Carvacrol is a thick, oily, colorless substance that is derived from the oil of oregano (origanum vulgare), oil of thyme, and the oils of pepperwort and wild bergamot and used mainly as fungicide and insecticide, disinfectant and food flavoring, and sometimes used as a scent in making perfume. It has the distinct, warm aroma and spicy, pungent taste of oregano.
Carvacrol is best known for its antibacterial properties especially in the control of two well-known species of bacteria, Escherichia coli (E.coli) and Bacillus cereus (B. cereus). E. coli is normally present in the human intestinal tract and most often the common cause of gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections.
Bacillus cereus, on the other hand, lives in the soil and can be both harmful and useful to humans. Some Bacillus cereus strains are harmful, sometimes the cause of foodborne diseases especially when not properly cooked, and some strains are beneficial such as probiotics.
Carvacrol, therefore can be a perfect treatment option for diseases such as gastroenteritis (stomach flu), cholecyctitis (inflammation of the gall bladder), bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood), cholangitis (inflammation of the bile duct), urinary tract infection and traveler’s diarrhea and other common infections such as neonatal meningitis and pneumonia.
Carvacrol can also assert its antibiotic properties in situations where the stomach has been infected due to severe damage in the abdominal area. An example is peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane that lines part of the abdominal cavity) or an abscess in the abdomen which may have been caused by a stab wound or appendicitis. It is in situations like these that E. coli gets to enter the stomach and cause severe infection.
Carvacrol is known as the most important component of Oregano Oil. It is believed that carvacrol works in a harmonious and effective manner in combination with the other naturally occurring chemical components of Oregano Oil which is the secret of its incredible healing powers.
Previous experiments show that oregano oil’s mild taste and aroma makes for a perfect ingredient in extending the shelf life and reducing the risk of contamination of various food products. An experiment done on tomatoes showed that carvacrol manifested the best antibacterial effects when added to tomato pastes.
Researchers have also discovered that essential oils obtained from thyme, eucalyptus, rose, clove, bergamot and fennel has anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the action of COX-2 (an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain), much like resveratrol, the substance that provides the health benefits of red wine. The inhibitory characteristic of these essential oils has been attributed to their potent carvacrol content.
Oregano Oil has gained favorable reputation also for being a powerful insect repellent, fungicide, disinfectant, food preservative and food flavoring.