Common Flavorings Could Help Treat Chronic Wounds

AMHERST, Mass. — Antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon can kill both biofilms and promote healing, according to a new study from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Because bacteria clump together in sticky plaques, they are difficult to get rid of using traditional antibiotics. Essential-oil use for disease treatment is gaining popularity, and some have shown promise in fighting pathogenic bacteria.

The research was published in the June edition of the journal ACS Nano.

Researchers have now combined peppermint oil and cinnamaldehyde (the compound in cinnamon that gives it its flavor and odor) and made them into nanoparticles packed into capsules. The treatment was effective against four different species of bacteria – including one antibiotic-resistant strain.

These capsules also promoted fibroblast growth. Fibroblasts are a cell type important in wound healing.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acsnano.5b01696

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