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The antimicrobial properties of tea tree and hemp seed oils

There have been elevated calls for by shoppers for pure compounds able to enhancing meals high quality and security. Consequently, many have proposed the substitution of artificial antioxidants with plant extracts.

Bioactive tea tree oil (TTO) and hemp seed oil (HSO) are of explicit curiosity on account of their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Research: The Organic Exercise of Tea Tree Oil and Hemp Seed Oil. Picture Credit score: ronstik /


TTO is obtained from the Melaleuca alternifolia plant of the Myrtle household and is well-known for its antimicrobial properties.

A tea tree is a tree or shrub that constitutes a papery bark and might develop as much as 14 meters in top. This plant originated from Australia and might thrive in principally heat temperatures. Steam distillation is often used for the extraction of energetic elements of the tea tree plant, most of that are terpenes.

Following harvest, chilly urgent of hemp seeds permits for the extraction of HSO. Cannabidiol (CBD) content material in HSO might be both low or excessive; nevertheless, no comparability relating to the bioactivity of HSOs with completely different CBD contents with that of TTO has been made.

Together with the antibacterial properties related to many plant oils, these extracts are additionally related to anti-fungal properties. The truth is, some plant oils can resist the antagonistic impression of harsh chemical compounds used to sanitize food-processing areas.

This has led to an elevated demand for improved antimicrobials used within the meals business. Subsequently, discovering pure antimicrobials that aren’t related to poisonous results is essential.

Antioxidants are artificial or pure substances that support within the neutralization of dangerous reactive oxygen species (ROS). These brokers assist to keep away from oxidative stress that arises on account of an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress might be brought on by exterior elements comparable to smoking, publicity to the solar with out safety, or alcohol consumption. Excessive ranges of ROS for lengthy durations also can result in ageing and plenty of power ailments. Two plant extracts which can be recognized for his or her antioxidant properties embody sesame oil and vetiver oil.

A brand new Utilized Microbiology examine compares the antimicrobial exercise of HSO and TTO merchandise towards pathogenic micro organism comparable to Salmonella enteritidis (S. enteritidis), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The researchers additionally assessed the antioxidant properties of those brokers, in addition to the existence of any interrelationship between their antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

In regards to the examine

The present examine utilized antimicrobial and antioxidant assays. The antimicrobial assays included time-kill research, minimal inhibition focus (MIC) analysis, and the Kirby–Bauer disk diffusion technique for analysis of antimicrobial properties of the samples.

Comparatively, the antioxidant assay was used to find out the focus of antioxidants within the pattern. This assay was performed utilizing the two,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate (DPPH) radical-scavenging exercise technique.

The antimicrobial and antioxidant exercise of seven oils, together with tea tree, sesame, rosehip, vetiver, pure hemp, natural hemp, and 5% CBD oil, had been assessed.

The measurement of the inhibition zone of tea tree oil on different bacteria: (a) S. aureus and (b) E. coli.The measurement of the inhibition zone of tea tree oil on completely different micro organism: (a) S. aureus and (b) E. coli.

Research findings

The onset of micro organism was reported to be six hours, whereas the best focus was noticed at 24 hours. The variety of micro organism within the TTO group was decrease than within the HSO teams.

The MIC and disk diffusion technique outcomes indicated that out of all oils, TTO exhibited important antimicrobial exercise towards all three pathogens. The MIC vary for TTO was reported to be 8, 2, and eight mg/mL for S. aureusS. enteritidis, and E.coli, respectively. The inhibition zones had been reported to be 2.19, 1.87, and a pair of.02 cm towards S. enteritidisS. aureus, and E.coli, respectively.

Conversely, 5% CBD oil was discovered to provide the best antioxidant exercise that was 5.7 occasions stronger as in comparison with that of TTO. Pure hemp and natural hemp additionally confirmed promising antioxidant properties. 

​​​​​​​IC50 values of the antioxidant activities of the different oils.IC50 values of the antioxidant actions of the completely different oils.


The present examine decided TTO to be the best antimicrobial agent towards E.coliS. aureus, and S. enteritidis. Moreover, the CBD content material of HSOs was discovered to play an essential position of their antioxidant properties. Substances with larger CBD exhibited higher antioxidant properties.

Subsequently, each TTO and CBD crops might be helpful in meals science research to make meals merchandise protected for shoppers. Additional analysis is required to optimize the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of those oils for his or her use within the meals and medical industries.

Journal reference:

  • Lakatos, M., Apori, S. O., Dunne, J., & Tian, F. (2022). The Organic Exercise of Tea Tree Oil and Hemp Seed Oil. Utilized Microbiology. doi:10.3390/applmicrobiol2030041.

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