see also Infections
(discusses viral vs. bacterial)
There are a number of strains of staph (staphylococcus). Wikipedia gives this summary
of the types of staphylococcus aureus infections :
Localized skin infections:
· Stye and other
small, superficial abscesses in
· Subcutaneous abscesses (boils)
· Large, deep, infections (carbuncles)
possibly causing bacteremia
Diffuse skin infection
Deep, localized infections
· Acute and chronic
· Septic arthritis
Acute infective endocarditis
Toxic shock syndrome
Scalded skin syndrome
Many discussions now center around Methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. The
following discusses this most common of hospital acquired
infections and a significant cause of death.
MRSA, what is it?
A common misconception is that MRSA is a virus or caused
by virus. In fact you will probably still find some
argument about it. But my understanding is that MRSA is not
caused by a virus. Instead, MRSA is a strain of the bacteria
Staphylococcus aureas. MRSA even got its name because it is
a bacteria that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.
It has since become resistant to almost all types of
antibiotics. If you get MRSA, and a hospital is treating
it, it almost become a game of cat and mouse as they
determine what antibiotic might be most effective in your
body vs. dealing with horrific side effects and allergic
reactions - or in other words, your body saying; WAIT! What
the he#% is that!!
New strains of MRSA have recently emerged in the
community that are capable of causing severe infections in
otherwise healthy individuals. These MRSA infections are
known as CAMRSA or community-associated MRSA. MRSA
infections that are acquired in the hospitals and healthcare
facilities are known as healthcare-associated MRSA.
Depending on where you get your statistics from. If you
get MRSA during a hospital stay, you have about a 5-10%
chance of dying. MRSA now kills more people than the aids
virus. The actual numbers that die annually from MRSA or
Staph are all over the board, but I assume quite
understated. (of course I'm a "conspiracy theory" kinda
guy) All I know is that my grandmother died of it after a
simple operation, and my uncle got a blood infection (staph)
after he had a stint put in... (thank goodness for
Frankincense and Melaleuca!)
Oils, blends & products
Oils & Blends: FrankincenseC, LemongrassC, Protective BlendC, OreganoC, ThymeC
Essential oils based
CinnamonC, CloveC, DillC, EucalyptusC, LemonC,
Anti-Aging Blend, MelaleucaC, Wild OrangeC
understand the E and C superscript go to Home and
scroll to New Helps.
Add 4 drops each Protective Blend and Oregano in a capsule and
take 2 - 3 times a day for 2 weeks. If Protective Blend is not
available blend 4 drops of Oregano, 4 drops of Melaleuca and a
drop of Frankincense in a capsule and take 2 - 3 times daily.
Consider running a diffuser in the room with 2 drops each
of Protective Blend and
Oregano where anyone might be exposed.
Open sores: Apply topically Frankincense
or layer Anti-Aging Blend, Protective Blend®, Oregano and Frankincense.
Apply cautiously to avoid cross contamination to other areas
or other people. A carrier oil can also be considered for
sensitivities or ease of application.
Additional protection: The Massage Blend Technique
augments and strengthens the
Editor's note - Oregano is a hot oil and
it is advisable to use a
skin test with those that may have sensitive skin. Also
for small children oils may be diluted and applied topically
to the bottoms of their feet. It is recommended not to use
Oregano for more than 2 weeks without resting the body.
