Para cymene is an aromatic organic compound found mostly in the essential oil of cumin and thyme. It is also present in the Angelica root and Seed oil, Bay leaf oil, Basil oil, Carrot seed oil, Clove bud oil, Clary sage oil, Grape fruit oil and in the essential oil of Anise, Oregano, Eucalyptus, Coriander and mace.
Para-cymene is a monoterpene with the chemical formula C10H14. It is also referred by other names such as p-cimene, cymol, p-cymol, p-methylcumene, camphogen and 4-cymene and so on. It floats on water and it mixes well with ethanol and diethyl ether.
Attributes of para cymene:
Para cymene is a colourless to nearly light yellow liquid which is transparent in nature. It is characterized by pleasant fresh citrus fragrance.
Flavoring and fragrance ingredient:
It is used for flavoring cakes, beverages and confectionaries and for enhancing fragrances. It is used in the manufacture of paints, furniture and other consumer goods.
Para cymene is effective against pathogenic bacteria especially Escherichia coli. This is evident from the study “Carvacol and p-cymene inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 in apple juice”. In this study, in order to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of carvacol and para cymene, unpasteurized apple juice contaminated with E.coli is subjected to the treatment with carvacol and para cymene both individually as well as in combination.
It was brought into light that carvacol and para cymene either individually or in combination effectively controlled Escherichia coli in unpasteurized apple juice. This antimicrobial activity of para cymene and carvacol help in improving the safety and extending the shelf life of raw juices.
According to the study “Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal properties of essential oil isolated from Turkish Origanum acutidens and its three components, carvacol, thymol and p-cymene” it was determined that para cymene in Origanum acutidens exhibited low antifungal activity.
A study titled “Antifungal activity of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil and thymol against moulds from damp dwellings” was conducted to investigate the antifungal activity of the essential oil of Thymus vulgaris.L. and its three main constituents namely carvacol ,para cymene and 1,8-cineole. It was found that para cymene showed strong antifungal activity against numerous candida species.
In the book “Antifungal metabolites from Plants”, it is stated that carvacol and para cymene present in the plant species namely Thymus Vulgaris, Thymus zygis and Thymus mastichina exhibit antifungal activity against Candida species.
Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities:
A study titled “Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties of p-cymene in mice.” was conducted to evaluate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of para cymene. It was determined that para cymene possess anti-inflammatory activity and antinociceptive activity in mice.
In the book “Essential Oils: A Handbook For Aromatherapy Practice Second Edition by Jennifer Peace Rhind”, it was highlighted that para cymene present in sweet Marjoram oil possesses analgesic property.
- Carvacrol and p-cymene inactivate Escherichia coli O157:H7 in apple juice.
- Antifungal, phytotoxic and insecticidal properties of essential oil isolated from Turkish Origanum acutidens and its three components, carvacrol, thymol and p-cymene.
- Antifungal metabolites from Plants edited by Mehdi Razzaghi-Abhyaneh, Mahendra Rai, Page no-1986
- Antifungal activity of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oil and thymol against moulds from damp dwellings
- Evaluation of the anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties of p-cymene in mice.
- Essential Oils: A Handbook For Aromatherapy Practice Second Edition by Jennifer Peace Rhind Page no.171