Thyme oil study reveals potent anti inflammatory properties
A new study shows that thyme oil can reduce inflammation. Researchers compared thyme oil to six other essential oils, finding that thyme oil has potent properties that inhibit COX-2 enzymes that promote inflammation, swelling, and pain in the body.
COX-2 inhibition is the same principle that makes medication like ibuprofen work to treat pain and swelling. Medications known as NSAID’s also inhibit the COX2 enzyme. In the study, researchers compared eucalyptus, rose, fennel and bergamot oils finding they all suppress inflammation in the say way as resveratrol in red wine and grapes. Thyme oil was the most effective of the oils; found to reduce levels of COX-2 as much as 75 percent.
The specific anti inflammatory chemical in thyme oil, carvacrol, was also isolated. When the scientists used pure carvacrol extracts in their tests, COX-2 levels decreased by over 80 percent.
The findings that thyme oil is a potent anti inflammatory that can inhibit COX-2 enzymes could lead to the development of new drugs based on the natural compound. For the study, the researchers used commercially available oils to isolate carvacrol from thyme oil, found to be responsible for the anti inflammatory effects.
Studying essential oils is an important step forward for finding safer ways to treat illnesses. The new study shows that thyme oil has potent healing properties that could be further developed to treat pain and inflammation. Though essential oils have been used for aromatherapy, as antibacterial agents, and even for suppressing cough, scientists have not understood how they work. The study shows that thyme oil suppresses the COX2 enzyme through the same mechanism that reduces pain when we take the NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) medicine, ibuprofen.