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What is thymol?
5-Methyl-2-isopropylphenol is also called thymol powder. It is colorless crystal or colorless crystalline powder at room temperature, with the smell of thyme or thyme. Slightly soluble in water, soluble in glacial acetic acid and paraffin oil, and also soluble in ethanol, chloroform, ether and olive oil. Irritating to skin, eyes and mucous membranes. Naturally found in Thymus serpyllum L., T. vulgaris L., Origanum vulgare L., Dracocephalum moldavicum L., Trachyspermum ammi (L. ) in Sprague seeds. It is used to make spices, medicines and indicators, etc., and is also commonly used for skin mold and ringworm. The molecular formula is C10H14O.
There are two main sources of thymol: one is extracted from natural products (thyme oil, basil oil), and the other is obtained artificially. Due to limited natural resources and high extraction costs and environmental pressure, thymol is currently mainly synthesized.
It is a monomer substance extracted from the volatile oil of Lamiaceae plants. It is generally a colorless or white crystalline substance with a molecular formula of C10H14O, a relative molecular mass of 150.22, and a relative density of 0.979. It is slightly soluble in water and easily soluble in organic solvents. Its melting point is 51.5°C and its boiling point is 232.5°C. Because it is mainly extracted and isolated from thyme, it is called thymol.
What are the benefits?
A large number of research results have revealed that thymol or plants containing thymol have significant antibacterial activity, and thymol has a broad spectrum and has an inhibitory effect on most Gram bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria such as Salmonella, Bordetella pertussis, and Chromobacterium purpurea are commonly encountered, as well as Gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. However, thymol has different mechanisms of action on different bacteria.
In addition, thymol can work with other substances to enhance antibacterial activity. For example, thymol can be used as an antibiotic adjuvant to combine with antibiotics. Kissels et al. found that the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of thymol against Bacillus pertussis and Mycoplasma haemolyticus is 1.250 and 0.625 mmol/L respectively. When it is combined with doxycycline or tilmicosin, the fractional The inhibitory concentration checkerboard was used to test its antibacterial effect, and the results showed that the bactericidal effect of thymol and antibiotics was significantly enhanced. Thymol can combine with volatile compounds in essential oils. Porter et al. found that white mustard seed volatile oil and thymol jointly inhibit Salmonella, reducing the concentration of essential oils required to inhibit Salmonella, and have certain commercial value. Thymol can also be combined with bacteriophages, which can significantly reduce the amount of Salmonella in chicken products compared to thymol or bacteriophages alone.
Pure Thymol also inhibits the growth of fungal cells. The cell wall and cell membrane of fungi play an important role in the normal life activities of cells. The main component of the fungal cell wall is lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Thymol can destroy the normal structure of the cell wall by inhibiting the release of lipopolysaccharide, exerting an antibacterial effect, and is more resistant to lower levels of chitin cell walls. The main component of the fungal cell membrane is ergosterol, and thymol will change the permeability of the cell membrane and thereby affect the integrity of the cell membrane (Figure 1). Ahmad et al. experimentally studied the inhibitory effect of thymol on cell growth and hydrogen ion efflux, indicating that the antifungal activity of thymol is related to the inhibition of hydrogen ion-ATPase. In short, thymol has an antibacterial effect by destroying the normal structure of fungal cell membranes or cell walls, and can be used in combination with cell wall or cell membrane interfering agents to further effectively inhibit fungal growth or bypass fungal resistance to drugs.
Studies have found that thymol can inhibit the NF-κB signaling pathway, thereby inhibiting TNF-α and interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1β (IL-6) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). The production of IL-1β) also promotes the expression of erythroid-derived nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). In addition, thymol can also significantly reduce the expression of Fos protein (c-Fos), nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFAT1), and nuclear factor of activated T cells 2 (NFAT2), and induce stress-activated protein kinase at the protein level. and decreased phosphorylation levels of signaling and transcriptional activator proteins, thereby exerting anti-inflammatory effects. In short, thymol achieves anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting NF-κB and MAPK signaling in cells, reducing or preventing the production of toxic proteins or toxic substances.
Bulk Thymol has immunoregulatory effects such as regulating the growth and maturation of dendritic cells (DC), enhancing T cell activity, inducing cell proliferation, and affecting inflammatory responses. It has a certain range of applications in modern medicine and agricultural production.
1. Help with cleaning
Thymol Thyme is the perfect ingredient for DIY cleaning recipes. This will help ensure your home remains clean and healthy. In addition to being an excellent surface cleaner, it can also help clean the air when diffused. Just make sure to use no more than three drops in the diffuser. Can be used year-round, or whenever you have the unfortunate chance of catching a cold. It can also help clean minor scratches and scrapes, just be sure to dilute it to no more than 1.3% to avoid skin irritation.
