Mechanisms, clinically curative effects, and antifungal activities of cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil complex against three species of Candida

J Tradit Chin Med. 2012 Mar;32(1):19-24. doi: 10.1016/s0254-6272(12)60026-0.


The anti-fungus mechanisms and curative effects of cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil complexes towards intestinal Candida infections were investigated. We measured the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the complexes against Candida using proportionally-diluted test-tube medium, and examined the evolution of the morphology and structures of Candida albicans using scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and transmission electronic microscopy (TEM). We found that the average MIC values of the complexes against the fungi were 0.064 mg/mL (cinnamon oil), 0.032 mg/mL (pogostemon oil) for Candida albicans, 0.129 mg/ mL (cinnamon oil), 0.064 mg/mL (pogostemon oil) for Candida tropicalis, and 0.129 mg/mL (cinnamon oil), 0.064 mg/mL (pogostemon oil), for Candida krusei. SEM examination over a 24-48 h period showed that the morphology of Candida albicans cells changed significantly. Irregular hollows appeared on the surfaces, inside organelles were destroyed and the cells burst after treatment. TEM examination over a 48 - 72 h period indicated that the cell walls were damaged, organelles were destroyed and most cytoplasms became empty bubbles. Sixty intestinal Candida-infected patients were treated with a capsule containing cinnamon and pogostemon oil. The curative ratio was 71.67% (43/60), and the improvement ratio was 28.33% (17/ 60), giving a total ratio of 100%. Thus, the cinnamon oil and pogostemon oil complexes had strong anti-fungus effects against Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, and Candida krusei. They impacted the morphology and sub-micro structures of the fungus within 48 - 72 h, and eventually denatured and killed the cells. The complexes have also shown considerable curative effects to intestinal Candida infections.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Candida / drug effects*
  • Candida / physiology
  • Candidiasis / drug therapy*
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Oils