Efficacy of herbal anti-microbial soap in Tinea corporis: A randomized controlled study

J Ethnopharmacol. 2022 Apr 6;287:114934. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2021.114934. Epub 2021 Dec 27.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Curcuma longa L., Azadirachta indica A Juss. Cassia tora L. has been used in Unani medicine for various skin ailments. Several researches have been conducted on these plants which have shown anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-oxidant, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and immune modulation activities. Skin diseases and the use of these drugs are mentioned in classical Unani literature like The Canon of medicine, Continens Liber, Hippocratic treatments, The Complete Book of the Medical Art etc. AIM: The aim of the study was to formulate anti-microbial soap and to evaluate its clinical efficacy of in the management of Tinea corporis.

Materials and methods: The anti-microbial soap was prepared by hydroalcholic extracts of Curcuma longa L., Azadirachta indica A Juss. and Cassia tora L. The prepared soap was evaluated for various physicochemical parameters, microbiological evaluation, stability study, skin irritation, In-vitro anti-microbial activity, GCMS analysis, and a clinical trial was carried out to evaluate its efficacy. A Single Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled trail on 30 patients aged between 18 and 60 years of either gender was carried out. The participants were randomly allocated to receive either anti-microbial soap or Placebo soap for 4 weeks. Subjective parameters including erythema, pruritis and desquamation were assessed weekly while as objective parameter including Photograph of lesion, Total Symptom Score (TSS) and KOH mount was assessed at baseline and at the end of the trial.

Results: The improvement in subjective parameters was found significant in test group. Erythema, scaling, and desquamation was completely relieved by 70%, 80% and 25% patients respectively in test group while as none of the patients got complete relief in control group. There was statistically significant reduction in average TSS 8.65 ± 0.6708 to 3.05 ± 1.35 p < 0.001. KOH mount turned negative in 80% patients in test group while as only 20% turned negative in control group.

Conclusion: It is concluded that Unani drugs can be utilized in better way by modifying into a convenient dosage form. Anti-microbial soap was formulated by adding minimal additives to achieve effectiveness, with cost effective benefits and less or no side effects. Anti-microbial soap was effective in management of management of Tinea corporis. Moreover further studies on large sample size are required to fine-tune these observations.

Keywords: Anti-microbial soap; Efficacy evaluation; Tinea corporis; Unani medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Azadirachta / chemistry
  • Cassia / chemistry
  • Curcuma / chemistry
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Unani / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Soaps*
  • Tinea / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Soaps
  • turmeric extract