Unlocking the combined action of Mentha pulegium L. essential oil and Thym honey: In vitro pharmacological activities, molecular docking, and in vivo anti-inflammatory effect

Hamza Assaggaf, Naoufal El Hachlafi, Amine Elbouzidi, Mohamed Taibi, Nesrine Benkhaira, Fatima El Kamari, Sulaiman Mohammed Alnasseri, Wafa Laaboudi, Abdelhakim Bouyahya, Chrismawan Ardianto, Khang Wen Goh, Long Chiau Ming, Hanae Naceiri Mrabti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mentha pulegium L., a plant widely embraced for its therapeutic properties by populations worldwide, including Morocco, has long been recognized for its potential in treating various ailments. This study aims to comprehensively evaluate the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and dermatoprotective properties of essential oil derived from M. pulegium, and thyme honey as well as their combined effects. To unravel the chemical composition, a rigorous GC-MS analysis was conducted. Subsequently, we examined their antioxidant potential through three distinct assays: DPPH●, hydrogen peroxide assay, and xanthine oxidase assay. The anti-inflammatory properties were scrutinized through both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Simultaneously, the dermatoprotective efficacy was investigated in vitro by evaluating tyrosinase inhibition. Our findings revealed that pulegone constitutes the predominant compound in M. pulegium essential oil (MPEO), constituting a remarkable 74.82 % of the composition. Significantly, when the essential oil was combined with thym honey, it exhibited superior anti-inflammatory and dermatoprotective effects across all in vivo and in vitro tests. Moreover, our in silico molecular docking analysis hinted at the potential role of cyclohexanone, 3-methyl, an element found in the MPEO, in contributing to the observed outcomes. While this study has unveiled promising results regarding the combined in vitro, in vivo and in silico biological activities of the essential oil and honey, it is imperative to delve further into the underlying mechanisms through additional experimentation and alternative experimental methods. Understanding these mechanisms in greater detail will not only enhance our comprehension of the therapeutic potential but also pave the way for the development of innovative treatments and applications rooted in the synergy of these natural compounds. Furthermore, it would be advantageous to test different possible combinations using experimental design model. Moreover, it would be better to test the effect of single compounds of MPEO to clearly elucidate their efficiency. MPEO alone or combined with thyme honey may be a useful for the development of novel biopharmaceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31922
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dermatoprotection
  • Human and medicine
  • Preventive medicine
  • Synergistic effect


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