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Weekly Essentials: Oils that Kill bacteria

Essential oils are not just fragrant plant aromas, they can be used to benefit you in many ways.

Essential oils naturally possess antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds these compounds are aldehydes and phenols. Aldehydes can be used for disinfectant with the ability to sterilize and kill fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Phenols act as antioxidants, have also been shown to have antibacterial properties. Research has shown essential oils effectively destroying certain types of bacteria, including those that have become resistant to antibiotics.

Today we will focus on three main oils that seem to be great for killing bacteria: Lemongrass, tea tree and eucalyptus.

Researchers have found lemongrass to be effective against Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus cereus, and it could be used to create antimicrobial drugs for treating bacterial infections.

Diffusing lemongrass essential oil to use as a natural air freshener in your home or inhale it to promote relaxation.

Mix three or four drops of the oil with an all-purpose cleaner.

You can also apply the oil to your skin as a topical antibacterial but dilute with a carrier oil first by combining 12 drops of the oil with 1 tsp. of carrier oil. Massage the oil into your skin or add it to bathwater.

Studies have shown that Eucalyptus essential oil has antimicrobial properties against the following pathogens:

  • S. aureus

  • Streptococcus pyogenes (S. pyogenes)

  • Salmonella typhi (S. typhi)

  • Shigella spp.

  • E. coli

  • P. aeruginosa

"Scientists examined the in vitro microbial activities of eucalyptus oil against E. coli and S. aureus using agar disc diffusion and dilution broth methods.

In both cases, the plant’s oil inhibited the growth of both bacteria.

Researchers on the study concluded that eucalyptus oil could potentially be used as a natural antibiotic for several infectious diseases."

Eucalyptus has many powerful health benefits which includes:

  • lowering stress levels

  • relieving asthma-related symptoms

  • reducing inflammation

  • improving dandruff

Eucalyptus is highly toxic and should never be ingested and only to be used in very small amounts.You can inhale it with a diffuser, or add the oil to warm bathwater with a carrier oil of course.

Tea tree essential oil has antiviral properties, as well as antifungal and antiseptic properties. Tea tree is often used to treat different types of skin conditions, including acne and nail fungus. Studies have shown that the properties in tea tree oil possess antibacterial activity against several harmful pathogens such as:

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)

  • Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus)

  • Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis)

  • Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis)

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa)

  • Haemophilus influenzae (H. influenzae)

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae)

These pathogens can cause a variety of illnesses, including:

  • food poisoning

  • skin infections

  • pneumonia

  • stomach viruses

  • blood infections

Tea tree oil treats acne vulgaris, which is sometimes caused by S. aureus.

Using tea tree topically with 5 percent tea tree oil over 4 to 8 weeks improved mild to moderate acne vulgaris. Tea tree oil may be a reliable alternative treatment for acne.

Applied 1 to 2 times daily is recommended with a dosage of tea tree oil of 5 to 15 percent of topical oil. You can diffuser to inhale the oil but never ingest the oil.

You can also use it as a household disinfectant by:

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