5 Essential Oils That Help Fight Infections
Essential oils are routinely used in Aromatherapy for their pleasant, sweet scent. However, they have much more to offer. Essential oils are popular in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a number of conditions. Recently there has been an increased interest in antimicrobial properties of essential oils.
Many reputed labs have confirmed that essential oils have anti-infective properties. Research has also shown that essential oils are effective in many antibiotic-resistant infections. Essential oils have the potential to offer an alternative, natural, and side-effect free solution to tackling infectious diseases.
The active components of essential oils, have a small molecular weight and hence, they absorb easily into the body. Essential oils also have a high potency, meaning that only a small dosage is enough.
Another advantage of essential oils is their shelf life. Most of the essential oils are quite stable and can be stored for as long as 10 years (with the exception of citrus oils which can be stored for up to two years). These oils are a must in any natural medicine cabinet.
Many times, essential oils will need dilution with “a carrier oil” to dilute the potency of it. These carrier oils serve as a base for the essential oils. Some good examples of carrier oils are sweet almond oil and coconut oil. Due to their sensitive skin, if you plan to use essential oils on a baby, it is always a good idea to dilute them with a carrier oil.
Five Essential Oils Effective in Treating Various Infection
This is perhaps the most well-known oil on the list. Lavender oil has a sweet, pleasant scent, and it has good antibacterial and antiviral properties as well. When applied to scrapes, bruises, and stings, Lavender can significantly reduce healing time. This oil is pretty mild and does not need a carrier oil.
A common way of applying Lavender is directly on the skin. Recent studies have also shown that Lavender oil is effective in killing both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Apart from being used against infections, lavender oil is used to induce and promote sleep.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil possesses strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Mixing it with coconut oil or aloe vera gel is a great way to dilute it. Applying it directly on the skin can help with acne, fungal infections, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.
Tea tree oil is often used as an antiseptic to treat minor burns, bruises, and scrapes. It is also effective for some vaginal infections. Two cups of water containing 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil can be used as an excellent all-purpose disinfectant cleaner.
Tea tree oil is pretty strong and can cause mild irritation and reddening if applied undiluted. Mixing the oil with coconut oil significantly reduces the side effects. Please be aware that tea tree oil is not recommended for internal use.
Roman Chamomile Oil
This sweet-smelling and gentle essential oil is ideally suited for sensitive skin and commonly used to treat mild to moderate acne. Chamomile oil is gentle enough to be used undiluted, but if need be, coconut oil works well as a carrier oil.
Roman chamomile can be used to treat diaper rash, and it’s been found effective against eczema and hemorrhoids. In the case of various ear infections and inflamed sinuses, a few drops added to a steam bath works great for relief. Roman chamomile has amazing pain relieving properties.
Eucalyptus oil has been found to have antibacterial properties for the bacteria of the upper respiratory tract. Diluted eucalyptus oil can be used internally to treat bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. It can also be used to treat various mucous membrane infections (such as asthma).
Eucalyptus has analgesic properties and when used in a spray form, it offers relief from minor pains. Additionally, it’s been found effective against bacteria causing tooth decay. According to recent study, eucalyptus oil has been found to stimulate the immune system of the body as well.
The unique composition of oregano oil makes it especially suitable to treat staph infections. The phenolic compound found in Oregano Oil has been shown to be more effective than as many as 18 pharmaceutical drugs including penicillin.
It has excellent antifungal properties but must always be diluted before application. Use coconut oil or sweet almond oil as a carrier oil to dilute it.
Overall, essential oils are excellent for treating infections. However, it is recommended to dilute the oils with carrier oils to prevent irritation of the skin. Also, please be aware that not all of the essential oils can be taken internally.