Several studies have demonstrated how essential oils have the ability to protect our bodies from organisms that are resistant to antibiotics, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The following oils have been shown to be helpful:
Test Tube and Animal Studies:
- Peppermint, cinnamon bark and lavender essential oils may be useful as antibiotic resistance modifying agents.
- Lemongrass, lemon myrtle, mountain savory, cinnamon and melissa essential oils exhibited zones of inhibition to MRSA
- Melaleuca alternifolia has also been shown to be protective against MRSA in vitro studies.
- Most human trials are small, but do provide promising results using essential oils for bacterial infections. Specifically, clinical trials comparing medicinal mouth washes to an essential oil combination against periodontal disease caused by bacteria indicate the effectiveness of essential oils against microbes. (4)
- Two small trials showed a positive effect in using Melaleuca alternifolia in the treatment of wounds infected with MRSA. (5, 6)
- Furthermore, essential oils were shown to have antiseptic activities similar to benzoyl peroxide in a small clinical trial for acne.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:
Other conditions for which aromatherapy may be helpful include:
- Alopecia areata (hair loss)
- Agitation, possibly including agitation related to dementia
- Constipation (with abdominal massage using aromatherapy)
- Pain: Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (using topical chamomile), and headaches (using topical peppermint) require fewer pain medications when they use aromatherapy
- Itching, a common side effect for those receiving dialysis
I have used them with family members and clients successfully. I usually suggest that my clients take 1-6 drops of essential oils a day. This is applied to the bottom of the feet or taken in a veggie capsule daily.
I also advise they diffuse them with a cold-air diffusor to keep the precious, delicate, molecules intact. Diffusing the oils has been shown to mitigate microbial and environmental containments in trials done by Weber State University (Essential Oils Desk Reference, LifeScience Publishing, 2001).