Origanum compactum Benth.

Last updated: 18 May 2017

Scientific Name

Origanum compactum Benth.


Origanum compactum var. hirsutoides Socorro & Espinar, Origanum cretivum Schousb. ex Ball [Illegitimate], Origanum glandulosum Salzm. ex Benth. [1]

Vernacular Name

No documentation.

Geographical Distributions

Origanum compactum is a ground-covering plant grows in Spain and Mediterranean area particularly in Morocco. [2]

Botanical Description

No documentation.


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

O. compactum was found to contain essential oil and carvacrol compound. [3]

O. compactum was found to contain thymol, carvacrol, p-cymene, [4] and γ-terpinene [5].

Plant Part Used

Essential oil [6]

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Antioxidant activity

The antioxidant activity of O. compactum essential oil is attributed to its phenolic constituents. [4]

Antimicrobial activity

Essential oil of O. compactum was found to exhibit antibacterial activity against a panel of standard reference strains using well diffusion and broth dilution methods. In solid medium, the oil was found to be remarkably active against all tested strains except Pseudomonas which showed resistance. In liquid medium the Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBCs) ranged from 0.0078 to 0.25% (v/v). [4]

Antibacterial effect of O. compactum against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus is by the induction of membrane damage showed by the leakage of potassium and uptake of propidium iodide and bis-oxonol. [5]

Thymol and eugenol isolated from essential oil of O. compactum have been shown effective effect against both gram positive and negative bacteria. [6]

The antifungal activity of O. compactum was assessed in a laboratory analysis and demonstrated strong activity against Botrytis cinerea. Carvacrol was found to be the constituent responsible for this action. [7]

Cytotoxic activity

Using the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the cytotoxic effects of several essential oils were studied, including O. compactum. All oils tested including O. compacticum, demonstrated cytotoxic activity by oxidative stress as seen by mitochondrial damage. [8]

Insecticidal activity

The essential oil of O. compactum is an effective insecticide against mosquitoes. [9]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Origanum compactum Benth. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2017 May 18]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-143779.
  2. Kew Royal Botanic Garden. Origanum compactum Benth. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2017 May 18]. Available from: http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/namedetail.do?name_id=143779.
  3. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  4. Bouhdid S, Skali SN, Idaomar M, Abrini J. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Origanum compactum essential oil. African J Biotech. 2008;7(10):1563-1570.
  5. Bouhdid S, Abrini J, Zhiri A, Espuny MJ, Manresa A. Investigation of functional and morphological changes in Pseduomonas aureginosa and Staphylococcus aureus cells induced by Origanum compactum essential oil. J Appl Microbiol. 2009;106(5):1558-1568.
  6. Rhayour K, Bouchikhi T, Tantaoui-Elaraki A, Sendide K, Remmal A. The mechanism of bactericidal action of oregano and clove essential oils and of their phenolic major components on Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. J Essen Oil Res. 2003;15(5):356-362.
  7. Bouchra C, Achouri M, Idrissi Hassani LM, Hmamouchi M. Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oils of seven Moroccan Labiatae against Botrytis cinerea Pers: Fr. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003;89(1):165-169.
  8. Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Zhiri A, Idaomar M. Cytotoxicity and gene induction by some essential oils in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen. 2005;585(1-2):1-13.
  9. Cetin-H, Yanikoglu A. A study of the larvicidal activity of Origanum (Labiatae) species from southwest Turkey. J Vector Ecol. 2006;31(1):118-122.