Aromas&Sentidos (70)-2

Essential Oils as a Good Weapon against Drug-Resistant Candida auris

Essential Oils as a Good Weapon against Drug-Resistant Candida auris

Candida auris is a recently found Candida species, mainly associated with nosocomial outbreaks in intensive care hospital settings, and unlike other Candida species, it can be transmitted through person-to-person or by contact with surfaces. C. auris is described as resistant to first-line antifungals and, consequently, associated with high mortality. Nowadays, essential oils (EOs) are known to be effective against fungal and bacterial infections. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of four EOs (tea tree, niaouli, white thyme and cajeput) against C. auris. The EO’s effect on C. auris planktonic growth was evaluated by the minimum inhibitory concentration determination and by the agar disc diffusion method. Then, the same effect was evaluated on biofilm by colony-forming units’ enumeration. The results showed that EOs were able to inhibit the C. auris planktonic growth, with an MIC50 between 0.78 and 1.56% and halos of 20–21 mm for white thyme and tea tree and 13–14 mm for cajeput and niaouli. In addition, the EOs were also able to completely inhibit biofilm formation. Moreover, white thyme and cajeput completely eradicate pre-formed biofilms, while tea tree and niaouli significantly reduce it. Thus, this work demonstrates that EOs are a possible therapeutic alternative and a future perspective for the hard fight against C. auris.


Key words:

Essential Oils as a Good Weapon against Drug-Resistant Candida auris, Candida auris; biofilm; resistant species; natural therapy; phytotherapeutic applications; essential oils

Received 1 June 2021; Accepted 16 July 2022; Published 20 July 2022 

Aromas&Sentidos (70)-2

Comparing the effect of Thymus spp. essential oils on Candida auris

Candida auris is an emergent yeast pathogen responsible for many invasive fungal infections due to its multidrug- resistant character and its huge transmission ability. Essential oils (EOs) obtained from several aromatic plants have been regarded as an alternative treatment upon to fungal infections. For example, Thymus spp. are known by their antifungal effect due to the presence of some volatile compounds in their EOs, such as carvacrol, thymol, linalool and γ-terpinene. So, the main goal of this work was to compare the effect of several EOs from Thymus spp. on C. auris biofilm.

The antifungal activity of Thymus vulgaris, Thymus zygis, Thymus satureioides and Thymus mastichina against planktonic cells of C. auris NCPF 8971 was assessed by agar disk diffusion method. The effect of these EOs with direct or vapour phases on preformed biofilms was evaluated by colony-forming units’ enumeration. Importantly it was noticed a completely different range of action between the EOs from the same genus. While T. vulgaris showed the biggest antifungal effect with a halo of 59.75 ± 15.75 mm, T. mastichina for the other side, presented a halo of 13.13 ± 1.36 mm, showing a very low activity. In addition, the direct application of T. vulgaris and T. zygis EOs demonstrated higher antifungal activity against C. auris biofilms than vapour phase application. However, T. vulgaris also showed significant action in the vapour phase mode. The chemical composition of Thymus EOs was analysed by GC and GC-MS, and was demonstrated that they have different chemical profiles, namely in the amount of phenolic compounds, which justify the different antifungal actions.

In conclusion, T. vulgaris and T. zygis oils, can be pointed out as a great contribution to the treatment of C. auris infections, being promising alternatives to conventional therapy. However, the efficiency of the EOs differs substantially between the four species of Thymus. Therefore, the selection of natural therapies should always have in account EOs composition.


