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

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.

Aromas&Sentidos (70)-2

Evaluation of Analgesic Properties of Piper Nigrum Essential Oil: a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study

Objective: Essential oils are complex mixtures of chemical compounds, extracted from a wide range of plants. The volatile fraction of essential oils is responsible for their characteristic aroma and presents diverse biological properties that have been studied over the years. 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 different types of pain.
Methods: Fifty-four patients presenting pain, were included in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, over a 9-week period.
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: Results showed a statistically significant decrease in pain intensity in the patients that inhaled the black pepper essential oil, while the placebo group patients showed no significant change in pain intensity.
Conclusion: 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 pain. In the Chinese medicine perspective, these results support the use of black pepper in different types of pain, since it warms the center and disperses cold.
Key words: Piper nigrum, essential oil, placebo, pain
Received 3 November 2015; Accept 18 March 2016