Myrtaceae Juss., the name derived from the genus Myrtus communis, is considered the eighth largest flowering plant family and of considerable importance on the ecological and economic area (by its production of essential oils). The species that belong to Myrtaceae with primarily tropical and subtropical distribution, with a greater diversity in the southern hemisphere, dispersed mainly in the regions of South America, Central America, Asia, East and Southwest of Australia and with a low representation in Africa. The Myrtaceae family includes more than 5500 species and approximately 150 genera, the genus Pimenta being one of the representatives of medicinal interest, which comprises 15 species (+6 varieties) located mainly in tropical America. Due to its economic and pharmacological importance, its best known species are Pimenta dioica and P. racemosa. Pimenta species can produce a volatile content of 1–5% from fresh leaves. To date, studies of this genus have been focused mainly on the content of volatile essences, used in formulation of cosmetics, analysis of chemical composition, and biological activities, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, insecticidal, and anti-inflammatory activity, eugenol being the main compound responsible for their biological potential.
Part of the book: Potential of Essential Oils