Key words: Candida auris Essential oils Thymus spp. Antifungal activity Vapour phas 

Received 17 November 2021; Received in revised form 2 February 2022; Accepted 6 February 2022 

Available online 12 February 2022

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A Aromaterapia na gravidez e na preparação para o parto

A Aromaterapia Biológica é uma mais-valia no cuidado durante a gravidez e no momento do parto, contudo as utilizações devem ser recomendadas e personalizadas por um aromaterapeuta especializado, pois esta deve ser utilizada com cuidado e sabedoria. Existem estudos científicos e estudos piloto que referem que a aromaterapia no seu mais correto uso de óleos essenciais durante o trabalho de parto pode reduzir as necessidades de uso de medicação farmacológica para a dor – “Reed & Norfolk ́s pilot study “– Lynne Norfolk e Lynne Reed aromaterapeutas no Hospital Ipswish, em 1993, realizaram um estudo em 38 grávidas com o óleo essencial de Lavandula officinalis no alívio da dor, usando a técnica de banhos para promover uma melhor dilatação.
Obtiveram como resultado final que 5 gotas de O.E de Lavanda no banho não apresenta qualquer risco para o feto. 34 das 38 mulheres grávidas tiveram mais de 2 dedos de dilatação e todas tiveram uma redução significativa da dor.
No variado leque de óleos essenciais que temos à nossa disposição, com toda a certeza que existem muitos óleos que não podem ser recomendados a grávidas, e mesmo durante o período de gestação muitos são aqueles que não são recomendados durante a gravidez, como é o caso dos óleos essenciais que são tónicos uterinos, mas são uma mais-valia no momento de preparação do parto, para facilitar o momento mais esperado, mas também um pouco temido por todas as mulheres nesta situação. Neste Congresso abordarei alguns pontos da minha experiência com mulheres grávidas e um ponto que para mim é de relevante importância; a preparação e a redução da dor no momento do parto.
Vários estudos foram já desenvolvidos no sentido de entender a forma de como os óleos essenciais atuam e atravessam a placenta. É conhecido que embora a placenta atue como uma barreira contra moléculas de carga neutra e positiva, aquelas moléculas de carga negativa podem atravessar a barreira da placenta de forma fácil (Maickel & Snodgass 1973). É também sabido que pequenas moléculas e moléculas de peso inferior a 1000 são capazes de trespassar a placenta (Baker 1960). Contudo, muitos dos óleos essenciais têm carga negativa e todos eles têm um peso molecular inferior a 250.
Podemos assumir que os óleos essenciais podem ultrapassar as paredes da placenta, porém, os efeitos de todos os óleos no feto ainda não foram estudados. Atravessar a placenta não quer dizer que representem qualquer perigo, ou risco de toxicidade para a grávida ou para o feto.
Apoiando-me em vários estudos científicos fui recomendando a muitas das minhas pacientes a utilização dos óleos essenciais durante a gravidez e o óleo essencial de Lavanda na sua subespécie Lavandula angustifolia foi um dos mais recomendados, no tratamento da ansiedade, na insónia, para promover uma respiração mais profunda e relaxada da futura mamã, mas principalmente para promover e potencializar as dilatações na fase final da gravidez.
Raquel Costa
Presidente APA – Associação Portuguesa de Aromaterapia, Homeopata, Especialista em MTC pela faculdade ICBAS.

Aromas&Sentidos (79)

Effectiveness of Piper nigrum essential oil in the treatment of back pain

Essential oils are the pure “essence” of a plant, composed by a complex mixture of chemical compounds that have been studied over the years. The oils have been found to provide both psychological and physical benefits when used correctly and safely.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Piper nigrum is considered to be pungent and hot. Although its chemical constituents and respective pharmacological properties have been described by several authors, the volatile fraction is still underestimated as a therapeutic agent. The aim of this study was to evaluate the analgesic properties of the volatile fraction of Piper nigrum essential oil, in patients presenting back pain.
Fourteen patients presenting back pain, were included in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, in May of 2015. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, and asked to inhale a vial containing Piper nigrum essential oil, or a vial containing a placebo (sesame oil), for 15 minutes. A numerical pain scale was applied before and after the inhalation.
Results showed decrease of 49,91% in back pain intensity in the patients that inhaled the Piper nigrum essential oil, while the placebo group patients showed 2,33% of small change in back pain intensity.
Although the results are preliminary due to the limited sample size and short inhalation time, the volatile fraction of the Piper nigrum essential showed promising results in reducing back pain.