Many people go to the doctors whenever they feel they have a prolonged sickness, such as a cold or flu. The patient tells the doctor their symptoms, the doctor diagnoses them and usually provides them with a prescription for some sort of antibiotic. This usually causes the person to become relieved of their symptoms within the next few days. However, this over-prescribing of antibiotics could end up doing more harm for us than good.
The harm that can come from loosely prescribing antibiotics for every viral, parasitic or fungal infection is antimicrobial resistance. This is when the microorganisms that are meant to be wiped out by antibiotics are able to withstand those attacks and then spread to become full fledged, drug-resistant viruses. In 2013, there were approximately 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis.
Aside from creating drug-resistant superbugs, overuse of antibiotics may also permanently destroy all of the body’s “good” bacteria. This good bacteria contributes a lot to the body, including producing vitamins and boosting the immune system. Some researchers believe that getting rid of this good bacteria with antibiotics contributes to health-related epidemics such as increased rates of obesity, asthma and cancer.
This is why it is incredibly important to find natural alternatives to antibiotics that work just as well, if not better.
Essential Oils As Antibiotics
Essential oils are natural oils that are usually obtained through distillation and often have the same characteristics of the plant that they are extracted from, such as fragrance and health benefits. Essential oils may be the natural alternative to antibiotics that many people have been looking for, mainly due to their effective antimicrobial activity and having less harmful and prevalent side effects than antibiotics that you would get a prescription for by the doctor.
One study recorded in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy tested the effectiveness of 14 different types of essential oils on how well they inhibited pathogenic bacteria.
Researchers found that all 14 of the essential oils that were tested were effective at inhibiting E.coli, staph infection (S.Aureus), strep (streptococci) and the flu (H. influenza). Among the 14 essential oils, the ones with the most effective antibacterial properties were cinnamon bark, lemongrass and thyme, although all 14 were at least a little bit effective.
This evidence proves that essential oils are an effective and safe alternative for antibiotics, and they do not come with the same harmful side effects that are found in most pharmaceutical drugs.
The best way to get the benefits of essential oils is through aromatherapy. Below you will find a list of all the essential oils that were used in the previously mentioned study, so you know for sure that these ones will provide you with all natural, antibiotic relief.
- Cinnamon bark oil
- Lemongrass oil
- Perilla oil
- Thyme (wild) oil
- Thyme (red) oil
- Thyme (geraniol) oil
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
- Coriander oil
- Lavender (spike) oil
- Lavender (true) oil
- Rosemary oil
- Eucalyptus (radiata) oil
- Citron oil