compounds and are thus a great source of antioxidants. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and 2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) assays were used to measure antioxidant capacity. The antioxidant activity of Eucalyptus essential oil is stronger than that of standard antibiotics such as erythromycin, cefixime, and gentamicin due to the presence of significant terpenoids in addition to phenolic chemicals and flavonoids. A lower IC50 indicates greater antioxidant potential. Phenolic compounds and flavonoids are often associated with beneficial health outcomes, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, anticancer properties, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, prevention of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Flavonoids also play essential roles in plants, including protecting against reduction, fertility, reproduction, and infection. Due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and immunomodulatory properties, flavonoids are crucial for pharmacological, medical, and nutraceutical applications.


Eucalyptus; medicinal plants; antioxidant activity; reactive oxygen species (ROS); 1,8-cineole

Full Text:



Alemu, M. M. (2016). Eucalyptus Tree Production in Wolayita Sodo, Southern Ethiopia. OALib, 03(12), 1–10.

Almas, I., Innocent, E., Machumi, F., & Kisinza, W. (2021). Chemical composition of essential oils from Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus maculata grown in Tanzania. Scientific African, 12, 1–7.

Álvarez, X., Cancela, Á., Merchán, Y., & Sánchez, Á. (2021). Anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, and antioxidants from extractions of six eucalyptus species. Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 11(21), 1–12.

Amabye, T. G. (2016). Phytochemical and Antimicrobial Potentials Leaves Extract of Eucalyptus Globulus Oil from Maichew Tigray Ethiopia. International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 3(1), 1–4.

Azat Aziz, M., Shehab Diab, A., & Abdulrazak Mohammed, A. (2019). Antioxidant Categories and Mode of Action. In Antioxidants (pp. 1–20).

Birara Dessie, A., Mire Abate, T., & Melese Mekie, T. (2019). Eucalyptus: The Popular Exotic Tree Crop in Ethiopia. Acta Scientific Agriculture, 3(9), 50–56.

Brewer, M. S. (2011). Natural Antioxidants: Sources, Compounds, Mechanisms of Action, and Potential Applications. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 10(4), 221–247.

Brunetti, C., Di Ferdinando, M., Fini, A., Pollastri, S., & Tattini, M. (2013). Flavonoids as antioxidants and developmental regulators: Relative significance in plants and humans. In International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 14, Issue 2, pp. 3540–3555).

Dezsi, Ş., Bədərəu, A. S., Bischin, C., Vodnar, D. C., Silaghi-Dumitrescu, R., Gheldiu, A. M., Mocan, A., & Vlase, L. (2015). Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and phenolic profile of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Corymbia ficifolia (F. Muell.) K.D. Hill & L.A.S. Johnson leaves. Molecules, 20(3), 4720–4734.

Fischer, B., Gowzdz, E. P., Feltes, G., Griep, P., Junges, A., Paroul, N., & Cansian, R. L. (2020). Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties of Eucalyptus Leaf Extract Obtained Using Pressurized Ethanol. Brazilian Journal of Development, 6(10), 74499–74512.

Francenia Santos-Sánchez, N., Salas-Coronado, R., Villanueva-Cañongo, C., & Hernández-Carlos, B. (2019). Antioxidant Compounds and Their Antioxidant Mechanism. In Antioxidants (pp. 1–28).

Gullón, P., Gullón, B., Astray, G., Munekata, P. E. S., Pateiro, M., & Lorenzo, J. M. (2020). Value-added compound recovery from invasive forest for biofunctional applications: Eucalyptus species as a case study. Molecules, 25(18), 1–19.

Lidoy, J., Berrio, E., García, M., España-Luque, L., Pozo, M. J., & López-Ráez, J. A. (2023). Flavonoids promote Rhizophagus irregularis spore germination and tomato root colonization: A target for sustainable agriculture. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13, 1–9.

Munteanu, I. G., & Apetrei, C. (2021). Analytical methods used in determining antioxidant activity: A review. In International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 22, Issue 7, pp. 1–30).

Mworia, J. K., Kibiti, C. M., Ngugi, M. P., & Ngeranwa, J. N. (2019). Antipyretic potential of dichloromethane leaf extract of Eucalyptus globulus (Labill) and Senna didymobotrya (Fresenius) in rats models. Heliyon, 5(12), 1–8.

Nimse, S. B., & Pal, D. (2015). Free radicals, natural antioxidants, and their reaction mechanisms. RSC Advances, 5(35), 27986–28006.

Olawore NO. & Ololade ZS. (2017). Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. nancy and Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. petford Seed Essential Oils: Phytochemicals and Therapeutic Potentials. Chemical Sciences Journal, 08(01), 1–6.

Ololade, S, Z., Olawore, & O, N. (2021). Health Benefits of the Fruit Essential Oil of Eucalyptus Citriodora: Secondary Metabolites, Radical Scavenging, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Antimicrobial Potential. Int J Drug Discov, 13(4), 1–7.

Panche, A. N., Diwan, A. D., & Chandra, S. R. (2016). Flavonoids: An overview. In Journal of Nutritional Science (Vol. 5, pp. 1–15).

Panigrahi, A., Jena, N. C., Tripathi, S., Tiwari, V., & Sharma, V. (2021). Eucalyptus : A Review on Agronomic and Medicinal Properties. Biological Forum, 13(1), 342–349.