Experiences and Testimonials of others
Our thanks to:
My son was diagnosed with MRSA
after visiting his Grandfather in the
hospital. I did not know that he had an
open wound on his knee at the time. He
called a few weeks later, telling me he had
terrible pain in that leg and a spot that
was gradually growing bigger and harder. I
asked to see it and was shocked that what
once appeared to him to be a little mosquito
bite was now a huge fist shaped hard lump
under his skin. The skin was a deep purplish
red. I immediately took him to see a
dermatologist, who drained nearly 6 ounces
of fluid out of this pustule. The Dr.s
office called the next day, saying it was an
advanced type of MRSA and my son needed to
get on very heavy antibiotics. We got the
prescription, AND started him on several
drops of Protective Blend and Oregano in capsules. I
also asked him to apply Massage Blend for pain
and Frankincense for healing directly over
the site several times a day. He watched
the area slowly go from fist size and deep
red to pink to normal skin, with no pain at
I would like to say that he was completely
well, but 2 months later he complained of
several small pus filled "pimples" appearing
under his chin and in his armpit, which he
would "drain" himself. I instinctively knew
this was MRSA just moving to the warm soft
tissues of his body.
I made up capsules of Oregano and Protective Blend
and asked him to take them 3-4 times a day
for 2 weeks. Then off for a week followed by
another regime of 3-4 capsules a day for
another 2 weeks. He took these faithfully
and has not had any symptoms or reoccurring
for the past 7 months.
Our thanks to:
I had been feeling "off" for a
about two weeks when the first sores started
to appear. I thought the first sore was an
ingrown hair on the bikini line. Then a few
more small sores appeared within the same
area, which I though was strange. I knew I
needed medical intervention when the first
excruciating painful boil appeared. I could
not walk or sit or function without major
pain, and was still experiencing some flu
like symptoms. I could feel the boil growing
rapidly, so I called the doctors office for
an immediate appointment.
The gynecologist decided a lancing was
needed on the original boil and another one
that had started since that morning that I
was unaware of. The pain that followed
ranks right up there with child birth. The
first boil was the size of a quarter and
very deep once the doctor was able to open
it up. I was prescribed two forms of
antibiotic, one for a gerenal infection, and
one for MRSA. A culture was taken of the
infection and I was told to start both meds
and to discontinue one once the culture was
reviewed. I was also given the warning that
these meds will reek havoc on my stomach so
be prepared for that with other over the
counter meds to offset the hard core
antibiotics. Lastly I was told to apply
heat to the area to help draw out the
infection, disinfect everything in my
bedroom, and watch my family close since
most likely this will spread to all of them.
I was so weak at this point, I could barely
I filled the prescriptions, applied a heat
pack, took the first dose of antibiotic, and
started digging in to the Internet for
research on these pills and other ways to
heal. I read many stories from this site of
using oils when the antibiotics where
insufficient to wipe out the infection.
Within 6 hours of coming home from the
doctors office, my original boil had closed
back up and was larger and more painful than
what it was at the doctors office. I knew
there was no way I could stomach an
additional lancing, followed by packing the
wound, which I knew was next. Instead, I
chose to follow the lead of others and use
my oils. I started with melaleuca applied to
a sterile gauze pad directly on the two
active boils. I also made a capsule with the
suggested protocol listed on this site and
another mixture of oils for my spouse to rub
on my back and feet. Once this was done, I
went to sleep for the nit. When I woke up,
to my complete astonishment and pleasant
surprise, my massive boil had reduced from
the size of a half dollar to a dime. And the
pain in that region was gone. I was feeling
so much better that I was able to continue
with my normal schedule for the day. I
continued this regime for a week, never
taking another pill. No more sores
appeared. The lab results came back a week
later, confirming the MRSA infection.
I also had my feet massaged daily by a
.... foot zone therapist during this
healing process, who was been able to help
stimulate the affected organs to help the
infection move on and out of my system. As a
college administrator, professor, wife, and
mom, the month of August is an incredibly
bad time to get sick. Using the oils and
reflexology of the feet, I missed a total of
three hours from work over a 3 week period
of this infection. I am so thankful for this
site, the suggestions and stories from
others, and the power of oils in my life.
Our thanks to:
I found the following protocol for
Dill 3 drops, Clove 2 drops, Wild Orange 3
drops, Cinnamon Bark 2 drops, Frankincense 3
drops. Put in roll-on bottle. Apply to
bottoms of feet every 2 hours.
