Inside the human body is a complex ecosystem the mysteries of which scientists will be unraveling for centuries to come. Among the more recent revelations is that within the human body, there are a number of living organisms that are entirely separate from the human cells which carry our own distinct DNA. There are actually trillions of separate organisms: bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, and other exotic creatures that are all attempting to forage nutrients from the host, ourselves.

bacteriaMany of the bacteria within our bodies are actually ‘good’ bacteria. Probiotics. Organisms that help us with our digestion, nutrient absorption, immune system balance, and even protect us against other more harmful organisms that attempt to gain the upper hand in this complex inner world. The bad guys. The harmful bacteria. The microbes, parasites, and fungi that invade and attempt to conquer our intestinal tract require special care and attention, otherwise they are apt to make our lives miserable. The nasty bugs with the intimidating latin names: candida albicans, helicobacter pylori, blastocystis hominus, E. coli.

Since the earliest days of human medicine, herbs and spices have played a big role in the management of bacteria, regardless of whether or not the wise men of the time knew it or not. Even in the modern age of medicine, the constituents of herbs and spices serve as the inspiration for the development of patented pharmaceuticals and other synthesized medicines.

New research is still being conducted that confirms the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial effects of ancient herbs. In this article we will explore three common herbs and some of the newest research about their inhibitory effects on harmful organisms within the body: thyme, clove, and oregano.

These three herbs have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Thyme oil was used to medicate bandages before antibiotics. Cloves have been used in Indian Ayurvedic and Traditional Cinese Medicine for a number of ailments. Clove extracts are even used modernly as a natural pain killer in dentistry. Oregano was used by Hippocrates, the father of Wetern Medicine in Ancient Greece, as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.

There is a growing body of research that shows when these herbs are used synergistically, their beneficial effects are amplified and their weaknesses against certain organisms is reduced.

For example, researchers in Spain published a study in the Journal of Food Safety in 2007 that showed that even though all three herbs had anti-fungal properties against two specific strains of fungus, some were stronger than others.“The antifungal potential of essential oils of oregano (Origanum vulgare), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and clove (Syzygium aromaticum) was determined. To establish this antifungal potential, two molds related to food spoilage, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus, were selected. The agar dilution method was employed for the determination of antifungal activities. The three essential oils analyzed presented inhibitory effects on both molds tested. Oregano essential oil showed the highest inhibition of mold growth, followed by clove and thyme. Aspergillus flavus was more sensitive to thyme essential oil than A. niger. Clove essential oil was a stronger inhibitor against A. niger than against A. flavus."


Using these oils in conjunction allows you to target a much broader range of organisms more effectively than having to be concerned about whether one particular herb is more or less effective against the exact organism you are trying to eliminate. 

Another study conducted in Oman by researchers at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences took thyme and clove oils from various regions and tested their anti-microbial effectiveness against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Streptococcus pyogenes, Corynebacterium species, Salmonella species, Bacteroides fragilis and Candida albicans. Both oils showed anti-microbial properties against every species listed. In this study, C. albicans was found to be the most susceptible to thyme and clove oil with concentration end-points of 0.1% (1024) and 0.2% (512) respectively.Besides the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, these oils also produce positive health benefits, as well as preventative properties.

Among the most interesting are the possible anti-cancer properties.Scientists from the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo, in Norway found that an extract of thyme, clove, and oregno, along with an extract of coffee and walnuts, was able to reduce the expression of a protein in the body that controls the immune system response to infections, stress, and it also controls the transcription of DNA. In cancer cells, this protein is over produced and allows the cancer cells to keep on replicating beyond the point it normally should. The protein is called NF-kB. The Norwegians found that if the extracts were used together, their suppression of NF-kB was more effective, even within the body, than it would be if you added up all the benefit from using them individually. They concluded that, “This study shows that dietary plants may be potent modulators of NF-kappaB signaling both in vitro and in vivo, and thus support further investigation of consumption of these plant foods as part of a healthy diet or as a mode of chemoprevention."

clovesThough we have come a tremendous way since the times of herb-wielding medicine men, scientists to this day are still discovering new abilities and revealing new secrets about many of these ancient medicines. What is becoming very clear is that in order to get the maximal benefit of these herbs is to use them in conjuction.

That is why Nutrikon carries a nutrient formula product that contains thyme, clove, and oregano oil extracts and we often recommend it to our clients who are trying to overcome difficulties with intestinal parasites, bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Along with a specially tailored diet, many of them have experienced terrific results.