Is Mastic Helpful for Cryptococcus neoformans?

Q Can mastic be used for the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans?

Ingrid, Dallas

A Cryptococcus neoformans afflicts primarily immune-compromised patients, such as those with AIDS. It infects the central nervous system to cause meningoencephalitis, which is uniformly fatal if untreated. There are no data we know of showing that mastic can be of help.

However, French researchers at the University of Besançon have found that C. neoformans, an opportunistic fungus met in the last phase of AIDS, is inhibited in the laboratory by several essential oils (volatile oils from plants) and their components, among which are cinnamon oil, certain phenolic compounds, and certain terpenoids.1

Cinnamon is found in alliance with mastic in Bye-Lori II, because of its effect on H. pylori. Its form and concentration would not have much impact on C. neoformans, however. We recommend that you work with a knowledgeable physician in treating C. neoformans. Remember, if left untreated or inadequately treated, the consequences are deadly.

  1. Viollon C, Chaumont JP. Antifungal properties of essential oils and their main components upon Cryptococcus neoformans. Mycopathologia 1994 Dec;128(3):151-3.

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