The effects of essential oils and aqueous tea infusions of oregano (Origanum vulgare L. spp. hirtum), thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) and wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum L.) on the copper-induced oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007 Mar;58(2):87-93. doi: 10.1080/09637480601108307.


In this study, the antioxidative capacity effect of essential oils and aqueous tea infusions obtained from oregano, thyme and wild thyme on the oxidation susceptibility of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) has been studied. The results indicate a dose-dependent protective effect of the tested essential oils and aqueous tea infusions on the copper-induced LDL oxidation. The protective effect of essential oils is assigned to the presence of phenolic monoterpenes, thymol and carvacrol, which are identified as the dominant compounds in these essential oils. The strong protective effect of aqueous tea infusions is proposed to be the consequence of large amounts of polyphenols, namely rosmarinic acid and flavonoids (quercetin, eriocitrin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-glucoside, luteolin, apigenin), with the most pronounced effect in the case of oregano. These findings may have implications for the effect of these compounds on LDL in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Beverages
  • Copper / pharmacology
  • Cymenes
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism*
  • Monoterpenes / analysis
  • Oils, Volatile* / chemistry
  • Origanum* / chemistry
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Thymol / analysis
  • Thymus Plant* / chemistry


  • Antioxidants
  • Cymenes
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thymol
  • Copper
  • carvacrol