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Essential Oils A Natural Antibacterial

Last month, I posted an article about one of the oldest and most powerful antibacterial treatments -- handwashing -- being the natural key to preventing staph infections (MSRA). Researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered three essential oils usually used in aromatherapy have been found to kill MRSA and E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just two minutes of contact.

These essential oils, chemical compounds found within aromatic plants to fight off infections, can easily be blended and made into soaps and shampoos which could be used by hospital staff, doctors and patients to eradicate the spread of deadly super bugs, scientists said.

Researchers tested 40 essential oils against 10 of the most deadly bacteria and fungi. Two of these oils killed MRSA and E. coli almost instantly, while a third was shown to act over a longer period of time, meaning that any soaps or shampoos made by blending these three oils would be effective over a period of time.

Why are essential oils are so effective? They are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which the MRSA and other super bug bacteria finds difficult to resist. The problem with current treatments is that they are made of single compounds which MRSA relatively quickly becomes resistant to, so only 50 percent of the treatments are actually successful.

You can read more about the curative properties of the top five essential oils in a piece I wrote earlier this year.

University of Manchester December 21, 2004

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