Michelle - My
daughter was diagnosed a few years ago with MRSA and it
looked like a big spider bite. She currently has a
similar situation with a bump on her leg that I can't
tell if it is MRSA or a infected bug bite. I am
using 2 drops Melaleuca and Geranium, 1 drop
Oregano, 2 drops Protective Blend and 2 drops Frankincense on it
and on the bottoms of her feet. I also had her
take a capsule with Oregano, Protective Blend and Frankincense.
Is this a good protocol, or should I just give it to her
in a capsule?
Pat - If you have a diffuser I would
suggest running it with Protective Blend and Oregano. The
following protocol is from a nurse (see Deborah below) who
uses this and has convinced her doctor to use it also. Her
daughter sustained a lower leg injury and it became infected
with MRSA. She began an aggressive treatment of washing the
wound with Protective Blend soap (she used organic tea tree soap, as
Protective Blend was not out yet) then covered the wound with gauze
soaked in tea tree oil (not sopping soaked, just dripped on
till the gauze is wet where it covers the wound). Do this
treatment 4 times a day, for a week and then 3 times a day.
She took her to the doctor to have her MRSA checked after
three weeks. They took a culture and it came back negative.
Thinking that they had somehow contaminated the culture, the
re-cultured it again. It came back negative again.
By mouth I would suggest a capsule of 4 drops Oregano, 4
drops Melaleuca and 2 drops of Frankincense, twice a day if
she is a young adult and once a day if she is in her teens.
It is also very good to layer these same oils down the spine
with a good carrier oil and add Lemongrass and Helichrysum
to the capsule oils.
Michelle - So just
an update on my 14-year-old daughter: I asked her to
rate her pain from the first day, giving the first day as a
10, how we were yesterday. Yesterday she was at about
a 7, then later a 4, and this morning the pain is almost
gone! The swelling is down and the whole site is much
smaller and not very red any more. It started out
about the size of a half dollar, and is now the size of a
pea. So great to be able to take care of my children
and not subject them to massive doses of antibiotics!
I still don't know if this is MRSA or just a bad bug bite,
but either way, she is doing much better!
Doug (from Tamalu) - In January 2006 I developed a
serious staph infection in my knee. My wife took me to
the emergency room. I was sent home with a pain
reliever and a mild antibiotic. Over the next couple of
days, the infection quickly spread from my knee clear up
to my hip and down to my ankle. I was in excruciating
pain, and could not stand up without feeling like I
would pass out. Nothing was helping. I had been flat
in bed for over a week by this time.
My wife called to find out what oils would be
suggested for me, and I had the spinal technique
performed on me twice." We applied Oregano and Thyme to
the wound, which helped the pain, and Grounding Blend to the
feet in addition to the spinal technique. The need for
the pain reliever was eliminated, and I explained to
Doug that eventually the Oregano and Thyme would start
to feel hot on his skin, as the pathogen count dropped.
He applied the Oregano and Thyme as often as it
became painful, 3-5 times daily. Today, I would add to
that Melaleuca and Lavender. "The morning following the
first spinal technique, there was a huge, noticeable
improvement in the swelling and pain in my leg.
I truly feel that the essential oils that were
used and suggested allowed my body to fight off the
staph infection and recover completely.
Anonymous – Is Oregano the best opportunity I have for MRSA?
Deborah - Your comments about Oregano and MRSA are
correct, but consider taking it further... add Helichrysum &
Melaleuca (tea tree) oils to the Oregano...then you will
have a very powerful treatment for nasty ole' MRSA. I,
too, am in the medical field & have dealt with implanted
devices (pacemakers/ICDs) & infections for almost 30 yrs
now, so I have seen the devastating results. I actually had
to deal with this some months ago when one of my daughters
(young adult) sustained a lower leg injury & it became
infected with the MRSA strain staph. I began an immediate
aggressive treatment of these oils, as well as, washing the
open-wound with organic tea tree soap, then applying the
oils directly to the wound. I then placed tea tree ointment
on the gauze pad to prevent the gauze pad from sticking to
the open-wound. For the first week, I did this 4 times a
day then 3 times a day afterward. After the third week,
they re-cultured the wound to see how aggressive the MRSA
still was, but the culture came back negative. Thinking
they had some how contaminated the culture, they re-cultured
it again, which, needless to say, also came back negative!!
