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The Therapeutic Value of Essential Oils with dementia patients, MRSA

Posted Jul 05 2013 12:00am
Three Ways to Use Essential Oils:

1)  Aromatherapy and Aromatic Use
2) Aromatherapy and Topical Use
3) Aromatherapy and Internal Use

Essential Oils and MRSA

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 . (21 Dec. 2004)
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'.

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.

Aromatherapy and Dementia

A chain of 12 assisted living homes for dementia in the U.S. is using essential oils with its elderly residents by:
  • spritzing lavender on the pillows daily
  • mix 6 drops with bathwater
  • citrus blends and rosemary are added to humidifiers, massaged into patients skin in the lotions and diffused
  • a recent study confirmed that aromatherapy increased constructive activity and decreased agitation in people with severe dementia (Institiute of Ageing and Health in the United Kingdom)
  • more scientific research is being done on the effects of aromatherapy as an alternative for dementia patients

What Science and 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., and 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 significant.

Gustafson, J. E., Chew, S., Markham, J., Bell, H.C., Wyllie, S. G., and 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.

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'.

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.

Journal of  Applied  Microbiology. 1999 Jun;86(6):985-90.
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. khammer@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

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 and Sons, Ltd.; Sue Chao, Gary Young, Craig Oberg and Karen Nakaoka.
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
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...

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...

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