Eradicating Stomach Infections with Thyme Oil Microsponges

Greg Howard
20th April, 2024

Eradicating Stomach Infections with Thyme Oil Microsponges

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University found thyme oil (TO) can be stabilized in microsponges for treating stomach ulcers
  • Encapsulated TO in microsponges showed improved effectiveness against H. pylori compared to pure TO
  • This new TO microsponge formulation could offer a safer, more accessible alternative to traditional ulcer treatments
Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) is a prevalent condition affecting the stomach and duodenum, often resulting from Helicobacter pylori infection or the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It manifests through an imbalance between factors that protect the stomach lining and those that promote injury. Traditionally, Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), NSAIDs, and antibiotics have been the cornerstone of PUD treatment[2]. However, the search for alternative therapies has led scientists to explore the potential of medicinal plants and their compounds in managing this condition. A recent study conducted by researchers at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University has taken a significant step forward in this quest[1]. They have focused on thyme oil (TO), an essential oil known for its antibacterial properties and its ability to combat various diseases, including H. pylori infections[3]. The challenge with using TO in its pure form is its instability when exposed to air, which limits its practical application. To overcome this, researchers developed a novel method to encapsulate TO within eudragit (EGT) microsponges. EGT is a type of polymer that, when used to create microsponges, can protect active ingredients like TO and enhance their stability. This encapsulation was achieved using the quasi-emulsion solvent evaporation method, a technique that helps to create tiny spongy particles capable of delivering the active ingredient in a controlled manner. The study assessed the yield, particle size, surface characteristics, and how efficiently TO was trapped within the microsponges. It also evaluated the microsponges' ability to float in a simulated stomach environment and the rate at which TO was released from the microsponges over time. The results were promising: the microsponges showed high yield and entrapment efficiency, meaning a significant amount of TO was retained within the sponges. They also demonstrated the ability to float for over 12 hours and released TO steadily over 18 hours. Microscopic analysis revealed that the microsponges were spherical and spongy, which is ideal for their intended purpose. The average size of the microsponges was around 50 micrometers, which is suitable for ingestion and retention in the stomach. The study confirmed that TO was physically entrapped within the microsponges without any chemical interaction with the polymer, ensuring its stability and activity. The encapsulated TO's effectiveness against H. pylori was then tested and compared with pure TO. The TO microsponges exhibited a more potent effect against the bacteria, suggesting that this new formulation could be a more efficient way to treat H. pylori infections. This study builds upon previous research that has identified natural compounds like flavonoids, tannins, and saponins as potential treatments for PUD[2]. It also aligns with findings that certain phytochemicals found in plants, such as naringenin and luteolin, can inhibit the growth of H. pylori[4]. The microsponge technology used to encapsulate TO could potentially be applied to other plant-derived compounds, enhancing their stability and effectiveness as alternative therapies for PUD. The implications of these findings are significant, as they offer a potential new treatment that could be safer and more accessible than current therapies. This is particularly important considering the global prevalence of H. pylori infection and its resistance to antibiotics[3]. The study also underscores the importance of continuing to explore natural remedies and the role they can play in modern medicine. In conclusion, the encapsulation of thyme oil in eudragit microsponges represents a promising new approach to treating H. pylori infections. This technique not only improves the stability of TO but also enhances its antibacterial efficacy. As such, it holds considerable promise for the development of new treatments for peptic ulcer disease and potentially other conditions caused by H. pylori.

MedicineBiotechPlant Science


Main Study

1) Obliteration of H. pylori infection through the development of a novel thyme oil laden nanoporous gastric floating microsponge.

Published 30th April, 2024 (future Journal edition)

Related Studies

2) Medicinal Plants in the Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease: A Review.

3) Helicobacter pylori: an up-to-date overview on the virulence and pathogenesis mechanisms.

4) Growth-Inhibiting, Bactericidal, Antibiofilm, and Urease Inhibitory Activities of Hibiscus rosa sinensis L. Flower Constituents toward Antibiotic Sensitive- and Resistant-Strains of Helicobacter pylori.

Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