Recent research revealed that sugar candies used in Christmas celebrations are good for digestion and fight against germs. Research team led by Alex Ford, McMaster University found that peppermint oil found in the candy act as defense against irritable bowel syndrome.
In the recent research, researchers observed the action of essential oils on bacterias responsible for Listeria, Staph, E. coli, and Salmonella infections.
The study showed the antimicrobial activity of the two mint family Mentha villosa and Faassen's catnip -along with another non-mint herb, bluebeard. Similar effects was shown by the other essential oils found in horseradish, garlic, hyssop, basil, marjoram, oregano, winter savory, and three types of thyme.
Pavel Kloucek, a scientist at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague said that the plant essential oils were found to be lipophilic, i.e. they gravitate towards fat. And luckily, in the cell membrane of bacteria, there is plenty of fat, which serves as a seal. Essential oils are attracted to this fat and, as their molecules squeeze in between the fat molecules, they cause leakage of the membrane.