Thyme heals acne
Herbal preparations of thyme could be more effective at treating skin acne than prescription creams, according to research recently presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Dublin.
Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University tested the effect of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures in an in vitro model on Propionibacterium acnes - the bacterium that causes acne by infecting skin pores and forming spots, which range from white heads through to pus-filled cysts.
The group found that thyme was the most effective of the three. What's more, they discovered that thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide - the active ingredient in most conventional over-the-counter anti-acne creams or washes.
Lead researcher Dr Margarita Gomez-Escalada added, “While thyme, marigold and myrrh are common herbal alternatives to standard antibacterial skin washes, this is the first study to demonstrate the effect they have on the bacterium that causes the infection leading to acne.
"If further testing on human subjects proves that treatment with thyme is clinically effective, it would be very welcome news, particularly for acne sufferers who experience skin sensitivity, as products with benzoyl peroxide commonly cause undesirable side effects, like burning, dryness, redness, and irritation.
Research in this Nature & Health Natural Health & Living News item was sourced from the Society for General Microbiology.