They were very perplexed, so I explained what I did.
They stated that they have never seen a positive treatment
for MRSA in less than 8 to 12 weeks after the diagnosing
MRSA. When my daughter went back for her final checkup, one
of the physicians told her that he did some research online
and found many reports of essential oils being able to kill
these Super Bugs. It made him a big believer and he is now
advocating use of essential oils for MRSA infections.
So as a little trivia, here is what is going on with the
behavior of Super Bugs, as the name MRSA suggests, these
"bugs" (for they are a live organism) have become resistant,
meaning they have been able to learn & adapt to the
chemical/molecular structure of antibiotics. Antibiotic
chemical/molecular structure is quite simple, not very
complex at all and that is why the organism is able to learn
and adapt against it. On the other hand, essential oils
chemical/molecular structures are highly complex. Too
complex for the organism to be able to learn and adapt
against. Truly, Mother Nature does know best!!
Essential oils are very much our natural medicine cabinet,
provided that they are pure & of course, (...) is
.... Pure Therapeutic .......what can be better than
Oh, as an after thought, because I know someone will ask
this, "why don't pharmaceutical companies pursue
this?"....well, it is all about money & profits. For one
thing, pharmaceutical companies cannot put a patent on
essential oils, they are directly from nature, not a
designed product. Pharmaceutical companies cannot put a
claim on the plants that provide the essential oils, again
they are from nature and besides, these plants can be grown
by just about anyone. Sad, but true, it all comes down to
money. As I have stated in my previous post, I have been in
medicine for almost 30 yrs and have seen it all. This
is one of the reasons why I began studying and training in
holistic/ naturopathic medicine with (xxx) essential oils as
my first choice in treatments.
Anonymous – My sister in hospital with MRSA in her lungs and
nose. Any suggestions?
Rob - If I were in your position I would give her a blend
of 4 drops of Oregano, 4 drops of Melaleuca and a drop of
Frankincense in a 00 capsule twice daily. I would also do
daily Massage Blend Technique using these same oils and add
Helichrysum and Lemongrass. Layer the oils with
massage using extra virgin coconut oil prior to using the
Oregano and Lemongrass.
Also, I would run a diffuser in the room with Protective Blend
and a couple drops of Oregano.
Anonymous - I have a bacterial infection in the sinus area
below my left eye. I was wondering if there were any oils
that would 1) help with the itching from this infection and
2) be better to take/use instead of the antibiotic that was
prescribed. I was diagnosed with cellulitis with the
possibility of a staph infection as well.
Rob - I would be
cautious when dealing with antibiotics because they will
kill both the good and bad bacteria. You will definitely
need good bacteria if you are fighting a bad bacterial
infection. Don't eat sugar, as it may feed MRSA.
You need to be careful around the eyes; but in your shoes
(bottom of your feet), using a VCO carrier, I would apply
Melaleuca and Frankincense or Lemongrass and Frankincense
several times per day. Frankincense could
actually be applied neat around the eye if you are very
careful, However other oils, especially Lemongrass, would be
very caustic and need to be applied carefully with at least
75% or more carrier oil. If you use VCO as a carrier it is
also very antibacterial in and of itself. /p>
You could also consider (...) Cleansing Blend, Protective Blend,
Sandalwood, Clove, or Cinnamon. Again, some of these are hot
oils or blends and should be used very carefully around the
If topical application is not progressing well, consider
synergistic effect using a Master Cleanse and a internal
infection cleanse such as:
· 3 drops Lemon
· 3 drops Melaleuca
· 3 drops of Oregano
· place in a capsule and take it 2 times daily, 3
weeks on, 1 week off.
