Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University have suggested that thyme may be an effective treatment for acne. At the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Dublin, Margarita Gomez-Escalada, PhD, the lead researcher on the project, highlighted that the team found greater antibacterial effect in thyme than in standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide.
The researchers tested the effect of thyme, marigold and myrrh tinctures on Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). While all three killed the P. acnes bacterium after five minutes exposure, thyme was the most effective of the three.
To create the tinctures, the researchers steeped the plant materials in alcohol to draw out the active compounds. The effects of the tinctures were measured against an alcohol control.
The researchers plan to continue to research the use of tinctures to treat acne. They plan to conduct further tests in conditions that mimic the skin environment in addition to investigating how the tinctures work at the molecular level.
Based on their current research, the researchers believe that thyme may be a natural treatment for acne. In addition, they note that thyme acne treatments may benefit acne sufferers with sensitive skin, as the herb is believed to be less irritating than traditional acne treatments.