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Essential Oils as Antiseptics

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These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

I found some info on the essential oils killing bacteria etc. This may be long but interesting from a research stand point.......

The book, "The practice of Aromatherapy, A classic compendium of plant medicines & their healing properties" by Jean Valnet, MD Edited by Robert Tisserand.

Chapter 3 Nature's Antiseptics

"The essence of cloves kills the tuberculosis bacillus at a strength of one part to six thousand....The antiseptic power of the essence is such that even if used in a 1% dilution, it is still 3-4 times more active than phenol. The essence of thyme is an excellent antiseptic, obviously on account of the thymol it contains. Much has been written on the bactericidal power of the peroxidised essence (i.e. the essence oxidised to a higher degree) at a strength of 1.5%. The aqueous solution at 5% kills the typhus in 2 minutes. It can kill the colon bacillus in 2-8 minutes, streptococcus and the diphtheric bacillus in 4 minutes, staphylococcus in 4-8 minutes and the tuberculosis bacillus in 30-60 minutes. At a strength of 0.1%, the peroxidised essence of thyme in a diluted solution of soapy water destroys the mouth's microbial flora within 3 minutes. The essence of sandalwood is a specific for the disinfection of the urinary tract, generally taken in capsules of 0-25g. Other essences are also powerful urinary disinfectants, in particular juniper, lavender and turpentine.

The essence of lemon is second to none in its antiseptic and bactericidal properties. The works of Morel and Rochaix have demonstrated that the vapours of lemon essence neutralize the meningococcus in 15 minutes, the typhus bacillus in less than an hour, pneumococcus in 1-3 hours, Staphylococcus aureus in 2 hours and haemolytic streptococcus in 3-12 hours. The essence itself neutralises the typhus bacillus and staphylococcus in 5 minutes and the diphtheric bacillus in 20 minutes. A few drops of lemon will rid an oyster of 92% of its micro-organisms in 15 minutes.

The essence of German camomile has a constituent called azulene with surprising bacteriostatic properties. At a strength of 1 part to 2000, it is efficacious against Staphylococcus aureus, haemolytic streptococcus (agent of scarlet fever and acute rheumatoid arthritis), and the Proteus vulgaris. Infected wounds have been healed using a concentration of between 1 to 85,000 and 1 to 170,000.

The antiseptic properties of the essences of cinnamon, peppermint and lavender are described in separate sections. I shall mention here simply that the essence of cinnamon will kill the typhus bacillus in a dilution of 1 part in 300."

I could go on and on but it gets a little long. These last 2 paragraphs.

"Already in 1960 Dr Bidault had recognised the main therapeutic role which he assigned to this preparation in the prevention of infectious childhood diseases (whooping cough, coryza or nasal catarrh, influenza) and of acute or chronic diseases of the respiratory tract in adults (influenza, tuberculosis and pneumonia). He confirmed the experiments demonstrating the germicidal action of the aromatic essences on the Border-Geugon bacillus (whooping cough), the Pheiffer bacillus (influenza) and Koch's bacillus (tuberculosis). His clinical observations proved that the disinfection of the air surrounding the patient has a therapeutic preventive effect. This evidence cannot be ignored if we consider the following facts: 5 pathogenic organisms may be found in 1 cubic metre of the Forest Of Fontainebleu - 20,000 in a Paris flat, 9 million at the Motor Show and nearly as many in the big stores; a work-table has 5 million microbes per square metre, a carpet 9 million. In a large hospital there are on average 10,000 per cubic metre. Many years ago a doctor put some of this air into a flask containing a few drops of aromatic essences: 40% of the microbes were destroyed in 20 minutes, 80% in an hour, and in 9 hours 100%."

There is a lot more but maybe like I said this could be the medicine of the future. I remember reading the statement, "Nothing could live in the presence of essential oils." Pretty strong statement!!!!!!!! What do you think??

Interestingly during my microbiology lab days with a friendly and accommodating prof, I did some NON randomized, NON anythinged-simple, straightforward testing on essential oils and E. coli, s. aureus, c. albicans in classic agar medium. Inoculated with bugs....then swabbed with oils NEAT. To terrific ends..........in order of effectiveness: individually eucalyptus........ tree oil ......lemongrass........rosemary------nothing grew lavender----------only minute amounts of E. coli grew-NO S. aureus/no c. albicans it was almost psychedelic the beautiful designs that were made by swaths of bugs interspersed with absolutely clear and clean areas where the oils had been swiped. not to mention the wonder of essential oils ability to allow no to little growth.

PERSONAL: .....had a boil come upon left cheek of my bottom.......used lemongrass/topical to great effect (also burned myself from using too much!!!---but the boil is gone) .......cold sores/infected teeth........used tea tree oil/oral .........vaginal yeast......use tea tree in distilled water as spray......INCREDIBLE!!! have used in many other circumstances but this is the barest info from a busy day..... I am extremely interested in this line of inquiry and excited by the enthusiasm shown for the subject.

As an aside to the VRE discussion.....have just finished the VRE consensus paper through CDC and it was a real mind opener. recommended reading (and CME/CEU credit) for all whether in or out of hospital.

The method the essential oils were used for the tests was air borne. You can also use them orally and topically but you need to have a working knowledge of the oils because used neat (directly on skin) can cause some burning. Clove is one that will numb if used on the skin or in the mouth. The oils have been used in europe for 100 years and in egypt 1,000's of years ago they were used exclusively as their medicine. They actually found vases of essential oils in the opened tombs that had not lost their effectiveness.

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Essential Oils


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