Wendy - I just had
a phone call about a friend that has some sort of staph
infection that flairs up on her face when she is over
exposed to the sun or cold. I suggested Frankincense on her
face and internally, also Oregano internally. Does anyone
have any experience with this kind of thing that would be
Kathy - I would consider the cleansing
trio or an antibiotic blend of Protective Blend, Oregano, and
Frankincense internally (or switch weekly between the oils)
and I would consider Melaleuca, Frankincense and Oregano
with VCO carrier applied topically at least 3x or more per
day. Maintain the protocol for a good week even after
symptoms are gone.
Cut down on grain carbohydrates, keep hydrated with Lemon
or Grapefruit oil in your water.
Monica - First, I would wonder if she
might be dealing with Rosaecea, rather than a staph
infection. The oils you suggested are good. She
might also consider myrhh and Lavender on the skin; both
healing and soothing. If dealing with Rosaecea, a
friend of mine has had great success with dietary
modifications as well, particularly severely limiting her
sodium intake. This dietary change has also been
significant for her in other ways; in particular, she notes
that she rarely experiences migraines since she's been
essentially off salt.
Julie - My mother contacted MRSA from a
doctors office visit to treat the shingles she was suffering
from. We chose to use essential oils and used 4 drops
each of Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme in a capsule. She
took them 3 times a day. It killed both the MRSA and
shingles and saved her life.
What Science & Research are saying
Dryden, M., Dailly, S., Crouch, M.
(2004). A randomized, controlled trial of tea tree topical
preparations versus a standard topical regimen for the
clearance of MRSA colonization. Journal of Hospital Infec,
56, (4), 283-6. A randomized, controlled study of 224
patients found tea tree to more effective at clearing MRSA
from the skin of 114 hospital patients than mupirocin (Bactroban).
Tea tree oil may be considered in regimens for eradication
of methicillin-resistant Staaphylococcus in hospitals.
Sherry, E., Warnke, P. H. (2001).
Percutaneous treatment of chronic MRSA osteomyelitis with a
novel plant-derived antiseptic. BMC Surgery 1(1). The single
case clinical report described the use of a polytoxinol (PT)
antimicrobial, a complex mixture whose major components are
tea tree oil and Eucalyptus to cure an intractable
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection
of the lower tibia in an adult male. The study introduced a
cheap, simple technique as a possible alternative to
long-term systemic antibiotic therapy when administered
percutaneously. Caelli, M., Porteous, J., Carlson, C. F.,
Heller, R., & Riley, T. V. (2001). Tea tree oil as an
alternative topical decolonization agent for methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus Aureus. The International Journal of
Aromatherapy 11(2). [Originally published in The Journal of
Hospital Infection (2000), 46, 236-237.] In this pilot
study, 30 adult patients infected or colonized with
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were
randomly assigned to receive a 4% tea tree oil nasal
ointment and 5% tea tree oil body wash and a standard 2%
mupirocin nasal ointment and the triclosan body wash. Tea
tree oil products were found to perform better than
mupirocin and triclosan, although the number of patients was
too small for the difference to be statistically
Gustafson, J. E., Chew, S., Markham, J., Bell,
H.C., Wyllie, S. G., & Warmington, J. R. (1988).
Effects of tea tree oil on Escherichia coli. Letters in
Applied Microbiology, 26, 194-8. The study documented the
effect of tea tree oil (TTO) in stimulating autolysis in
exponential and stationary phase cells of Escherichia coli.
Stationary phase cells demonstrated less TTO-stimulated
antolysis and also showed greater tolerance to TTO-induced
cell death, compared to exponentially grown cells.
Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly
MRSA bacteria 21 Dec 2004
Essential oils usually used in aromatherapy have been
found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria according to research
carried out at The
University of Manchester.
