Carvone is a ketone found in caraway, dill, and spearmint.
Many ketones can be toxic internally and topically. Some can be convulsent, toxic to the liver, or neurotoxic in high doses. Do not overuse or use for prolonged periods of time.
Links to Plants Containing Carvone
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the topic, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. This compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use of any herb listed.
- The study demonstrated Mentha spicata had larvicidal activity against Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti, and Anopheles stephensi, with carvone, cis-carveol, and limonene constituents most effective against A. stephensi. From: Govindarajan, M., Sivakumar, R., Rajeswari, M., & Yogalakshmi, K. (2012). Chemical composition and larvicidal activity of essential oil from Mentha spicata (Linn.) against three mosquito species. Parasitology research, 110(5), 2023-2032.
ANTIMICROBIAL / ANTIBACTERIAL / ANTIFUNGAL
- Essential oil constituents were tested against widespread fruit and vegetable postharvest pathogens, including Botrytis cinerea, Monilinia laxa, Mucor piriformi, Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium italicum, Penicillium expansum, and Rhizopus stolonifer. Best results were obtained with carvacrol. From: Caccioni, D. R., & Guizzardi, M. (1994). Inhibition of germination and growth of fruit and vegetable postharvest pathogenic fungi by essential oil components. Journal of Essential Oil Research, 6(2), 173-179.
- Carvone and limonene isolated from spearmint and dill were active against a wide spectrum of human pathogenic fungi and bacteria tested. From: Aggarwal, K. K., Khanuja, S. P. S., Ahmad, A., Santha Kumar, T. R., Gupta, V. K., & Kumar, S. (2002). Antimicrobial activity profiles of the two enantiomers of limonene and carvone isolated from the oils of Mentha spicata and Anethum sowa. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 17(1), 59-63.
- Spearmint and dill were effective against the bacteria against Enterobacter cloacae with carvone and piperitone being active constituents. From: Rafii, F., & Shahverdi, A. R. (2006). Comparison of essential oils from three plants for enhancement of antimicrobial activity of nitrofurantoin against enterobacteria. Chemotherapy, 53(1), 21-25.
- Antibacterial abilities of 96 essential oils and their constituents were assessed. Marigold, ginger, jasmine, patchouli, gardenia, cedarwood, carrot seed, celery seed, mugwort, spikenard, and orange bitter oils along with the constituents of cinnamaldehyde, estragole, carvacrol, benzaldehyde, citral, thymol, eugenol, perillaldehyde, carvone R, and geranyl acetate were strongest against C. jejuni. Those most active against E. coli were oregano, thyme, cinnamon, palmarosa, bay leaf, clove bud, lemon grass, and allspice oils and the constituents: carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol, eugenol, salicylaldehyde, geraniol, isoeugenol, citral, perillaldehyde, and estragole. Those most active against L. monocytogenes were gardenia, cedarwood, bay leaf, clove bud, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, thyme, and patchouli and the constituents of cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, thymol, carvacrol, citral, geraniol, perillaldehyde, carvone S, estragole, and salicylaldehyde. Those most active against S. enterica were thyme, oregano, cinnamon, clove bud, allspice, bay leaf, palmarosa, and marjoram oils as well as thymol, cinnamaldehyde, carvacrol, eugenol, salicylaldehyde, geraniol, isoeugenol, terpineol, perillaldehyde, and estragole. From: Friedman, M., Henika, P. R., & Mandrell, R. E. (2002). Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica. Journal of Food Protection®, 65(10), 1545-1560.
- S‐carvone from spearmint possessed high antioxidant activity. From: Elmastaş, M., Dermirtas, I., Isildak, O., & Aboul‐Enein, H. Y. (2006). Antioxidant Activity of S‐Carvone Isolated from Spearmint (Mentha Spicata L. Fam Lamiaceae). Journal of liquid chromatography & related technologies, 29(10), 1465-1475.
ANTI-CANCER / ANTI-TUMOR
- In the first study, diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, and allyl methyl disulfide inhibited nitrosamine induced neoplasia tumor formation of the forestomach in mice. In the next study, diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, d-limonene, and d-carvone were strong inhibitors of forestomach tumor formation related to nitrosamine carcinogenesis. From: Wattenberg, L. W., Sparnins, V. L., & Barany, G. (1989). Inhibition of N-nitrosodiethylamine carcinogenesis in mice by naturally occurring organosulfur compounds and monoterpenes. Cancer research, 49(10), 2689-2692.
- The carvone constituent, as found in spearmint, was effective in reducing pain in mice associated with decreased peripheral nerve excitability. From: Gonçalves, J. C. R., Oliveira, F. D. S., Benedito, R. B., de Sousa, D. P., de Almeida, R. N., & de Araújo, D. A. M. (2008). Antinociceptive activity of (-)-carvone: evidence of association with decreased peripheral nerve excitability. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 31(5), 1017-1020.
- Essential oil constituents with an analgesic activity are reviewed. Included are p-cymene, carvacrol, linalool, eugenol, menthol, alpha-bisabolol, cinnamaldehyde, citronellal, citronellol, citronellyl acetate, alpha-phelandrene, alpha-terpeneol, vanillin, borneol, myrtenol, pulegone, citral, thymol, limonene, nerol, anethole, nerolidol, carvone, farnesol, and beta-caryphyllene. From: Lima, T., da Nóbrega, F., de Brito, A., & de Sousa, D. (2017). Analgesic-like activity of essential oil constituents: an update. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(12), 2392.
- Carvone and limonene showed involuntary muscle spasmolytic activity in vitro. From: de Sousa, D. P., Mesquita, R. F., de Araújo Ribeiro, L. A., & de Lima, J. T. (2015). Spasmolytic activity of carvone and limonene enantiomers. Natural product communications, 10(11), 1934578X1501001120.
By: Kathy Sadowski