For the lab trial, a team of researchers from Islamic Azad University in Iran assessed the antibacterial activity of nano-encapsulated peppermint oil against positive and negative bacteria. These included Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Bacillus anthracis, S. pneumonia, and Listeria monocytogenes?.
In the animal trial, the team examined the effects of nano-encapsulated peppermint oil on the wounds of mice infected with P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Then, they divided the animals into four groups. One group served as the control, while the remaining groups served as the treatment groups. In the treatment groups, one group received Mupirocin, a topical antibiotic used for superficial skin infections, a standard peppermint essential oil, and the nano-encapsulated peppermint oil.
The researchers found that the nano-encapsulation of peppermint oil may create the basis of a topical formulation for infected wounds by improving the oil’s bioavailability. They also observed that the oil exhibited antibacterial activity against the bacteria tested, as well as accelerated the healing process of wounds. Moreover, they saw that nano-encapsulated peppermint oil reduced the inflammatory phase of wounds by reducing bacterial count and inflammation in the tissue.
The researchers explained that the oil’s activity was characterized by rapid cellular proliferation, collagen deposition, and angiogenesis. Angiogenesis offers essential nutrients and oxygen during the wound healing process. It also stimulates the formation of granulation tissue.
Overall, the findings of the study indicated that encapsulating peppermint oil in nanostructured lipid carriers is an effective strategy for producing a viable alternative to synthetic chemical products that are currently used to heal wounds.
Peppermint essential oil is derived from the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha x piperita). This plant is a hybrid mint that is a cross between spearmint and watermint. Aside from its wound healing properties, peppermint oil offers many other health benefits, such as:
It is important to remember that peppermint essential oil must be diluted in a carrier oil first before using. And while it is generally safe, it can be toxic in large doses.