Park, J. Y., Kim, J. Y., Son, Y. G., Kang, S. D., Lee, S. W., Kim, K. D., & Kim, J. Y. (2023). Characterization of Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Eucalyptus globulus Leaves under Different Extraction Conditions. Applied Sciences (Switzerland), 13(17), 1–11.

Rahman, M. M., Rahaman, M. S., Islam, M. R., Rahman, F., Mithi, F. M., Alqahtani, T., Almikhlafi, M. A., Alghamdi, S. Q., Alruwaili, A. S., Hossain, M. S., Ahmed, M., Das, R., Emran, T. Bin, & Uddin, M. S. (2022). Role of phenolic compounds in human disease: Current knowledge and future prospects. In Molecules (Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 1–36).

Rakha, A., Umar, N., Rabail, R., Butt, M. S., Kieliszek, M., Hassoun, A., & Aadil, R. M. (2022). Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic potential of dietary flavonoids: A review. In Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy (Vol. 156, pp. 1–10). Elsevier Masson s.r.l.

Roy, A., Khan, A., Ahmad, I., Alghamdi, S., Rajab, B. S., Babalghith, A. O., Alshahrani, M. Y., Islam, S., & Islam, M. R. (2022). Flavonoids a Bioactive Compound from Medicinal Plants and Its Therapeutic Applications. In BioMed Research International (Vol. 2022, pp. 1–9).

Sadeer, N. B., Montesano, D., Albrizio, S., Zengin, G., & Mahomoodally, M. F. (2020). The versatility of antioxidant assays in food science and safety—chemistry, applications, strengths, and limitations. In Antioxidants (Vol. 9, Issue 8, pp. 1–39).

Sebei, K., Sakouhi, F., Herchi, W., Khouja, M. L., & Boukhchina, S. (2015). Chemical composition and antibacterial activities of seven Eucalyptus species essential oils leaves. Biological Research, 48, 1–5.

Shah, G., Kaur, M., Singh, P. S., Rahar, S., Dhabliya, F., Arya, Y., & Shri, R. (2012). Pharmacognostic Parameters of Eucalyptus globulus Leaves. Pharmacognosy Journal, 4(34), 38–43.

Sharma, A., Chahal, M., & Kaur, I. (2021). Antioxidant and bioactivities of leaf extracts from eucalyptus globulus. Arabian Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 7(3), 385–406.

Shiferaw, Y., Kassahun, A., Tedla, A., Feleke, G., & Abebe, A. A. (2019). Investigation of Essential Oil Composition Variation with Age of Eucalyptus globulus Growing in Ethiopia. Natural Products Chemistry & Research, 07(02), 1–5.

Surbhi, Kumar, A., Singh, S., Kumari, P., & Rasane, P. (2023). Eucalyptus: phytochemical composition, extraction methods and food and medicinal applications. In Advances in Traditional Medicine (Vol. 23, Issue 2, pp. 369–380).

Teka, A., & Maryo, M. (2023). Ethiopian Medicinal Plants Used for Respiratory Tract Disorders: Ethnomedicinal Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2023, 1–9.

Tesfaye, M. A., Gardi, O., Anbessa, T. B., & Blaser, J. (2020). Aboveground biomass, growth and yield for some selected introduced tree species, namely, Cupressus lusitanica, Eucalyptus saligna, and Pinus patula in Central Highlands of Ethiopia. Journal of Ecology and Environment, 44(1), 1–18.

Tsegaye Bekele. (2015). Integrated Utilization of Eucalyptus globulus grown on the Ethiopian Highlands and its Contribution to Rural Livelihood: A Case Study of Oromia, Amhara and Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Regional State Ethiopia. Journals International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 4(2), 80–87.

Ullah, A., Munir, S., Badshah, S. L., Khan, N., Ghani, L., Poulson, B. G., Emwas, A. H., & Jaremko, M. (2020). Important flavonoids and their role as a therapeutic agent. In Molecules (Vol. 25, Issue 22, pp. 1–39).

Vecchio, M. G., Loganes, C., & Minto, C. (2016). Beneficial and Healthy Properties of Eucalyptus Plants: A Great Potential Use. The Open Agriculture Journal, 10(1), 52–57.

Zerga, B., Warkineh, B., Teketay, D., & Woldetsadik, M. (2021). The sustainability of reforesting landscapes with exotic species: a case study of eucalypts in Ethiopia. Sustainable Earth, 4(1), 1–11.

Zhang, Y., Cai, P., Cheng, G., & Zhang, Y. (2022). A Brief Review of Phenolic Compounds Identified from Plants: Their Extraction, Analysis, and Biological Activity. In Natural Product Communications (Vol. 17, Issue 1, pp. 1–14).

Zulkefli, N., Che Zahari, C. N. M., Sayuti, N. H., Kamarudin, A. A., Saad, N., Hamezah, H. S., Bunawan, H., Baharum, S. N., Mediani, A., Ahmed, Q. U., Ismail, A. F. H., & Sarian, M. N. (2023). Flavonoids as Potential Wound-Healing Molecules: Emphasis on Pathways Perspective. In International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Vol. 24, Issue 5, pp. 1–29).



Copyright (c) 2024 Getaneh Worku Moges, Gizachew Mulugeta Manahelohe, Melese Ababay Asegie

Biology, Medicine, & Natural Product Chemistry
ISSN 2089-6514 (paper) - ISSN 2540-9328 (online)
Published by Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University & Society for Indonesian Biodiversity.

This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC