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Aromatherapy Research News

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Essential Oils Enhance Activity of Antibiotics

As we all know, one of the troubles with synthetic antibiotic drugs is that they tend to loose efficacy when over-prescribed. Over time, the infecting microbes become resistant to the drugs, and become more difficult for physicians to treat. The need for an alternative means of treating infectious illness is becoming more apparent; in hospitals, many patients that come in with immuno-comprimised states become infected with bacterial illnesses, including the drug-resistant MRSA.

The number of studies investigating essential oils for their potential support in treating these illnesses is growing rapidly. Many studies have shown Tea Tree and Geranium essential oils as treatment options for MRSA infection. Other studies have demonstrated how essential oils actually improve the function of one's immune system, not simply by combating the infectious microbes themselves, but by actually helping immune systems cells to function better.

In this study, the essential oil from a plant native to Brazil was tested to support the action of a pharmaceutical antibiotic. MANY essential oils have antimicrobial properties, and should demonstrate similar effects.

Synergy effects of the antibiotics gentamicin and the essential oil of Croton zehntneri.

Rodrigues FF, Costa JG, Coutinho HD.Faculdade Lećo Sampaio, Juazeiro do Norte, CE, Brazil.

The leaves of Croton zehntneri Pax et Hoffm (Euphorbiaceae) were subjected to hydrodistillation, and the essential oil extracted was examined with respect to antibacterial and antibiotic modifying activity by gaseous contact. The gaseous component of the oil inhibited the bacterial growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a MID of 0.5 and<1mg/l air, respectively. The activity of the antibiotic gentamicin was increased by 42,8% against P. aeruginosa after contact with the gaseous component, showing that this oil influences the activity of the antibiotic and may be used as an adjuvant in the antibiotic therapy of respiratory tract bacterial pathogens.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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