Thyme better than benzoyl peroxide against acne
Thyme shows antibacterial properties against acne
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), a perennial herbaceous plant from the Lamiaceae family that grows up to approximately 40 cm tall  and is used nowadays as a flavoring agent of the Mediterranean diet.
Thyme was used by the Greeks in their baths and by the Egyptians who more than 2000 years ago used it to embalm their faraons and ancestors, probably due to the amount of antimicrobial active constituents found on Thyme essential oils, its most documented property and a quality that shares with other essential oils as for example lavender essential oil , both of them active against multi-drug resistant clinical strains of Escherichia coli bacteria [3,4].
Recently, researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University, driven by these known antibacterial properties of Thyme, tested the effects of this herb, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium that causes acne by infecting skin pores and forming the well-known spots so characteristic from this bacterial infection. The results were published in a news release in the Society for General Microbiology website and are quite encouraging while not surprising. Image left: Wild thyme (NH) by David Short under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0).
Common name: Thyme.
In spite all preparations tested against Propionibacterium were able to kill the bacterium after five minutes, thyme was with difference the most effective of the three, being even more effective than traditional benzoyl peroxide, the most commonly used active molecule in anti-acne creams and washes.
Dr. Margarita Gomez-Escalada, leading the research project, also explained how the Thyme samples used were tested against and alcohol control, in order to prove that the effects of thyme against acne were not due to the sterilizing effects of their alcohol dilution, something that could have lead to missinterpretations.
But the antimicrobial activity of thyme and more especially thyme essential oils do not only extend to Propionibacterium, thyme essential oils have also been effective against clinical multidrug resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Pseudomonas genus, among another 120 clinical bacterial strains isolated from patients with infections of the oral cavity, abdominal cavity, respiratory and genitourinary tracts, skin, and from the hospital environment .
Among the active constituents found in Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and its essential oil we can mention: Thymol, Carvacrol, o-Cymene, gamma-Terpinene, γ-terpinene, Caryophyllene [8,13].
THYMOL (2-isopropyl-5-methylphenol, IPMP); This aromatic monoterpene is responsible for the distinctive and strong flavour of Thyme, thymol is known to exert powerful antiseptic and antioxidative  properties. It is believed that thymol played an important role on ancient Egipt embalming techniques and was mainly one of the reasons why thyme was so effectively used for embalming in that ancient culture. In spite its antiseptique properties, thymol has also exerted certain anti-cancer properties against certain melanoma cell lines, thymol showed moderate cytotoxicity but not an antimelanogenic effect on B16-F10 melanoma cells .
CARVACROL, also known as cymophenol, (C6H3CH3(OH)(C3H7)); Present in Thymus vulgaris, Carum copticum, origanum and oregano essential oils , Carvacrol is a monoterpenic phenol that has been referenced in several clinical trials and scientific research studies as a powerful antibacterial agent against pathogenic fungi, yeast and bacteria as well as human, animal and plant pathogenic microorganisms including drug-resistant and biofilm forming microorganisms [10,11].
As in the case of Thymol, carvacrol has also exerted certain anti-cancer properties, among others against human hepatoma HepG2 cells . In a study, carvacrol inhibited HepG2 cell growth by inducing apoptosis, exerting an antitumor effect that was not known yet.
 Wikipedia Thymus via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus_(genus)
 Antibacterial activity of thyme and lavender essential oils.
Sienkiewicz M, Lysakowska M, Ciecwierz J, Denys P, Kowalczyk E.
Medical and Sanitary Microbiology Department, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.
 The antimicrobial activity of essential oils and extracts of some medicinal plants grown in Ash-shoubak region - South of Jordan.
Abu-Darwish MS, Al-Ramamneh EA, Kyslychenko VS, Karpiuk UV.
Department of Basic and Applied Sciences, Al-Shouback University College, Al-Balqa Applied University, Jordan.
 [Sensitivity assessment of thyme and lavender essential oils against clinical strains of Escherichia coli for their resistance].
[Article in Polish]
Sienkiewicz M, Kalemba D, Wasiela M.
Zaklad Mikrobiologii Lekarskiej i Sanitarnej, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lodzi.
 In-vitro anti-inflammatory effect of Eucalyptus globulus and Thymus vulgaris: nitric oxide inhibition in J774A.1 murine macrophages.
Vigo E, Cepeda A, Gualillo O, Perez-Fernandez R.
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
 News release form the Society for General Microbiology viahttp://www.sgm.ac.uk/news/releases/DUB12_MGE.cfm
 Chemical composition and biological activities of Jeju Thymus quinquecostatus essential oils against Propionibacterium species inducing acne.
Oh TH, Kim SS, Yoon WJ, Kim JY, Yang EJ, Lee NH, Hyun CG.
Department of Chemistry, Cheju National University, Jeju, Korea.
 [Extraction and analysis of chemical components of essential oil in Thymus vulgaris of tissue culture].
[Article in Chinese]
Li XD, Yang L, Xu SQ, Li JG, Cheng ZH, Dang JZ.
School of Applied Biological Engineering, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Shenzhen 518055, China.
 Effects of thymol on b16-f10 melanoma cells.
Satooka H, Kubo I.
Department of Nutritional Science and Toxicology, and ‡Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley , Berkeley, California 94720, United States.
 Use of rosemary, oregano, and a commercial blend of essential oils in broiler chickens: in vitro antimicrobial activities and effects on growth performance.
Mathlouthi N, Bouzaienne T, Oueslati I, Recoquillay F, Hamdi M, Urdaci M, Bergaoui R.
Department of Animal Production, Ecole Supérieure d'Agriculture du Kef, University of Jendouba, 7119 Le Kef, Tunisia, France.
 Antimicrobial activity of carvacrol: current progress and future prospectives.
Nostro A, Papalia T.
Pharmaco-Biological Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Messina, Italy.
 Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of carvacrol on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG-2.
Yin QH, Yan FX, Zu XY, Wu YH, Wu XP, Liao MC, Deng SW, Yin LL, Zhuang YZ.
Department of Medical Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of University of South China, Hengyang, 421001, People's Republic of China.
 Essential oils composition and antioxidant properties of three thymus species.
Department of Biology, Lorestan University, P.O. Box 465, Khoram-Abad, Iran.
 The antimicrobial activity of thyme essential oil against multidrug resistant clinical bacterial strains.
Sienkiewicz M, Lysakowska M, Denys P, Kowalczyk E.
Medical and Sanitary Microbiology Department, Medical University of Lodz , Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland.
 Factors that interact with the antibacterial action of thyme essential oil and its active constituents.
Juven BJ, Kanner J, Schved F, Weisslowicz H.
Institute of Technology and Storage of Agricultural Products, Volcani Centre, Bet Dagan, Israel.
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