Studies Show Superbug Killed by Essential Oils

Lately, I’ve been reminded just how awesome essential oils are. If you are new to essential oils, read more here. I’ve always been a big proponent of them, so I was quite excited to come across some main-stream media articles discussing their super healing properties against  superbugs.

Superbugs

Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to man-made antibiotics. These bacteria can cause infections, most commonly, in people with weakened immune systems. Because of their resistance, these infections cannot be easily fought off with antibiotics. Superbugs are most commonly found in hospitals and long-care health facilities. For more information on the spread of superbugs, read here.

Essential Oils vs Superbugs

Now on to the good news! Studies have been done that prove a mixture of essential oils can fight off and kill these superbugs. The BBC reported that three essential oils killed MRSA (a super bug) and E.Coli in two minutes. Another article reports of a British hospital using a machine to diffuse a blend of essential oils on certain wards. The results, airborne bacteria dropped by 90% and kept MRSA at bay.

Bottom Line

Essential oils rock and you need some around the house. But which ones? While the BBC did not report on any specific essential oils, I have compiled a list from my research that I believe are strong enough to kill all kinds of bacteria, including superbugs. {Please note: I am not a doctor or licensed aromatherapist or herbalist. I am simply a mom who has been researching and using essential oils for about 3 years. This is only my advice, take it or leave it.}

Lemongrass: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiparastic, antiviral
Cinnamon: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral
Tea Tree: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral
Clove: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal

Remember, essential oils should never be used on your skin directly. It must always be diluted in a carrier oil, like olive or almond oil. Also, essential oils are very potent and should be used with care around children.  

Keep enjoying your essential oil journey!

And PS – I have a blend of some of these top dog essential oils I have formulated into a hand-sanitizing spray called Germaphobe. I have been using it on my family for a while and love it! I keep it in my purse to use while we are out and about. For more information or to order, click here

 

photo by: NIAID

Essential Oils: The Wrap-Up

For the last several posts, we’ve been on a journey through the world of essential oils. We have explored lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass; and we have only scratched the surface. There are so many more essential oils out there and so much more to learn about each of them. But where do you go to learn about them and {almost} more importantly where can you buy these amazing oils?

Buying Essential Oils:

When buying essential oils, make sure the bottle says 100% pure essential oil. Some companies dilute their essential oils with carrier oils {usually jojoba oil}.

There are several brands of essential oils. Some of my favorite are Now, Aura Cacia and 365 (the house brand of Whole Foods). Now and Aurac Cacia can be found at most health foods stores, including Whole Foods and Natural Grocers.

Here are some resources I have used {and still do} to learn about essential oils:

www.auracacia.com
This website has great information on lots of the oils. You can also order the oils in their online store.

www.nowfoods.com
Again, a great website for information and essential oil recipes. And you can also order their oils online.

www.mountainroseherbs.com
This is a smaller company, but they are fantastic! I often visit their site for information on essential oils and other all-natural remedies. They also sell spices, teas and candles!

I truly hope that this series on essential oils has opened your eyes to the greatness of these oils. The more I learn about these little guys, the more confident I feel in treating sickness in our home at home {versus always going to the doctor}.

And PS – I love answering questions about essential oils…so ask away!

 

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is a must to have around the house during the flu season. According to the Complete Aromatherapy Handbook by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, “[It] has exceptionally powerful germicidal properties” (p. 94).

And thus, my top 3 reasons you should have eucalyptus essential oil in your home:

  1. It is wonderful for killing bacteria and staving off the flu.
  2. It kills dust mites in bed sheets.
  3. It works to relieve congestion and coughs.

Here are my top 3 ways to use eucalyptus:

Diffuse eucalyptus in your house throughout flu season. 

I prefer using an electric diffuser. You can buy one at a natural foods grocery store (like Whole Foods) or here. I put 5-10 drops in my diffuser and turn it on. The oil will evaporate and go to work killing off bacteria in the air.

Put 5-10 drops into a load of sheets during the rinse cycle to kill off dust mites.

Make a steam inhalation treatment for congestion and coughs.

In a big bowl of steaming hot water, drop in 1-2 drops of eucalyptus oil. Cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the menthol vapors. This will help clear up congestion by loosening up mucus. You can also add 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil for a stronger attack against the congestion.

Enjoy exploring eucalyptus!

And PS – Eucalyptus Globulus is the most common type of eucalyptus and found in most brands of eucalyptus essential oil. I have read many things suggesting not to use Eucalyptus Globulus in close proximity of babies under 1.

