A team of researchers has tested a thyme-like variant – Zataria multiflora – cream for its effect on bacterial vaginosis and trich, compared directly with antibiotic pills containing metronidazole. Thyme has been demonstrated as effective against Trichomonas vaginalis in vitro, and is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thyme essential oil is known to be effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Thymol is known to be an irritant, however, and caused some irritation.
The double-blind study included 420 women with BV and trich, or both together, divided into six groups randomly. Zataria multiflora cream or antibiotics were then administered. Each night for seven nights, the women applied a cream (either placebo, antibiotics, or 0.1 per cent Z. multiflora cream), while every 12 hours taking a pill (either placebo or active antibiotic 250mg metronidazole pill).
It is understood that the herbal treatment of Zataria multiflora reduces adhesion and penetration of bacteria into the cells of the vagina at lower concentrations than below the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). It’s possible that a longer treatment time would be required for better results.
Results of the study
- The overall success of the herbal cream was less than from the oral antibiotics
- Symptoms were significantly decreased after application of the thyme cream and metronidazole cream, except itching in the thyme group increased at onset of treatment
- Itching subsided during the treatment from 16 per cent to five per cent
- Neither treatment presented complications
- Both treatments were equally effective one week after treatment ceased at BV resolving symptoms
- Thyme cream caused vaginal burning in 14 per cent of the study participants
- The antibiotics sometimes caused metallic taste and vertigo
- Side-effects were overall higher in the antibiotic group
- Simbar, M.; Azarbad, Z.; Mojab, F.; Majd, H.Alavi. 2008 A comparative study of the therapeutic effects of the Zataria multiflora vaginal cream and metronidazole vaginal gel on bacterial vaginosis. The Free Library (December, 1), https://www.thefreelibrary.com/A comparative study of the therapeutic effects of the Zataria…-a0191955972 (accessed February 20 2018)
- Khadijeh Abdali, Leila Jahed, Sedigheh Amooee, Mahnaz Zarshenas, Hamidreza Tabatabaee, and Reza Bekhradi, “Comparison of the Effect of Vaginal Zataria multiflora Cream and Oral Metronidazole Pill on Results of Treatments for Vaginal Infections including Trichomoniasis and Bacterial Vaginosis in Women of Reproductive Age,” BioMed Research International, vol. 2015, Article ID 683640, 7 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/68364