In Palestine no breakfast is complete without a small plate of oil and Zaa’tar, a special herb mix of thyme, sesame seeds and salt. New research has now found that herbal preparations of thyme could be more effective in treating acne than prescription creams. Researchers at the Leeds Metropolitan University found that thyme was able to kill spot-causing bacterium after five minutes and also soothe the skin with natural anti-inflammatory properties.
What’s more, they discovered that the thyme tincture had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzoyl peroxide – the active ingredient in most anti-acne creams or washes. Speaking to Scienedaily.com, Dr Margarita Gomez-Escalada who is heading the project said “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.”
A herbal remedy to deal with acne would surely be a welcome alternative to those concerned about the long term implications of using harsh chemical treatments. In fact, Dr Gomez-Escalada added that the problem with treatments containing benzoyl peroxide is the side-effects they are associated with. “A burning sensation and skin irritation are not uncommon. Herbal preparations are less harsh on the skin due to their anti-inflammatory properties while our results suggest they can be just as, if not more, effective than chemical treatments.”
Proof if you ever needed it that nature knows best.
Image via rhea_kennedy/flickr.
For more on natural remedies see:
Some Tips to Consider Before Buying Beauty Products
5 Natural Ways to Keep Your Skin Beautiful
The ABCs of Middle East Spices Medicines, Part IV – Oregano to Rosemary