2. Enhance immunity
Keeping your home clean is one way you can avoid illness. It's also important to make sure your immune system is strong, and thymol thyme is a great choice. And, if you do get sick, this will also help clear your respiratory system. Just add 2-3 drops to your diffuser. Try it with cedar, spruce, or fir to relieve respiratory congestion and improve air quality.
3. Enhance energy
Thymol What may be more surprising about thyme is that it can be incredibly energizing. Additionally, it promotes calmness and peace in people. This is ideal for when you're feeling stressed and need a little calming down but still maintaining your energy. Try a citrus essential oil blend that combines red tangerine, blood orange, and thyme for a rich aroma.
4. Relax your muscles
Since thymol helps with blood circulation, thyme is great for soothing sore muscles and digestive issues. Try adding it to your favorite pain-relieving carrier oil. For those with an upset stomach, simply dilute one drop in a carrier oil and massage into your abdomen in a clockwise motion.
Applications in animal production
Thymol powder has multiple functions such as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and its addition to animal feed has a positive effect on growth performance, intestinal flora and animal welfare. No chronic toxicity has been found with long-term repeated inhalation of high doses of thymol. Therefore, thymol has attracted much attention in the field of animal feed production.
Application in production of pigs and other mammals
As a natural phenolic substance, thymol can be better absorbed, digested, decomposed and metabolized by animals. It can enhance disease resistance, improve production performance, and ensure product quality during animal growth, thus having good prospects in pig feed production. An increase in systemic oxidative stress is observed during late pregnancy and lactation, resulting in insufficient milk production in sows and directly affecting the health and growth of suckling piglets. Adding thymol to the diet can significantly increase the weight and growth rate of piglets. In order to reduce costs, early weaning technology is commonly used in pig breeding. Early weaning can cause "weaning stress syndrome" in piglets, causing damage to the intestinal barrier of piglets, and toxins and other substances entering the intestines to produce immune responses and secretory cell inflammation. Factors that worsen the digestion and immunity of piglets. Thymol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, can promote intestinal absorption and enhance its antibacterial activity in weaned piglets, and effectively improve the intestinal microflora of piglets. In addition, the combination of thymol and organic acids can effectively promote the maturity of intestinal mucosa, reduce intestinal permeability, promote the growth and development of premature piglets, and the effect is better.
Application in poultry production
During the breeding process, poultry are easily infected with viruses and bacteria and die in large numbers. In severe cases, they can also affect human health. Therefore, in order to reduce the probability of poultry infection, increase the survival rate and improve product quality, a cheap and effective antibacterial substance is needed as a feed additive in poultry breeding. Thymol can be extracted from natural plants, has convenient sources, and has significant antibacterial effects, so it can be used as a poultry feed additive. Du Encun, Wei Lei and others have concluded that thymol has an inhibitory effect on two common chicken-derived pathogenic bacteria (E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus), and the effect is obvious, which is inseparable from its antibacterial activity (Table 1) . At the same time, thymol can be used as an antibacterial agent in the poultry breeding process, and together with cinnamaldehyde, it plays an immunoregulatory role in the inflammatory response of broilers induced by lipopolysaccharide. It mainly affects the intestinal microflora, improves the intestinal epithelial barrier function, and relieves inflammation. Necrotizing enteritis in broilers induced by Clostridium perfringens. In addition, adding a certain amount of thymol to the diet can increase the average daily weight gain of broilers, improve meat quality, and reduce oxidation reactions.
Application in aquatic animals
The main sterilization methods in the aquatic animal breeding industry rely on pesticides and antibiotics, but long-term use can lead to problems such as bacterial resistance and water pollution. Plant essential oils have high antibacterial activity and can be used to prevent and treat bacterial diseases in aquatic animals. Among the four common plant essential oil components: thymol, carvacrol, eugenol and cinnamaldehyde, thymol has the most obvious bactericidal effect. Research has found that thymol, as a food attractant in feed, plays a positive role in attracting food, promoting food intake, and improving meat quality. It can promote the growth of rainbow trout, increase the weight gain rate, and reduce the feed coefficient; improve the growth performance of tilapia, and enhance Lipase activity. At the same time, adding a certain amount of thymol to the feed will cause the weight of yellow catfish to increase rapidly. The main reason is that it affects the expression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA. When fish are in a hungry state, the expression of NPY mRNA in their brains is significantly higher than in a satiated state, showing a strong desire to eat, thereby promoting food intake ability.
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