 

Peppermint Patty Knew Her Stuff

Peppermint is probably the second essential oil I would buy if I were starting my essential oil collection. It has many wonderful properties, not to mention a smell that conjures up thoughts of candy canes, warm cozy fires and hot chocolate!

Here are my top 4 reasons you should have peppermint essential oil in your home.

  1. It repels spiders and rodents.
  2. It repels fleas, too!
  3. It helps relieve congestion and coughs.
  4. It helps relieve headaches.

And here are my top 4 ways to use peppermint in your home:

Make your own spider and flea repellent spray.

Put 8-10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle and top it off with some water, preferably distilled. Spray around doorways, windows and baseboards and allow to dry. I do this the day after I notice a spider bite on myself, Prince Charming or our daughter, Sleeping Beauty. This spray can also be used on dog beds to repel fleas.

{On a side note: I like to spray the house down and then leave for a little bit and allow the strong menthol smell to dissipate a bit. I haven’t done much research on it, but I don’t like my 15-month-old breathing in strong menthol vapors.}

Our dog, Brutus, is not fond of his baths!

Make your own flea-repelling dog shampoo.

Put 8-10 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle. Add 1/4 cup of castile soap and top off with water. Hose your dog down. Spray on the shampoo, lather him up and rinse him off.

Make a steam inhalation treatment for congestion and coughs.

In a big bowl of steaming hot water, drop in 1-2 drops of peppermint oil. Cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the menthol vapors. This will help clear up congestion by loosening up mucus.

Make your own headache relief.

Mix 2-3 drops of peppermint oil with 1/2 cup of olive oil (whatever you have in the pantry). Massage this on your neck and temples.

I hope you enjoy your peppermint journey!

And PS – Empty spray bottles are my best friend! My favorite ones are the 28 oz bottles at the  Dollar Tree.

 

 

Lavender: The Cure-All

Lavender is my favorite essential oil! If you are new to essential oils and you don’t know where to start, start with lavender. It is very versatile and very user friendly.

Here are my top 5 reasons you should have lavender essential oil in your home:

  1. It is safe to use on and around babies and children.
  2. It helps to calm and relax fussy babies, children, mommies (and even daddies).
  3. It is an antiseptic.
  4. It repels mosquitoes and many other insects.
  5. It smells wonderful.

And here are my top 5 ways to use lavender in your home.

Add 1-2 drops to your bathwater for a relaxing bath.

Make your own all-purpose cleaner.

You’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • 10-12 drops of lavender

Add the lavender to the bottle and top off with distilled water. Use on counters, cabinets and floors. Cleaning with lavender will rock your cleaning world! You can also add other ingredients, like castile soap, borax or hydrogen peroxide.

Make your own bug spray.

You’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water
  • 10-12 drops of lavender

Add lavender to the bottle and top off with distilled water. Spray liberally all over your body before going outside.

Apply it directly to mosquito bites to relieve itching.

Make your own linen spray.

You’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 tablespoons of vodka or witch hazel
  •  6-8 drops of lavender
  • Distilled water

Pour vodka/witch hazel and lavender into the bottle and top off the bottle with distilled water. Shake well before each use.

**Great for crib sheets and to spray around Baby’s and Mommy’s room 5 minutes before bed.

I hope you enjoy your lavender journey!

And PS – lavender is one of the few essential oils you can apply directly to your skin…but to be on the safe side, I suggest never applying it directly to babies’ or children’s skin, always dilute it with a carrier oil (olive, almond or coconut) first

photo by: audreyjm529

Essential Oils: Essential to {a green} life

Essential oils truly reflect God’s love for us. The more I learn about them, the more I want to praise our Maker for taking care of us!

When I first started studying up on how to live a greener life, I kept reading about essential oils, and I didn’t know what they were. Was “essential” the brand of oil or the type? What do they look like? Can I buy them at Walmart?? I even asked around and no one else seemed to know what they were either! So, I started Googling more about them, and thus my journey began.

By definition an essential oil is: a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is derived. To put it simply, essential oils come from plants and thus smell like the plant they come from.

Some essential oils come from traditional herbs (lavender, peppermint, clove, etc). Some come from flowers (rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, etc). And some come from citrus fruits (lemon, orange, bergamot, etc).

Essential oils are most notable for their use in aromatherapy: the practice of using the oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

I’d love for you to join me over the next several posts as we explore some of my favorite essential oils and how you can benefit from them. We will be exploring lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass.

I hope to see you next post!

And PS – As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t apply essential oils directly on your skin. Always dilute them with a carrier oil, like olive oil, first!