Essential oils carry a concentrated form of the physical properties of plants and flowers. In other words, these oils are the essence of the plant, thus providing therapeutic properties even if used in small amounts.
They are typically used in aromatherapy, added in bathwater, for massage, burned in a diffuser, or used in a compress. Most of them have powerful antibacterial qualities as well as have different emotional and physical effects depending on the oil, like pain relief, relaxation, stimulation, and healing.
The antibacterial properties of the oils can destroy bacteria, viruses, and fungi, thus preventing and fighting off various infections, skin conditions, and so on.
Fortunately, essential oils are an excellent natural way to fight off bacteria without having to experience any side-effects that usually come with long-term antibiotic use. Also, by replacing pharmaceutical antibiotics with antibacterial essential oils you can prevent antibiotic resistance.
The Best 8 Antibacterial Essential Oils Include:
Tea Tree Essential Oil
The oil is also called melaleuca oil and is derived from the tea tree leaves, or Melaleuca plant leaves. Tea tree is native to Australia, and the aboriginal communities used it as a natural antiseptic remedy by crushing the leaves, and applying them to burns, infections, and cuts.
Furthermore, it is one of the few antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral essential oils that should not be diluted in carrier oil before applying. Moreover, it has been used in the treatment of various skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and warts.
It has also been found that the tee tree essential oil has fantastic antibacterial properties, which can destroy harmful bacteria or almost any other pathogens. The oil has been long used as a natural remedy for treating wounds. But, it also offers some beneficial effects in the treatment of many serious infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
The oil can be also used in a nebulizer or diffuser to provide chest and head congestion relief and alleviate a stuffed up nose and many other flu or cold symptoms. Moreover, you can use steam inhalation to clear your congested nasal passages and destroy any harmful bacteria. The only thing you should do is add several drops of the oil to a pot of steaming hot water, use a towel to cover your head and inhale the vapors for at least 5 minutes.
Also, the oil can be directly applied to athlete’s foot or toenail fungus due to its marvellous antifungal properties.
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Researchers have concluded that cinnamon essential oil is among the most effective antibacterial essential oils ever in existence. Specifically, in 2006, Loyola College’s Entomology Research Institute in India carried out a study examining the effects of the oil against some bacteria, such as:
- Escherichia coli
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Pseudomonas aeruginosin
- Bacillus subtilis
Believe it or not, cinnamon essential oil was found to be more effective than many other antibacterial essential oils such as Rosemary, clove, lemon, Geranium, orange, and lime.
The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice published research that tested the effectiveness of the oil against planktonic E. faecal in a root canal dental procedure.
The resultes showed that the oil can remove bacterial growth after 1 or 2 weeks of the dental procedure. Consequently, the researchers concluded that the oil offers beneficial effects in the treatment of planktonic and biofilm E. faecalis.
You can also prepare your own toothpaste by using cinnamon essential oil at home. The toothpaste can kill off mouth bacteria and remove bad breath.
Plus, you can use the oil in a diffuser in order to cleanse and purify the indoor air and destroy any airborne bacteria. For best results, you should use it along with other antibacterial oils such as eucalyptus, clove or tea tree oil. This combination of powerful antibacterial essential oils can kill off up to 99% of airborne bacteria within several minutes.
Oregano Essential Oil
A lot of people use oregano as a spice to add flavor to various dishes. However, oregano essential oil has remarkable disinfecting and antibiotic properties. Namely, ancient Greeks used the oil to heal wounds and fight bacterial skin infections.
Its antibacterial abilities can also help in the treatment of staph infections. That’s not all, it also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. The oil has been also found to possess pain-alleviating abilities.
Science Daily published a study done by Georgetown University suggesting that the germ-destroying properties of the oregano oil can be compared to that of most pharmaceutical antibiotics.
It can be also used in the treatment of nail and foot fungus. All you need to do is prepare a solution of several drops of the oil and some water and then soak your feet in. Another alternative is to apply a bit of the oil directly on the affected area. But, make sure you dilute a drop of the oil in some carrier oil before applying.
Oregano essential oil also helps in cases of sinus infections. You should add several drops of it into steaming water and breathe in the steam.
Grapefruit Essential Oil
The strong antibiotic properties of the oil have been found to help in the treatment of many infections. In addition, the University of Texas carried out a study showing that grapefruit extract offers excellent antibacterial properties that can be compared to that of some scientifically-proven topical antibacterial agents.
