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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anti-Microbial Action of Cinnamon Essential Oil Studied

The potent anti-bacterial action of Cinnamon essential oil is examined in these two studies. The first Chinese study notes the overall antibiotic activity, with cinnamaldehyde being found the primary active component. The second makes an important point that essential oils can reduce the amount of pharmaceutical antibiotic necessary to control a particular microbe AND the use of essential oils may not upset the balance of 'good' and 'bad' intestinal flora, as can happen with conventional medicine.

Antimicrobial activities of cinnamon oil and cinnamaldehyde (a major component of Cinnamon essential oil) from the Chinese medicinal herb Cinnamomum cassia Blume.

Ooi LS, Li Y, Kam SL, Wang H, Wong EY, Ooi VE.

of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.

Both Cinnamomum verum J.S. Presl. and Cinnamomum cassia Blume are collectively called Cortex Cinnamonmi for their medicinal cinnamon bark. Cinnamomum verum is more popular elsewhere in the world, whereas C. cassia is a well known traditional Chinese medicine. An analysis of hydro-distilled Chinese cinnamon oil and pure cinnamaldehyde by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry revealed that cinnamaldehyde is the major component comprising 85% in the essential oil and the purity of cinnamaldehyde in use is high (> 98%). Both oil and pure cinnamaldehyde of C. cassia were equally effective in inhibiting the growth of various isolates of bacteria including Gram-positive (1 isolate, Staphylococcus aureus), and Gram-negative (7 isolates, E. coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Samonella typhymurium), and fungi including yeasts (four species of Candida, C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. glabrata, and C. krusei), filamentous molds (4 isolates, three Aspergillus spp. and one Fusarium sp.) and dermatophytes (three isolates, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton rubrum and T. mentagraphytes). Their minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) as determined by agar dilution method varied only slightly. The MICs of both oil and cinnamaldehyde for bacteria ranged from 75 microg/ml to 600 microg/ml, for yeasts from 100 microg/ml to 450 microg/ml, for filamentous fungi from 75 microg/ml to 150 microg/ml, and for dermatophytes from 18.8 microg/ml to 37.5 microg/ml. The antimicrobial effectiveness of C. cassia oil and its major constituent is comparable and almost equivalent, which suggests that the broad-spectrum antibiotic activities of C. cassia oil are due to cinnamaldehyde. The relationship between structure and function of the main components of cinnamon oil is also discussed.

Trans-Cinnamaldehyde from Cinnamomum zeylanicum Bark Essential Oil Reduces the Clindamycin Resistance of Clostridium difficile in vitro.

Shahverdi AR, Monsef-Esfahani HR, Tavasoli F, Zaheri A, Mirjani R.

Dept. of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran Univ. of Medical Sciences, 14174 Tehran, Iran.

Therapy with antimicrobial drugs, such as clindamycin, that perturb the intestinal flora but fail to inhibit growth of other microorganisms can permit the proliferation of Clostridium difficile and the elaboration of exotoxin. Therefore, there has been increasing interest in the use of inhibitors of antibiotic resistance for use in combination therapy. The essential oil of Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark enhanced the bactericidal activity of clindamycin and decreased the minimum inhibitory concentration of clindamycin required for a toxicogenic strain of C. difficile. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis of the essential oil separated a fraction (R(f)= 0.54) that was the most effective at enhancing the clindamycin antimicrobial activity. Using gas liquid chromatography and known standards, the active fraction was identified as trans-cinnamaldehyde (3-phenyl-2-Propenal). Combinations of clindamycin and trans-cinnamaldehyde were tested to determine the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index by conventional checkerboard titration. The FIC index for C. difficile was found to be 0.312, which confirmed the synergistic actions of clindamycin and trans-cinnamaldehyde. The presence of 20 mug/mL of trans-cinnamaldehyde decreased the MIC of clindamycin for C. difficile 16-fold, from 4.0 to 0.25 mug/mL. These results signify that low concentrations of trans-cinnamaldehyde elevate the antimicrobial action of clindamycin, suggesting a possible clinical benefit for utilizing these natural products for combination therapy against C. difficile.

Editor's Note: Cinnamon essential oil is VERY potent. It can be injested, though this may be best in a cellulose capsule as it can easily burn mucous membranes. Cinnamon oil should not be applied to the skin (except perhaps at a low dilution to the soles of the feet) and should not be used alone in an essential oil diffuser.








*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.


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