Did You Know…essential oils may be the weapon of choice against antibiotic-resistant superbugs?
Antibiotic-resistant superbugs are a global problem, and one that threatens to overturn the medical advancements and gains in longevity that have increased exponentially since the introduction of penicillin in 1928. The United States government has certainly taken note, and President Obama has dedicated $1.2 billion of his proposed 2016 budget to fighting antibiotic-resistance.
Scientists are looking to herbal tonics such as essential oils to provide a possible alternative to antibiotics that are no longer proving effective against life-threatening bacteria. The essential oils below are highly concentrated botanicals that possess potent antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, and may be the key to defeating the rising army of superbugs we are up against.
Oil of Oregano
When you wake up feeling under the weather, reach for the oregano oil. Three drops in 8 ounces of water taken 3-4 times a day will suppress cold and flu symptoms and have you feeling better in no time. Certain studies have shown that oil of oregano is even more effective than antibiotics against superbugs.
Carvacrol, one of the main antibacterial agents in oil of oregano, has demonstrated effectiveness against Candida albicans, the Aspergillus mold, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, E. coli, Giardia, Pseudomonas, Salmonella and Listeria. Oil of oregano is also highly concentrated in thymol, which helps strengthen the immune system and protect against toxins.
A 2002 laboratory test demonstrated that oil of oregano could wipe out Staphylococcus, and research out of the United Kingdom verified that it effectively fought against 25 different bacteria. Your regular grocery store variety of oil of oregano won’t do. Look for therapeutic, medical grade oil of oregano (Origanum vulgare).
Tea Tree Oil
Australian aborigines crush tea tree leaves for a poultice that treats skin infections, wounds, and burns. American researchers showed that tea tree essential oil was superior to conventional treatments when it came to healing staph-infected wounds. And Australian researchers studied tea tree oil’s effectiveness against the superbug MSRA. Thirty people received either a conventional antibiotic or tea tree oil. Only 13% of those on the antibiotic were cleared of MSRA, while 30% of tea tree oil users were healed. Researchers believe that terpenes in tea tree oil cut holes in the bacteria, thereby killing them off.
Clary sage has been used for centuries as a digestive aid, antimicrobial agent, and skin tonic. Recent research out of Medical University of Lodz, Poland shows that clary sage can help defend against Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, and S. xylosus. Researchers say that clary sage shows potential as a natural antibacterial remedy.
Cinnamon Bark Oil and Cinnamon Leaf Oil
According to Kansas State University researchers, cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil are natural antibiotics highly concentrated with antioxidants that help increase immunity. Polish researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of cinnamon bark oil against Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Enterobacter and Acinetobacter genera and concluded that “cinnamon bark oil due to the strong activity can be used as alternative antibacterial agents in cosmetics, toiletries and disinfectants applied in hospital environment.” According to The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, cinnamon bark oil and cinnamon leaf oil are highly effective at treating and inhibiting the common cold and the progression of microorganisms.
Rosemary essential oil is concentrated with carnosic acid (also found in thyme, peppermint, and oregano essential oils), a compound that possesses antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s particularly potent at treating yeast infections and candida. Research has shown that it can suppress the growth of 60 strains of E.coli in hospital patients.
Purchasing and Using Essential Oils
Purity is the priority. Up to 98% of essential oils sold are perfume grade and contain additives that negate any therapeutic benefits. Look for 100% essential oil from a quality-trusted source.
All essential oil must be diluted in a carrier oil when applied topically. Do not take internally unless under the supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner.