February 20, 2022
The repeat use of antibiotics produce increased bacterial resistances and changes in the normal gut ecosystem. An infection that develops in the gastrointestinal tract caused by the Clostridium difficile bacterium is referred to as a C. difficile infection. Most individuals develop this type of infection because they have taken antibiotic medications to treat an unrelated infection that has thrown their gut microflora out of balance and allowed for the overgrowth of the Clostridium difficile bacterium. C. difficile that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon.
A laboratory study investigated the activity of ten essential oils—cassia bark, cinnamon bark, citronella (C. nardus), coriander, clove bud, oregano CT carvacrol, Greek oregano (O. heracleoticum) CT carvacrol, marjoram, clary sage, and thyme CT thymol—against C. diff isolated from infected patients and contaminated foods. Isolated constituents within the essential oils were also tested (carvacrol, trans-cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, linalool, and thymol) as well as common antibiotics used to treat C. diff infections (chloramphenicol, clindamycin, erythromycin, gentamicin, metronidazole, and vancomycin). Cassia and cinnamon bark were the most effective, with thyme, oregano, Greek oregano, and marjoram also demonstrating high activity. Coriander and clary sage exhibited medium activity, while clove and citronella displayed low activity. Among the isolated constituents, trans-cinnamaldehyde, thymol, and carvacrol showed high activity and eugenol and linalool low activity. Cinnamon and cassia consistently exceeded the activity of all antibiotics, with very few exceptions, and thyme, oregano, and Greek oregano outperformed all antibiotics but metronidazole. These findings suggest the potential use of these natural antimicrobials as adjuvant of preventive treatment for pathogenic C. difficile