How Essential Oils Help Against Bacteria

Essential oils have long been used in alternative and folk medicine. For example, tea tree oil has been used for centuries to treat wounds and clove oil against toothache and inflammation of the gums and mucous membranes.

Essential oils are increasingly used by schools, conservative medicine, especially after more and more serious clinical studies prove the excellent effect of oil extracts of medicinal plants. Some essential oils can even stop the growth and reproduction of fungi and bacteria.

Tests show that the essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, thyme, lemon, lemongrass, and cloves stop the growth of staphylococcal and streptococcal bacteria and the candida fungus.

For many years, eucalyptus oil has been used against foul odors in rooms, using scented lamps or dripping oil into air conditioners.

In some clinics, you even go a step further, so tumors, ulcers, open wounds are washed twice a day with mixtures of essential oils, where eucalyptus oil predominates. The result is an unprecedented increase in patients’ quality of life because, after only three to four days, the unpleasant stench from festering wounds disappears. In many cases, the inflammation resolves faster after these treatments. Patients no longer have to be isolated and can return home from the hospital earlier.

Studies have shown that the action of essential oils against unpleasant odors is based on their antimicrobial activity.

The intense action of essential oils against problematic clinical germs such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, which has become resistant (insensitive) to common antibiotics, has been promising and revealed. This bacterium leads to dangerous wound infections.

The effect of essential oils against the candida krusei fungus, which leads to life-threatening infections in patients with weakened immunity, has also been proven in laboratory experiments. Because of all this evidence, it is clear that essential oils are an alternative to antibiotics, primarily when used topically on the skin or mucous membranes.

But essential oils can do more: not only do they act antimicrobial, but they also work against inflammation and cramps. Therefore, they are ideal for treating respiratory infections and can help any antibiotic therapy.

Meanwhile, there are many ready-made products based on essential oils that are used against colds or flu infections, whether they are gargled, taken orally, inhaled, or applied to the skin.

Essential oils are also interesting for dentistry: the oils can be used to disinfect the gums, for example, when an implant infection occurs at the contact site.

However, there is a need for further clinical studies and research. So far, the effect on certain gram-positive bacteria has been proven, and what needs to be done further are tests on gram-negative bacteria and anaerobic germs.

Care should be taken with combinations of oils, too cheap preparations, and suspicious sellers because synthetic aromatic preparations that do not have a health or healing effect can be hidden under the essential oil. It is best to buy essential oils in pharmacies because there you have a guarantee of origin and quality, a large selection of different oils and their combinations.

In rare cases, essential oils can cause allergies or skin irritation. In this case, too, it is best to consult the pharmacy about the type of essential oil and its application. Caution also with menthol oil (eucalyptus and mint oil): do not use them near or on babies because menthol can cause breathing problems in small babies.