Zinda Tilismath is a herbal formulation that has benefitted millions of people since 1920, today, it has been recognized as a trusted and highly effective herbal medicine around the globe. Various beneficial characteristics explain its popularity and reliability, for instance, 100% natural ingredients, recommended for people of all ages, suitable for external as well as internal use, no side effects, etc.
The most important property, however, is the broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of Zinda Tilismath. It simultaneously possesses anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal effects. (Chaudhari et.al. 696; Kumar et. al. 67) It makes this Unani medication an excellent remedy for numerous illnesses of different etiologies. That’s why; it is locally famous as ‘Har Marz Ki Dawa’ (Cure for every illness).
These antimicrobial effects are rendered by its herbal ingredients i.e. Eucalyptus Oil, Menthol, Thymol, Camphor and Alkanna Tinctoria. A detailed discussion about these effects and the related research studies is given below.
Zinda Tilismath has a wide spectrum anti-bacterial activity against a large number of gram positive and gram negative bacteria. The major ones include;
Staphylococcus aureus – a gram positive bacterium, commonly found on the skin and upper respiratory tract, is responsible for skin and respiratory infections like cellulitis, folliculitis, eczema, sinusitis, etc. Topical as well as internal use of Zinda Tilismath helps to get rid of these infections as its eucalyptus oil, thymol, camphor, and alkanna tinctoria constituents are found highly effective against this bacterium and its drug resistant strains (Khan et. al. 127; Qiu et. al. 1; Sugumar et. al 13; Trebitsch 152).
Streptococcus – a family of gram positive bacteria including S. pyogenes, S. mutans, S. pneumoniae (pneumococcus) that cause periodontitis, dental caries, pharyngitis, sore throat, pneumonia, and multiple common infections of ear, skin and respiratory tract, etc. These bacteria have shown susceptibility against ingredients of Zinda Tilismath i.e. thymol and eucalyptus oil (Goldbeck et. al. 309; Khan et. al. 9)
E. coli – causative agent of various skin, diarrhea, urinary, and respiratory tract disorders, does not stand in front of the anti-bacterial activity of this Unani formulation. Researchers have found that both thymol and eucalyptus oil are natural antibiotics for E. coli (Bachir and Mechaal 739; Xu et. al. 174). The synergistic combination of both these herbal products in Zinda Tilismath makes it highly effective against numerous diseases caused by this gram negative bacterium.
Hemophilus influenza – a gram negative coccobacillary bacterium highly notorious for causing common ailments of ear and respiratory tract, especially in children, like ear ache, otitis media (inflammation of middle ear), cough, sinusitis, pneumonia, difficulty in breathing, etc. A study tested several respiratory bacteria and viruses, and found out that H. influenza and H. parainfluenza are among the most susceptible bacteria towards eucalyptus oil (Cermelli et. al. 89). Moreover, research data also proves the anti-Hemophilus activity of menthol (Balazs et. al. 3301) – another ingredient of Zinda Tilismath.
Moraxella catarrhalis – a gram negative diplococcus bacterium that is also a frequent causative agent of middle ear and respiratory infections. Eucalyptus oil of Zinda Tilismath is found to possess potent antibacterial activity against Moraxella catarrhalis (Yazdi et. al. 477).
Other bacteria – The ingredients, especially thymol and eucalyptus oil, included in Zinda Tilismath has also shown significant antibacterial activity against common gram-negative bacteria including Klebsiella sp., Yersinia enterocolittica, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aruginosa, with gram-positive Bacillus subtili as well . (Ayepola and Adeniyi 1411; Dorman and Stanley 311)
The combination of Zinda Tilismath also renders it with anti-viral effects.
Herpes Simplex Virus – Two types of Herpes Simplex Virus are there i.e. HSV-1 and HSV-2, and they are responsible for producing sores and blisters in the mouth, genital and surrounding regions. Constituents of Zinda Tilismath effectively cure these lesions and relieve the symptoms of itching. Schnitzler and his co-researchers demonstrated that non-cytotoxic dosage of eucalyptus essential oil reduces the HSV-1 titers by 57.9%, and 75.4% for HSV-2, due to direct antiviral effects (Schnitzler et. al. 343). Similarly, nontoxic concentration (7 µM) of thymol and its related monoterpenoids inactivate 90% of HSV-1 within 1 hour, thus are potent inhibitors of HSV-1 transmission, when applied topically (Lai et. al. 1636).
