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New research suggests that a tincture made of thyme can outperform prescription creams at treating acne. Results presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin in March 2012 show that the thyme preparation is highly effective and fast-acting in killing the bacteria that cause acne.
Researchers from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK also tested tinctures of marigold and myrrh and found that while all three herbal preparations killed the acne bacteria within five minutes, thyme proved the most efficient. Even better, it had a greater antibacterial effect than standard concentrations of benzyl peroxide, the active ingredient in most anti-acne preparations.
Further studies will be needed to confirm these findings and see how well thyme works when used to treat actual acne patients. It’s believed that an herbal anti-acne treatment would be gentler, less irritating and possibly more effective than today’s chemical approaches.