(This information is for those who might like to know a little more about the specific essential oils we use.)
Peppermint is one of the most powerful essential oils for killing respiratory tract germs when diffused in the air. It is also powerful as a topical application. The Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute showed the virucidal effects of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simples virus (type 1 and type 2 in vitro) showed the plaque formation was significantly reduced by 82%.
Today peppermint menthol is often found in sports creams and chest rubs, such as the well-known “Halls Mentholyptus” cough drops. The oil is excellent for opening the sinus passages – though should be used with caution in this respect.
Peppermint oil should be a part of every travelers first aid kit. It can work wonders for motion sickness and general nausea for some people. An excellent digestive tonic, peppermint essential oil can sooth many stomach complaints. For the traveler, its effectiveness on calming motion sickness can be of great help.
Further, at least eight controlled studies have shown Peppermint oil to be effective in reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, a painful condition of the intestines. Beyond its support of the digestive system, Peppermint is delightfully stimulating to the mind, brightening and sharpening mental focus.
With all these other benefits, it is often forgotten how we said in the beginning that peppermint is an effective anti-bacterial.
Ravensara, sometimes called clove nutmeg, is a member of the laurel family. It originated in Madagascar but has a camphorous aroma and anti-bacterial qualities similar to eucalyptus. The people of Madagascar refer to ravensara essential oil as The Oil That Heals. This is, perhaps, because of its history as an antiseptic, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial effective treatment.
Ravensara oil is recommended in almost every aromatherapy text for skin infections, including unusual conditions such as eczema and shingles, applied regularly to the outbreak. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt in Advanced Aromatherapy says to apply ravensara externally for several infectious conditions.Ravensara is also said to work effectively with respiratory problems, colds and flu, canker and cold sores, cuts, wounds, burns, anti-biotic, lung infections. (An indication of its infectious ability is that it is also viewed as an excellent treatment for athlete’s foot.) It is strongly anti-infectious, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, apparently antiallergenic, an immune stimulant and strong CNS stimulant.
Even with all these qualities, we have included ravensara because of another reason. No is quite sure why but ravensara seems to have a catalyst type ability to enhance the effectiveness of other essential oils. All are good reasons to use ravensara.
In one of the most accredited studies around concerning essential oils, the Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, they concluded that cinnamon, clove and rosemary were the most active anti-bacterial effective. What I found interesting was that they were not looking for infectious cures. They were searching for natural alternatives to prevent processed food bacterial build-up – and the essential oils came in at the top!
Rosemary is a spice and medicinal herb widely used around the world. Of the natural antioxidants, rosemary has been widely accepted as one of the spices with the highest antioxidant ability. Rosemary essential oils are also used as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal aids. Rosemary is one of the thieves oils. Folklore tells us the flowers of rosemary were once white but turned red forever when the Virgin Mary placed her cloak over the bush. (Another common use of rosemary is that its the essential oil most often associated with improving hair growth in cases of Alopecia.)
A large Chinese study, headed by YuJie Fu, tested the time-kill dynamic processes of clove and rosemary essential oils against Staphylococcus epidermidis (skin infection), Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. Both essential oils possessed significant anti-microbial effects against all microorganisms tested.
Rosemary is included in many face and skin care blends for its enhancement of the skin’s metobolic processes. Increased blood flow may be responsible for these skin regenerative properties.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil may be the hands-down, most popular antiseptic essential oil. Tea tree oil is a must for every natural first aid kit for the home. It has been widely used in Australia for 80 years and is active against many microorganisms. When first examined for it’s antiseptic properties, it was found to be 100 times more powerful than carbolic acid – the medical standard at the time. Tea tree has an extremely broad range of antibiotic, antiviral and anti fungal properties that have been confirmed by abundant modern scientific research. A recent medical journal even promoted tea tree oil in Tea Tree Oil: The Science Behind The Anitmicrobial Hype.
Often used topically on small wounds, tea tree is also commonly found in oral hygiene preparations. It can also be effectively employed for candida, acne and athlete’s foot (studies report that tea tree oil is effective against several fungal species).
More importantly, tea tree oil is especially effective against staph infections! The oil has 7 terpenes that, with their related alcohols, constitute 80 to 90% of the whole oil. Several of these components have been shown to reduce levels of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. A randomized control trial of tea tree topical oil preparations that compared it with standard treatment was carried out at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital. The trial compared the two ways of treating MRSA (the antibiotic resistant bacteria found in hospitals) colonization from various sites. The tea tree oil compared favorably to modern pharmaceutical skin preparations. Microbiologist Giles Elsom from the University of East London says: We’ve found tea tree oil to be safe and effective in cases where conventional, more toxic, anti-microbial treatments have failed.
Called a “First Aid Kit in a Bottle”, tea tree oil is one of the safest and most effective ways of controlling minor infections. Tea tree’s tolerability allows it to be used for longer periods of time without the slightest irritation. A drop on a Band-Aid can keep the reddening indication of infection from children’s cuts and scrapes and, when combined with lavender, makes a soothing rendition of popular over-the-counter antibacterials. Tea tree can also be used directly on minor wounds for those with less sensitive skin. It is highly useful as an acne treatment – some individuals can use it ‘neat’, while others should dilute it in hazelnut oil (a ‘non-oily’ base oil that will not exacerbate an over-oily skin condition).
Thyme Oil is one of the most antiseptic essential oils and very high in antioxidant rating. The main component of thyme oil is thymol, a powerful antiseptic. It is common knowledge among aromatherapists that the essential oil of thyme is one of the most potent antiseptic essential oils known. Thymol has been extensively documented for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal action. Thymol has also been studied for its effect on gingivitis and plaque-causing organisms in the mouth (it is used in Listerine for its antiseptic actions).
Thyme essential oils showed the some of the strongest killing power against MRSA and VRE antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to studies at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, UK. According to Jean Valnet, M.D., thyme oil kills the anthrax bacillus, the typhoid bacillus, meningococcus, and the agent responsible for tuberculosis and is active against salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria.
The College of Pharmacy study at Oregon State University, also confirmed thyme is substantially more effective than most others in killing MRSA, including the virulent strain USA300. Oregano and thyme together are consistently the most effective in inhibiting the growth of all three bacteria; MRSA, Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. Dr. Ihsan Edan Al-Saimary, of the Univ. of Basrah, has also confirmed these other research results.
Thyme oil is a powerful antiviral, antibiotic, antiseptic and diuretic, though it should be employed with great care. It must be diluted to safe levels. As with all the other essential oils we use in the ultimate Skin Infection Defense and the ultimate House And Room Anti-Bacterial Defense, this is part of our blending process. We have also found that thyme is more effective when both the red and white thyme oils are used.
There are also many reports that thyme has eliminated irritated scalp and dandruff conditions on people. Since thyme is part of our lotion, it may explain why we receive the same reports.
For more articles about essential oils, go Here.