Tests revealed that three essential oils killed MRSA and
E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just
two minutes of contact. The oils can easily be blended and
made into soaps and shampoos which could be used by hospital
staff, doctors and patients in a bid to eradicate the spread
of these deadly `super bugs'.
Researchers are now desperately looking for funding to
develop their work and carry out a clinical trial. Peter
Warn from the University's Faculty of Medicine who worked on
the research said: 'We believe that our discovery could
revolutionise the fight to combat MRSA and other `super
bugs', but we need to carry out a trial and to do that we
need a small amount of funding ' around £30,000.
'We are having problems finding this funding because
essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally
occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work
as they do not see it as commercially viable. Obviously, we
find this very frustrating as we believe our findings could
help to stamp out MRSA and save lives,' added Peter, who is
based at Hope Hospital.
Essential oils are chemical compounds found within
aromatic plants, which the plants use to fight off
infections. Researchers tested 40 essential oils against ten
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.
Jacqui Stringer who is Clinical Lead of Complementary
Therapies at the Christie Hospital instigated the research
and said: 'The use of plants in medicine is nothing new but
some people regard the use of essential oils as
unconventional. Our research shows a very practical
application which could be of enormous benefit to the NHS
and its patients.
'The reason essential oils are so effective is because
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 treatment is only successful in
around 50% of cases.
'While a wide range of products currently exist to help
prevent the spread of MRSA these are often unpleasant for
patients as their application can cause skin irritation.
MRSA is often carried inside the nose which means that
patients often have to insert treatments up their nostrils,
whereas these essential oils can simply be inhaled to
prevent the patient being at risk,' added Jacqui.
Jacqui works with leukaemia patients at the Christie
Hospital using essential oils to help in their treatment.
Patients receiving treatment for cancer and leukaemia are
often left with weakened immune systems which makes them
vulnerable to infection from MRSA.
The National Audit Office estimates that infections such
as MRSA kill 5,000 people each year and hospital-acquired
infections cost the NHS around £1 billion a year.
Scientists win SEED award for Himalayan Oregano
project Date: 28/10/2008
A research team from the University of the West of
England, working in partnership with a laboratory in Delhi,
a fair trade company, a community-based organisation and an
environmental research institute in Himachal Pradesh in the
Western Himalaya, have jointly been awarded a 2008 SEED
award for their project investigating Himalayan Oregano
essential oil as an antibacterial agent for MRSA.
The project is part of an initiative to provide rural
communities with sources of income generated from
sustainable collection of non-timber forest products in the
Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. Origanum vulgare is a
relatively common herb that grows in high altitude meadows
throughout the Himalayan region, yet it is perceived by many
villagers to have no culinary, medicinal or economic value.
In Kullu Oregano is often referred to as 'bekaar gahaas', or
'useless grass'; even cows and goats don't eat it.
Recent research by UWE in the UK and SGS in Delhi has
shown that the essential oil of Himalayan Oregano oil
contains potent antibacterial properties and is very
effective at killing the hospital superbug MRSA. These
findings have presented a valuable opportunity to develop a
range of antibacterial products that would provide a
sustainable source of income to rural communities in the
Himalaya, and at the same time introduce an environmentally
friendly means of helping to prevent the spread of MRSA in
hospitals in the UK.
The SEED Initiative is an international programme backed
by the UN that promotes and supports entrepreneurial
partnerships that develop innovative, locally led solutions
to the global challenges of sustainable development. The
SEED awards provide backing to projects that are in an early
stage of development and have high potential for growth and
replication. The Himalayan Oregano project was one of five
winners selected from over 400 global applications.
Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP, said of
the 2008 awards: "The SEED Awards again underline that
creative and entrepreneurial solutions to many of the
pressing challenges facing the world are being found. It is
now vital that these shining examples are federated and
mainstreamed across communities and countries to maximize
their undoubted and potentially significant impact."
