Effect of thymus vulgaris extract on streptococci and mutans streptococci, in comparison to chlorhexidine gluconate (in vivo study)


Background: Thymus vulgaris L. (Thyme) is an aromatic plant which has been used since ancient times for its culinaryand medicinal effects almost everywhere in the world. In Medicine, it is used as antispasmolytic, antibacterial,antifungal, expectorant, and antiseptic. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tonsillitis, gum diseases, and fungalinfections. The aim of this study was to test the effects of Thymus Vulgaris extract on the viable count of SalivaryStreptococci and Mutans Streptococci and on salivary flow rate and pH in comparison to Chlorhexidine Gluconate0.2% and de-ionized water in vivo.Materials and method: Thymus vulgaris extract was prepared and different concentrations of Thyme extract wereprepared and estimated in gm /100 ml of De-ionized water. Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.2% used as a control positive;while deionized water was used as a control negative. Stimulated saliva was collected from 15 volunteers, dividedinto three groups each group rinsed with one of the tested agents (Chlorhexidine, Thyme extract and De-ionizedwater) for one minute. The counts of bacteria were recorded at different time point (before rinsing, one minute afterrinsing, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and one hour). Colonies were counted using colony counter. Salivary pH and volumeof saliva were measured also.Results: Thymus Vulgaris extract had a significant antimicrobial activity against Streptococci and MutansStreptococci in the following time points (15 minutes and 30 minute) and a highly significant reduction in the countsof salivary streptococci and Mutans Streptococci (P<0.001) had been found after one hour, but Chlorhexidine is stillmore effective than other agents in reduction of salivary counts of these two types of bacteria. Salivary flow ratesand pH was measured for the three agents before and after rinsing for five time intervals. Immediately after rinsing,salivary flow rates and pH increased for the three mouth rinses. The increase in Salivary flow rates and pH continuedafter half an hour and then started to decrease after one hour for Chlorhexidine and Thymus vulgaris extract.Chlorhexidine had the highest increase in salivary flow rates and pH followed by Thymus Vulgaris then De-ionizedwater.Conclusion: Thymus Vulgaris extract was effective against both Streptococci and Mutans Streptococci andChlorhexidine is still more effective than other agents