Strongest Antibacterial Essential Oils
Bacteria Killing Essential Oils
Essential oils have many impressive properties that make them great for our health. They can be calming or soothing, energizing and revitalizing, healing us in many ways psychologically just from their scents alone. However, many of them have properties beyond this. Some can help prevent cancer, some heal dry skin, and yet others have powerful antibacterial properties.
This is an important thing to note, as essential oils can provide a natural solution to many health complaints which we would ordinarily treat with artificial antibiotics, yeast creams, or rinses. However not all essential oils are good antibacterial agents. We need to know how they work, which oils to use, and how to use them, otherwise we are at risk of doing more harm than good.
This property of essential oils has been studied very much and is very well understood. It is completely undeniable that essential oils can and will fight bacteria and eliminate them. Even as far back as the middle ages there was some awareness that essential oils kill bacteria, as scented plants and their extracts were commonly used to fight and prevent illnesses. At the time it was thought that the smell alone could fight bacteria, however now we know that it is the powerful bacteria destroying properties of plants which is having an effect.
But not all essential oils are created equal where antibacterial properties are concerned. The molecules of essential oils with the highest ability to destroy bacteria are carvacrol, thymol, and augenol, which are all plant phenols, or hormones. Another compound, which is not a phenol but is also powerfully antibacterial, is cinnamic aldehyde. These four key compounds are the most powerful factors in deciding an essential oil's antibacterial qualities.
Furthermore, many essential oils contain complex alcohols and ketones, which are both very active in fighting bacteria. They are not as vital or as powerful as the four key compounds, but taken alongside them, they may add valuable antibacterial action. For this reason, it is advisable to combine your antibacterial oils with compatible complementary essential oils, to strengthen their healing capabilities.
The Antibacterial Benefits of Essential Oils
Now that we know the benefits of essential oils on an antibacterial level, we need to consider which essential oils will deliver the most benefit when applied. As has been mentioned, not all essential oils are equally as powerful when it comes to their benefits fighting illness, so we need to really focus on the ones that are the most beneficial. That is not to say that we should not use other essential oils.
The complementary effects of a secondary oil can be very healing. For example, you could add another mildly antibacterial oil for an even stronger boost, or you could add a calming oil to help ease you at the end of the day, or even a revitalizing one to help you stay alert and focused. But we need to make one or more of these six oils our priority, as only they can deliver the main healing antibacterial benefits our bodies need.
Cinnamon Essential Oil for Bacteria
Cinnamon has long been noted for its health benefits. Used in all sorts of forms it can be used to heal our bodies. A bit of cinnamon in foods and hot drinks can boost our metabolism and immune system, for instance. However, cinnamon is also amazing as an antibacterial agent which will protect you against bacterial infections and even fight them off. And in its concentrated form in essential oils, cinnamon's power is multiplied.
Research has found that cinnamon essential oil can heal infections in wounds, the mouth, and on the skin, making it impossible for serious infections to develop. In most cases you will want to use food grade cinnamon oil, as you will most likely be applying it to an open wound or the mouth, where it is very likely to enter your bloodstream. Using cinnamon oil every day is an excellent precautionary measure when you are not sure if you have been exposed to bacteria or viruses which may harm your mouth or teeth.
Clove Essential Oil for Bacteria
The clove tree, Eugenia Car, is a source of three different types of essential oils depending on where you take it from in the plant. The flower and bud can produce the clove oil we are all quite familiar with, but the tendrils and the leaves can produce their own distinctive oils which are also excellent antibacterial remedies. What is more, clove oil is antiparasitic too, killing off most strains of worm infection and deterring many ticks, fleas, and flies from biting us.
Clove oils can be used as a complementary form of medicine when treating lung conditions such as bronchitis, throat infections, and even severe chest infections. Clove oil is best used as a scent, or applied to the skin, however food grade clove oil can be consumed as well, to treat more serious or deeper infections.
Oregano Essential Oil for Bacteria
Oregano oil is another one which has been found to have powerful antibacterial properties and is even effective against bacterial strains which are resistant to antibiotics, such as MRSA. The way oregano oil acts are unique. It reduces the density of the bacterial cells, which makes them vulnerable to attack from your white blood cells. This also means that the cells metabolisms can be affected, making them less able to breed. Naturally, these benefits extend to fungi and viruses as well.
Oregano oil is highly effective fighting yeasts and fungi due to the same mechanism, which stops them breeding and spreading. However, it is much less effective at fighting viruses, as this mechanism does not delay the spread of a viral strain as efficiently. However, it is perfect for all sorts of bacterial and fungal infections, and a great preventative measure when it comes to protecting wounds from infection.
Tea Tree Essential Oil for Bacteria
Tea tree oil is one of the best topical antibacterial remedy nature has to offer. It is excellent for fighting E. Coli and staph infections, as well as for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Applying it to your skin will immediately kill almost every single bacterial and viral cell there and will continue to suppress them for an entire day. This means that if you are living with someone who is ill, or if it's the middle of cold and flu season, you can reduce your risk of illness by rinsing your hands with tea tree oil and water twice a day.