One of the lead partners of the project in India, Biolaya
Organics, is a company that is developing projects aimed at
conserving endangered medicinal herbs, both by cultivating
threatened species, and by providing alternative sources of
income to herb collectors through sustainable collection and
value addition of more common species such as Oregano.
Ben Heron from Biolaya Organics explains, “We started
working with Oregano because it is a species that, if
managed properly, can be collected year after year without
depleting the population in the wild. Our aim is to be able
to pay the local herb collectors the equivalent amount that
they would normally earn from collecting endangered
medicinal herb species so that they become less dependent on
the extraction of these plants for their livelihoods.
“It has been known for some time that Mediterranean
Oregano oil is a powerful antimicrobial, which is said to be
due to the high content of a compound called carvacol. As
far as we know nobody has tested the carvacol content of
Himalayan Oregano oil before, so we teamed up with SGS in
Delhi to conduct tests and found that it was equally as
potent as the Mediterranean variety.
“Further tests in the SGS laboratory found that the
Himalayan Oregano oil killed MRSA more effectively than all
18 antibiotics that it was compared against. We have
recently linked up with UWE's microbiology department who
are now carrying out more rigorous tests, and hope to
publish the results in a scientific journal.”
UWE's project leader Professor Vyv Salisbury and
co-investigator Dr Shona Nelson are very excited at the
opportunity to help the community. Vyv said, “We have done a
few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil
from the Oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The
tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a
vapour and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by
heating in boiling water. This is exciting as it also means
that we could consider using the oil to develop disinfectant
washing powders. We now aim to conduct a focused academic
study in partnership with SGS labs in Delhi that we hope
will give the project the academic credence needed to market
“We hope that our study will help take the project to the
next stage where, with the help of UWE's Research, Business
and Innovation department we find a business partner to help
us produce a range of products that we can market for
medical and domestic settings. Once we are able to start
providing a sustainable income for villages in Kullu, the
scope for up-scaling and replication in other parts of the
Himalayan region is enormous.”
The SEED award will be presented to the team at the SEED
award conference on Monday 17 November, at the German
Embassy in Delhi by the German Minister of Environment,
Tests of new machine at a hospital have
found it could be effective in the battle against the
Consultants at Wythenshawe Hospital found that using a
vaporiser to spray essential oils into the atmosphere killed
off micro-organisms. Airborne bacterial counts dropped by
90% and infections were reduced in a nine-month trial at the
burns unit. The recipe of oils used in the machine was
refined by microbiologists at Manchester Metropolitan
Scent Technologies, the Wigan-based company which makes
the machine, developed the device to mask smells on wards
but found it had a beneficial effect on infections. The
study was started after the recipe of oils was modified by
the university team, in conjunction with Wythenshawe
consultant Ken Dunn.
Bev Hurst, MRSA campaigner, "Many people will be aware
that there are decades of experience with the use of
essential oils to control infection," said Mr Dunn. "I think
the novelty of this is putting the two researched
technologies together and being able to affect a really
surprisingly large area of the ward with a single machine."
There were no MRSA infections in the burns unit while the
machine was being used with the recipe of oils. In the final
two months the natural essence blend was removed from the
machines and MRSA levels in the air increased - and there
was an MRSA outbreak in the ward. /p>
But despite the apparent success of the trial, MRSA
campaigners have urged healthcare professionals to continue
with strict cleaning regimes. Bev Hurst, whose mother
Margaret died from an MRSA infection, said: "If this is
something that is going to help then that's brilliant. "But
it has to be in conjunction with everything else - it can't
just be a machine on a ward."
The National Audit Office estimates hospital-acquired
infections contribute to some 5,000 deaths annually. Further
tests are now being carried out.
Extract from PubMed.com
Journal of Applied Microbiology. 1999
Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and
other plant extracts.
Hammer KA, Carson CF, Riley TV.
