TUCSON, Ariz.Carvacrol, the substance in oregano oil, may prevent norovirus, also known as the vomiting disease, according to the study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
Researchers from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ., discovered that the carvacrol acted directly on the virus capsida tough layer of proteins surrounding the viruscausing it to break down. With this occurrence, it would allow another antimicrobial the opportunity to enter the internal part of the virus and kill it.
"Carvacrol could potentially be used as a food sanitizer and possibly as a surface sanitizer, particularly in conjunction with other antimicrobials," said Kelly Bright, lead author and associate research scientist in the department of soil, water and environmental science. "We have some work to do to assess its potential but carvacrol is an interesting prospect."
So if carvacrol is used as a sanitizer in the future, it's likely to be in conjunction with another antimicrobial. And because it is slower acting than many disinfectants, such as bleach, it would be best used as part of a routine cleaning regimen to provide long-lasting antimicrobial residue on surfaces.