What is more, as many chest colds and digestive tract infections are prolonged because we keep re-infecting ourselves as the bacteria are living on our skin, which then lets them get into our food, onto our bedding and clothes, and back into our bodies. But tea tree will naturally kill these surface bacteria. If we use tea tree oil to wash our hands, a few drops in our laundry or in water to spray on our bed, and to keep our fridge clean, we can reduce the amount of reinfection and help our bodies recover sooner.
Thyme Essential Oil for Bacteria
Thyme oil is a highly underrated essential oil, probably because we tend to think of it as a mild herb and not a powerful medicine. However, do not be deceived: thyme, in all its forms, is medicinal. A few drops of food grade thyme oil can neutralize many forms of salmonella and E. Coli in foods, making it a great way of sanitizing meat and eggs, or food which has been left in the fridge a while, to make sure that no bacteria get in.
This essential oil is another one that is great for eating if you want to fight off a bacterial infection, whether internal or external, but especially ones which affect the gut. You can have some food grade thyme oil in water every morning, or before every meal, to help fight the effects of food poisoning, you can use it when eating in an unfamiliar place, or you can even drink it in the morning to help you heal from a bacterial chest infection. However, for topical use many other essential oils are more powerfully effective.
How To Use Antibacterial Essential Oils
The first and most obvious application of antibacterial essential oils is to use them topically on wounds. Do not apply neat essential oils to your skin without testing them, as this can cause harm to your own cells and provokes irritation in many people. Instead, mix a few drops of essential oil into warm water and use it to lightly wipe the wound clean.
You can also use a syringe (the type without a needle!) to spray water with essential oil into a particularly messy or deep wound before adding butterfly stitches or bandages. An exception to this is tea tree oil. If you can take a couple of drops of tea tree oil on your skin without problem, sometimes you can rinse wounds with neat tea tree oil.
Another solution is to use them as sanitizing agents for our clothes and property. If someone you know is ill, you have had an infection, a virus, or a parasitic infestation of your own, or your clothes have simply not been used for a while, then you can make sure everything is disinfected by mixing a 30% essential oil, 60% warm water, 10% rubbing alcohol mix and spraying everything with it.
Make sure to spray clothes and bedding before washing, and to let the spray dry out before rinsing them, as you want the bacteria, parasite eggs, fungus, or virus to be dead before you wash away the essential oils. This is also great for things you can't wash easily, like a carpet, or curtains.
If you purchase food grade essential oils, you can use them as medicines for internal illness or infection. A small dose of essential oil in water or tea can sometimes be the only thing that helps fight back against a viral infection. And using food grade essential oils can help prevent, eliminate, and heal from cases of food poisoning by killing the bacteria responsible.
Simply drink a drink containing food grade antibacterial essential oils before or during each meal to help you recover. You can even treat your fridge and foods with food grade essential oils to help naturally preserve food from bacteria which could be harmful to us.
Although essential oils can be amazing for us, you still need to be careful of what you do. First of all, never consume essential oils which are not food grade, even if the thing they are made of is something you normally eat. For example, laurel is a plant which has many edible species, but not all essential oils are made from the edible ones!
Likewise, food grade essential cinnamon oil may be safe to eat, but if it is not food grade it may be too intense to consume, or even have inedible compounds added to make its shelf life longer. If you want to be safe, exclusively buy food grade essential oils.
Secondly, never apply essential oils of any variety directly to the inside of the nose, urethra, vagina, or anus, as this can cause irritation. Essential oils tend to have a powerful drying effect, which is great for removing grease from our skin and helping wounds heal.
But this same effect is disastrous if it hits a part of our body which is supposed to be always humid. If you take the moisture away from the inside of our nose, urethra, vagina, or anus, you can make the thin tissues of that area tighten and crack, causing bleeding and increased risk of infection. Please consider other treatments for injuries or infections in these areas.
Thirdly, although you can use essential oils to make food safer to eat, never eat food that has obviously gone off. Applying essential oils to chicken which has been left on the counter all night will not make it edible, nor will adding essential oils to eggs which are infected with E. Coli kill every single bacterium. This is because food is very complex, and bacteria tend to inhabit it throughout its cells.
Unless you dissolve the whole food into molecules and blend it with essential oils, there will always be places with bacteria which the essential oils have not touched. If the food has been handled carefully and preserved well, only the surface is at risk of bacterial infection. But as soon as it begins to smell or bloat, the infection is everywhere, and the food must be thrown away.
Finally, never purchase essential oils from any brand you do not know or trust. You need to be confident that the oil is exactly what it says on the label: a pure plant extract, from that specific plant, food grade if that is what you ordered. Do not buy obscure brands, or unbranded bottles from the internet. You never know what you could be getting in these cases. It could be useless; it could be dangerous. Stick to brands you know and trust, and always look out for certification.