Essential Oils to Help Combat E-Coli

In light of the recent E-Coli outbreak, the following earlier research report from Weber State University bears repeating.

Weber State University Publishes Annual Research Report

The U.S. lags behind other countries in essential oil research. Any information coming out of research within the U.S. is welcomed indeed.

Weber State University, has recently published its Annual Research Report on Essential Oils. The mission of the work is to identify which oils, and/or combination of oils are effective against disease-causing microorganisms.

The study also compared the effectiveness of two often used antibiotics, Penicillin and Ampicillin, with 4 essential oils (two single oils and two blends) against 2 bacteria with known high morbidity rates, Escherichia coli (E-Coli) and Staphylococcus aureus. The four essential oils are Cinnamon, Oregano, Immupower and Purification.

The results clearly show all 4 oils superior to both Penicillin and Ampicillin in their ability to kill the microorganisms. In the case of Penicillin, lysis (disintegration) of E-Coli did not occur. Apparently this generation of bacteria strain is totally resistant to Penicillin. Interestingly, the kill rate with essential oils went up dramatically as more of the oil was added. This same effect, however, did not occur when more of the antibiotics were added.

With national attention focused on E-Coli bacteria outbreaks, we want to share a portion of another Weber State Study with you that deals with this killer. To understand the numbers next to each oil below, it is necessary to know something of how the study was conducted.

A small piece of paper infiltrated with essential oil was placed in a petri dish infected with Escherichia coli. After a period of incubation, examination revealed a dark circle around the paper indicating lysis (disintegration) of the E-Coli. The diameter or size of the dark circle is demonstrative of the kill ratio and referred to as the “Zone of Inhibition” (Through replication, researchers know that E-Coli cannot grow in this zone).

Measured in millimeters (mm), the Zone of Inhibition was noted for each of 67 different oils tested. There were nine oils with a Zone of Inhibition measuring 25 mm or larger, meaning these oils are most effective against E-Coli.

They are:

* Rosewood 40 mm
* Cinnamon Bark 32 mm
* Peppermint 30 mm
* Thyme 30 mm
* Ravensara 30 mm
* Oregano 30 mm
* Mtn. Savory 30 mm
* Lavender 25 mm

By mixing Peppermint and Rosewood with a ratio of 1 part Peppermint to 8 parts Rosewood, researchers discovered the Zone of Inhibition for E-Coli increased to 50 mm.

This is wonderful news as one begins to speculate how commerce might employ these oils to insure the safety of our food supply. One in particular, Peppermint oil, caught our attention. Already in use as a food additive, health conscious consumers may consider spraying countertops, sinks, fruits and vegetables with Peppermint oil diluted in water, as a safeguard against the possibility of E-Coli infected food.

The Weber State study is important because it confirms that essential oils play a vital role in the health and well-being of mankind.

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