Antimicrobial

Antibacterial Peppermint oil has been shown to have significant antibacterial activity (Mimica-Dukic et al 2003), as has the juice of peppermint leaves (Saeed & Tariq 2005). Peppermint oil has been shown to inhibit Helicobactor pylori, Staphylococcus aureus (Imai et a I 2001), Escherichia coll (Pattnaik et al 1995), Salmonella enterltldls, Listeria monocytogenes and multiresistant strains of Shigella sonnel and Micrococcus flavus (Mimica-Dukic et al 2003).

Fungistatic, fungicidal Peppermint is also fungistatic and fungicidal (Anon 1998, Pattnaik et al 1996) with its activity against Trichophyton tonsurans and Candida albicans being considerably greater than the commercial fungicide bifonazole (Mimica-Dukic et al 2003). Peppermint oil and its main constituent menthol has also been shown to have significant antibacterial, antifungal and antiplasmid activity and to potentiate the antibiotic effect of oxytetracycline (Schelz et al 2006).

Peppermint oil has further been shown to have significant antimycobacterial activity in vitro and inhalation of peppermint oil has been successfully used as a supplement to combined multidrug therapy for pulmonary tuberculosis (Shkurupi et al 2002).

Antiviral Peppermint oil also has virucidal activity against HSV -1 and -2, including activity against an acyclovir-resistant strain of HSV-1 with a 50% inhibitory concentration determined at 0.002% and 0.0008% for HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively. The oil was also found to affect the virus before, but not after, penetration into the host cell (Schuhmacher et al 2003).

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