What Is Carvacrol Used For?
July 7, 2011 | In: Sports Nutrition
There are many medicinal uses of oil of oregano. This oil has long been known to treat a wide variety of illnesses ranging from respiratory, skin and digestive problems. But what you may not know is that this is only possible because of the presence of carvacrol, one of its active ingredients. Oregano oil comes from the wild oregano plant Origanum vulgare which grows in the hilltops of Mediterranean countries like Turkey, Portugal and Greece. At present, the leaves from this plant are crushed and the oil is extracted by cold process. They are now available in the market with varying degrees of concentration, with oreganol p73 being the most popular. The p73 means that it contains 73% carvacrol.
From this oil, researchers have found the substance carvacrol, a very potent antifungal, antibacterial and antiparasitical agent. This is how oil of oregano is presently being used by many health practitioners. But apart from the medicinal and curative functions, carvacrol can also be used in many other areas. Here are a few areas where carvacrol is currently being used.
Carvacrol, with its antimicrobial properties can effectively slow down the growth of microorganisms that causes food spoilage. And its not just a preservative; its also used to conserve the smell and taste of the food so that it remains fresh. It’s able to be applied to food in the form of a vapor. It will extend the food’s shelf life because it will kill bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. The food industry will greatly benefit because this substance can be synthetically produced in the laboratory.
Carvacrol can be used in the production of fragrance, perfumes, soaps and creams. This ingredient is gentle on the skin, and very safe to use with a concentration of 0.5 in personal care and cosmetic products.
Antiseptic and Disinfectant
Carvacrol can be used in biodegradable disinfectants, detergents, soaps and cleaning products. Combined with other natural substances like thymol, eugenol, cymene and cineol, it is a good biodegradable alternative to the standard chemically manufactured cleaning products. Carvacrol is observed to have antimicrobial activity at concentrations of about 0.07 per cent.
Aside from its well established curative abilities in all kinds of diseases, essential oils such as oregano oil, which contains carvacrol, are used in alternative medicine called aromatherapy. Oregano oil, being rich with carvacrol is effective because of its anti-inflammatory, bactericide and analgesic properties. There is some research that shows tha carvacrol may inhibit the growth of A549 cells, which has been imolicated in human lung cancer.