Thyme Extract May Be More Effective Than Benzoyl Peroxide (& safer too, don’t ya think?)
A new study has been carried out by researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University and presented at a Society for General Microbiology conference that claims the tasty, fragrant herb Thyme, most of us cooks love to use, can kill the bacteria that cause acne.
The researchers conducting this study said that acne remedies “currently preferred by herbalists” include thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures, so they used extracts from these plants in the laboratory study. During the research, they looked at the effects these different herbal extracts had on the bacteria that cause acne. The researchers suggested that herbal extracts may have an application in acne treatment as they may be able to reduce “aggravation of the skin” due to their anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial qualities.
Sources of this story, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph & Metro (UK) do not make it clear whether this testing was done on humans or not, so this science study is early in its research. The full submission of the research papers has not been put into the full publication process as of the date of this blog article.
The researchers found that marigold, myrrh and thyme tinctures had a greater antibacterial effect than the control alcohol solution. The thyme tincture had the greatest effect, with a specific concentration of tincture reducing bacteria levels more than benzoyl peroxide did, with the latter at the highest concentration prescribed to patients.
The researchers concluded that their study showed a strong antimicrobial effect against acne-causing bacteria in the lab, and that this suggests it may be useful as a treatment of acne.
History & Usages for Thyme
Thymus is a Greek name for “courage,” but to the Greeks it also meant “to fumigate.” It has been used through the centuries as a remedy for many ailments, from epilepsy to melancholy. Many herbalists today suggest Thyme for intestinal worms, gastrointestinal ailments, bronchial problems, laryngitis, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. It appears to have antiseptic properties, and can be used as a mouthwash, skin cleanser, anti-fungal agent for athlete’s foot and as an anti-parasitic for lice, scabies, and crabs. It’s suggest that for skin inflammations and sores, a poultice can be made by mashing the leaves into a paste.
Thyme is another member of the venerable Lamiaceae, the mint family. It is said to be one of the best herbs to use as a cough and cold remedy, acting both as an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion and as a antitussive, calming coughing spasms. Thyme tea will settle the stomach, help you sleep, soothe a sore throat, relieve aches and pains, and encourage your body to sweat, helping to eliminate toxins and bring down a fever. Thyme oil can be used to treat cuts and wounds to prevent and treat infections … and now acne!