October 20, 2019 64 Comments
With so many bacterial infections popping up across America, everyone is looking for ways to prevent and treat them. Though antibiotics have been used for many years to treat bacterial infections, some of the newest “superbugs” have become immune to their power. Scientists have been looking into the effectiveness of essential oils to reduce the spread of these bacteria in several ways.
There has been an uptick in unplanned surgeries that are performed to fight infections caused by previous surgery. Certain bacteria adhere to the surgical instruments, creating a “biofilm” that cannot be removed easily. Researchers have found a way to coat the instruments with essential oils to eradicate any bacteria that try to adhere to the device. They credit the powerful antibacterial properties in the essential oils, specifically tea tree essential oil, for combating the harmful bacteria. The application of essential oils to prevent infection also extends to devices that are implanted in the body.
Certain essential oils have been found effective to treat staph and MRSA infections. These are two bacterial infections that can be found in hospitals or nursing homes. These infections can evolve, grow, and spread easily in close-quarters. MRSA is a dangerous skin condition that can lead to sepsis, toxic shock, and even death. Studies have shown the effectiveness of treating this skin disease with tea tree oil, resulting in a decrease in colonization and a 100% healing rate within 28 days. Other skin conditions such as acne, eczema, pressure sores, cellulitis, and skin ulcers can be treated effectively with essential oils that have a high concentration of antibacterial properties.
The simple fact that doctors and researchers are relying on essential oils to fight infection is noteworthy. Though many people think that essential oils are for putting in a diffuser to make their home smell good, there is much more to these powerhouse components than good scent.
Essential oils have a wide range of properties that come from their natural chemical composition. Many are antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral. Some also have anti-inflammatory properties. A large number of essential oils are highly antibacterial, which make them excellent fighters of infection. This is important for people who have an allergy to common antibiotics such as penicillin, ciprofloxacin, and tetracycline.
These essential oils have the highest concentration of antibacterial compounds and are best used for battling bacteria or infection.
1) Tea tree essential oil. This oil is also known as melaleuca oil as it comes from the leaves of the melaleuca plant. As discussed, tea tree essential oil has the ability to treat wounds infected with antibiotic resistant pathogens such as MRSA. It has been used to treat skin conditions for years, from eczema to psoriasis. When used in a diffuser, tea tree oil can help ease head and chest congestion while fighting bacteria in the nasal passages.
2) Cinnamon essential oil. This oil is one of the most powerful oils for treating a number of infections. A study in 2006 found that cinnamon essential oil had the ability to inhibit activity in several strains of bacteria including:
3) Clove essential oil. People have been using clove oil as a topical toothache treatment for hundreds of years. In the same study that found cinnamon oil to be a highly antibacterial agent, clove essential oil came in as the next best essential oil to inhibit bacterial growth. Clove oil can also be used to treat skin conditions such as acne and warts.
4) Grapefruit essential oil. Citrus oils are powerful in their antibacterial properties, and grapefruit essential oil is no exception. Studies show that the essential oils that come from the grapefruit peel have significant antimicrobial properties that defend against bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium. It is highly effective at preventing infections in wounds.
5) Thyme essential oil. With the ability to help heal infections caused by upper respiratory infections, thyme essential oil is a powerhouse of antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiseptic compounds. The antibacterial properties of thyme can be used to fight bacteria found in food, such as salmonella. Thyme oil can also be used to treat infections in wounds and help rid the body of toxins.
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