Additionally, in 2011, the International Journal of Food Science & Technology published a study that showed the grapefruit essential oil may kill off various strains of bacteria, including Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus epidermis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Typhimurium, Proteus Vulgaris, Escherichia coli, and Serratia marcescens.
Moreover, the oil has also antimicrobial properties that can help prevent and heal cut and wound infections. It can also help kill off microbes in gut as well as kidneys. Grapefruit essential oil can also improve endocrine function, and stimulate gastric juice and bile production, thus supporting digestive health. Also, the oil has stimulating effects, which can improve mental alertness.
You can get rid of headaches, mental fatigue, depression and detoxify your lymphatic system by inhaling the vapors of grapefruit essential oil.
Thyme Essential Oil
The oil serves as an amazing antibacterial, antiseptic, and antispasmodic agent. Thyme essential oil also offers excellent calming effects. According to research carried out by the University of Tennessee’s Department of Food Science and Technology, the oil can destroy milk bacteria and salmonella.
The International Journal of Food Microbiology published a study suggesting that the oil can act as a powerful antimicrobial food preservative as a result of its nanoemulsions that may protect your body from any harmful bacteria.
In addition, the oil has also an ability to drain congestion and fight an infection. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the most powerful natural remedies for treating a common cold and many upper respiratory conditions. For this purpose, you should add several drops to a diffuser, or steaming hot water and then breathe in.
It can also help in the treatment of various health issues, such as arthritis, gout, fatigue, menopausal, pre-menstrual and menstrual symptoms.
Clove Essential Oil
This kind of essential oil is most frequently used to alleviate a toothache. Did you know that a lot of people have used the oil to provide toothache relief for centuries?
The high content of eugenol found in the oil has been comprehensively studied as a potent alternative to various modern medical treatments.
To be more specific, one test included 21 different essential oils and clove oil was found to be one of the most effective oils against a variety of bacteria such as E. coli.
In order to alleviate your toothache, you should add a drop of the oil onto a cotton ball and then press it onto the painful area for about 15 minutes. You should also inhale it in order to provide relief from respiratory issues such as a cough, common cold, or asthma. Also, you should apply it topically to reduce the symptoms of many skin conditions, including warts and acne.
Bergamot Essential Oil
The oil has strong antibacterial properties and a delightful citrus scent. It can be used to remove intestinal worms. Furthermore, you can also use it to alleviate headaches, decrease muscle tension, destroy bacteria, and get rid of scars.
The antibacterial properties of the oil make it an excellent natural antibacterial agent that can destroy various types of bacteria, and fight a number of infections, such as urinary tract infections, endocarditis, and meningitis.
The oil can be also used to hasten the healing process of herpes, mouth ulcers, and cold sores. Also, it can be used to prevent and treat acne breakouts.
In order to treat a urinary tract infection, consider rubbing the oil diluted in any carrier oil onto your abdominal area and throat. Moreover, you can also add several drops of it to a diffuser for optimal results.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Studies have shown that the oil has remarkable antibacterial properties that can inhibit bacterial growth internally and externally. Furthermore, lemongrass essential oil has also an ability to fight many bacterial infections, skin conditions, and remove body odor. It can also help in cases of food poisoning as a result of its powerful ingredients known as limonene and citral.
However, you should always dilute it in some carrier oil. You can use the solution as a natural cleanser as well as to tone your skin due to its powerful astringent and antiseptic properties. Plus, you can rub it to your scalp to provide headache relief, or on the body to provide muscle pain relief.
You can also use the oil to boost blood circulation, and alleviate muscle spasms, cramps, and backaches. You should also rub it onto your feet in case you are susceptible to athlete’s foot to help stifle fungi growth.
How to Choose High-Quality Essential Oils
Keep in mind that all essential oils are not created equal. So, you can get the maximum therapeutic benefits of a high-quality essential oil by purchasing organic, therapeutic grade oils produced by environmentally conscious growers, such as Starwest Botanicals.
- Johnson, Scott. ˮEvidence-based Essential Oil Therapy: The Ultimate Guide to the Therapeutic and Clinical Application of Essential Oilsˮ;
- Althea Press. ”Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing”;
- Worwood, Valerie. ”The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy”;