Influenza Virus – is a common viral pathogen of respiratory infections, like flu, cough, sore throat, etc. Zinda Tilismath relieves all these ailments. A study conducted in mice proved that 1,8-cineol, present in the essential oil component of Zinda Tilismath, had the ability to attenuate the symptoms of influenza by inhibiting the production inflammatory mediators and adhesion molecules (Li et. al. 1582). Moreover, when present in high concentrations in liquid phase, this leaf extract has excellent antiviral activity against influenza virus.
Rota virus – is the most common causative agent of diarrhea among infants and children. Researchers have found that eucalyptus oil extract effectively kills the Rotavirus Wa strain with a percentage virus reduction of more than 50%. (El-Baz et.al. 267) This explains the anti-diarrheal property of Zinda Tilismath.
Other Respiratory Viruses – Zinda Tilismath is used to treat common cold, coryza, cough, and many other disorders commonly caused by respiratory viruses. Its herbal ingredients including thymol, eucalyptus oil, etc, have antiviral activity against adeno virus, mumps (Cermelli et. al. 89), Rhino virus (Kowalczyk 3), and Coxsackievirus B4 (El-Baz et.al. 267)
Corona Virus – a recent study has shown that the leaf extract of Eucalyptus tree contains Jensenone which has high affinity and inhibitory activity towards the proteinase Mpro, a key enzyme of the corona virus (Sharma and Inderjeet 59). Therefore, eucalyptus oil-containing Zinda Tilismath may be a potential treatment of this viral infection, but clinical trials need to be done in this regard.
Zinda Tilismath exhibits strong fungicidal activity against major common molds, which include;
Candida albicans – It is the most common cause of fungal infections worldwide. Although it is normally present in mouth and gut of human beings, it becomes pathogenic when the person immunity decreases. It causes superficial infection on mucous membranes in the oral cavity, and also produces gastrointestinal symptoms like belching, bloating, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. A study conducted in rats claimed the fungicidal effects of eucalyptus as its administration significantly reduced the C. albicans concentration (Bokaeian et. al. 121). Similarly, thymol is also fungicidal as it disrupts the membrane integrity of C. albicans by inhibiting the synthesis of ergosterol, an important component of fungal cell membrane (Ahmad et. al. 41). The simultaneous presence of both thymol and eucalyptus extract in the formulation of Zinda Tilismath makes it very effective against candidiasis.
Dermatophytes – These are fungal strains that are the frequent pathogens of superficial, itching infection of skin, commonly known as tinea or ringworm infection. Research studies have shown that the antifungal effects of eucalyptus oil are also evident against dermatophytes like Microsporum canis, Mirosporum gypeum , Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Trichophyton rubrum. (Tolba et. al. 128) That’s why; the topical application of Zinda Tilismath helps to relieve this fungal disease and its symptoms.
Aspergillus – It is a group of filamentous fungi that cause mild to severe infection of upper and lower respiratory tract. Researchers have found that most of the constituents of Zinda Tilismath have fungicidal activity against these pathogens. Complete growth inhibition of A. flavus and A. parasiticus were observed using the essential oil of Eucalyptus (Vilela et. al. 108). Similarly, higher concentrations of both thymol and camphor hamper the fungal growth, and are found protective against aflatoxin produced by Aspergillus sp. (Buchanan and Shepherd 976; Mokbel and Asmaa 532). Likewise, menthol has also shown to exhibit strong antifungal effects against these molds (Moghtader 521).
Microbial Resistance against Zinda Tilismath
Antimicrobial resistance is becoming a matter of serious concern all around the world as pathogens are getting stronger day by day (Roca et. al. 22). It is becoming more difficult to kill these resistant microbes with regular medications that were highly effective in the past. Doctors are compelled to use multiple drugs with higher doses to deal with such strains.
However, no such antimicrobial resistance is seen with Zinda Tilismath. It bears the same charms and efficacy as it had in the era of Hakeem Mohammed Moizuddin Farooqui about 100 years ago. This is due to the synergistic amalgamation of more than one naturally occurring herbs and essential oils that possess antimicrobial properties.
Research studies have also shown evidences that these medicinal and aromatic plants, particularly their essential oils, have direct microbicidal and re-sensitizing potential against the resistant pathogens (Yu et. al. 104433). That’s why; the idea of using such essential oils and herbs in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries is gaining momentum these days (Bachetti et. al. 625).
To summarize the above discussion, we can say that the property which makes Zinda Tilismath a highly effective and trustworthy herbal medication is its broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. This single Unani formulation covers a large number of pathogens, and cures various commonly occurring ailments of bacterial, viral and fungal etiologies. There is no antimicrobial resistance as it is a synergistic amalgamation of multiple natural herbs that re-sensitize and kill resistant microbes directly.
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