Department of Microbiology, The University of Western
Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia.
The antimicrobial activity of plant oils and extracts has
been recognized for many years. However, few investigations
have compared large numbers of oils and extracts using
methods that are directly comparable. In the present study,
52 plant oils and extracts were investigated for activity
against Acinetobacter baumanii, Aeromonas veronii biogroup
sobria, Candida albicans, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia
col, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype typhimurium,
Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus, using an agar
dilution method. Lemongrass, Oregano and bay inhibited all
organisms at concentrations of < or = 2.0% (v/v). Six oils
did not inhibit any organisms at the highest concentration,
which was 2.0% (v/v) oil for apricot kernel, evening
primRose, macadamia, pumpkin, sage and sweet almond.
Variable activity was recorded for the remaining oils.
Twenty of the plant oils and extracts were investigated,
using a broth microdilution method, for activity against C.
albicans, Staph. aureus and E. coli. The lowest minimum
inhibitory concentrations were 0.03% (v/v) Thyme oil against
C. albicans and E. coli and 0.008% (v/v) Vetiver oil against
Staph. aureus. These results support the notion that plant
essential oils and extracts may have a role as
pharmaceuticals and preservatives.
Inhibition of methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by essential oils
FLAVOUR AND FRAGRANCE JOURNAL, Flavour Fragr. J. 2008;
23: 444–449, Published online in Wiley InterScience, John
Wiley & Sons, Ltd.; Sue Chao, Gary Young, Craig Oberg and
ABSTRACT: Ninety-one essential oils,
each distilled from a single plant source, and 64 blended
essential oils obtained from a commercial source were
screened using the disc diffusion assay for inhibitory
activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA). Of the 91 single essential oils, 78 exhibited zones
of inhibition against MRSA, with Lemongrass, Lemon myrtle,
Mountain Savory, Cinnamon and Melissa essential oils having
the highest levels of inhibition. Of 64 blended essential
oils, 52 exhibited inhibitory activity against MRSA, with
R.C. (a combination of myrtle, Eucalyptus globulus,
Eucalyptus australiana, Eucalyptus radiata, Marjoram, pine,
Cypress, Lavender, spruce, Peppermint and Eucalyptus
citriodora oils), Motivation (a combination of Roman
Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, spruce and Lavender oils) and
Longevity (a combination of Frankincense, Clove, Orange and
Thyme oils) blended essential oils having the highest
inhibitory activity. These results indicate that essential
oils alone and in combination can inhibit MRSA in vitro.
Application of these results may include the potential use
of essential oils as an alternative therapy for various
diseases sustained by S. aureus MRSA.
The following links are all studies of essential oils and MRSA
Study: Plant Oils Highly Effective Against Drug-Resistant
- 1 Apr 2010
Synopsis - Researchers say oils distilled
from plants are highly effective against drug-resistant
bacterial infections and could prove to be an inexpensive
way to combat super-bugs found in hospital settings...
In laboratory experiments, the research group tested a
variety of essential oils from eight plants, including
Thyme, Basil, Peppermint and Cinnamon. Eriotou says they all
had some anti-bacterial activity, but essential oil from
Thyme - a spice frequently used in Mediterranean cooking -
killed almost all of the bacterium in a petri dish within an
hour. Almost as effective was Cinnamon oil...
Essential oils can fight superbugs: Study - Mar 31,
Synopsis - Essential oils like Rosewood
oil and Thyme oil could be a cheap and effective alternative
to antibiotics to fight drug-resistant superbugs, a new
study has claimed...
“Not only are essential oils a cheap and effective
treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but
decreased use of antibiotics will help minimise the risk of
new strains of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms
emerging,” said lead author Professor Yiannis Samaras.
The essential oils of Thyme and Cinnamon were found to be
particularly efficient antibacterial agents against a range
of Staphylococcus species of bacteria, with the Thyme oil
being the most effective...