Top 7 Antibacterial Essential Oils and How to Use Them

When we suffer a bacterial infection, usually, the initial reaction is to reach for some antibiotics. But not all of us are happy swallowing antibiotics.

If you are looking for a more natural solution to the problem, antibacterial essential oils can help you.

Essential oils are powerful enough to fight off most bacterial and viral infection due to their natural antimicrobial properties. Studies refer to essential oils as the new antibiotics nowadays.

With that in mind, which are the best oils to use for fighting off harmful bacteria? Let’s examine.

Tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil Uses

Made from the leaves of the tea tree plant, this oil is the most potent antimicrobial and antibacterial essential oil on the market.

For centuries, people have used tea tree oil to heal burns, cuts, and scrapes. You can use it to eliminate oral bacteria and acne-causing bacteria. Tea tree oil is one of the best oils for a skin infection.

Tea tree oil is safe for usage only when diluted [1]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/. If not diluted, the oil is too potent and can cause problems on your skin.

Dilute few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as coconut, olive, or jojoba oil before applying n your skin.

If you want, you can use the oil as a natural household disinfectant as well. This will keep bacteria away from your home.

For this, add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a glass spray bottle with 1 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water, and 3 drops of lemon essential oil.

You can also use it as a homemade toothpaste for oral bacteria. Add one drop of tea tree oil some baking soda. Use the paste for oil pulling.

Grapefruit essential oil

Grapefruit essential oil can kill some of the most common strains of bacteria causing infections, including Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, and E. coli [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693916/.

Word of notice: there is a difference between grapefruit essential oil and grapefruit seed extract. The former comes from the peel of the grapefruit, not the seeds.

The best and most common way of using grapefruit essential oil against bacterial infections is ingestion. Add 1-2 drops of grapefruit essential oil to your water, and drink it.

Of course, you can always apply it topically when mixed with a carrier oil. This is useful for fighting off skin infections and preventing wounds from infection.

Avoid sunlight after applying grapefruit essential oil, as it will make your sun sensitive to the sun’s UV rays.

Oregano essential oil

Oregano oil

During the cold season, having oregano essential oil on hand is a must. During the cold and flu season, when bacteria runs rampant, oregano oil is something you can use to fight off an infection in a day.

You can use oregano essential oil or oil of oregano. The latter is the diluted version of oregano essential oil, usually with a carrier oil. This makes oil of oregano safe to ingest. Simply put, someone has done the diluting work for you, and you can use it topically or orally directly, without the need of diluting.

Not only oregano oil is great against common cold bacteria, it is also effective against other bacteria. Studies show that the oil can be effective against 20 different strains of E. cli, and pathogens that cause cystic fibrosis [3]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23484421.

If you want to apply it topically, dilute the oil in coconut oil. This combination works best.

If you have an oil pulling routine, add 1 drop of oregano oil to your oil to kill off bacteria in the mouth. The simplest way to use oregano oil is to take it as a nutritional supplement or add it to your favorite recipes.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon essential oil

Cinnamon has some of the strongest antibacterial activity among essential oils. Cinnamon is especially effective against infectious diseases caused by pathogens and germs found in food.

The oil can be used against E. coli and Staphylococcus, two common types of bacteria that are responsible for human infectious diseases [4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586554/.

Cinnamon is safe to ingest and has a rather pleasant taste, thanks to the spice it was derived from.

Add a drop of it to your herbal tea, or any other beverage. You can even add cinnamon essential oil to your baking products, homemade toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, or anything else.

Citronella

Citronella essential oil

This oil is not as popular as other antibacterial essential oils on this list [5]https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/antimicrobial-activity-of-citronella-essential-oil-on-antimicro-bial-drugresistant-bacteria-from-veterinary-clinical-cases-cmbo-1000106.php?aid=63324. But that doesn’t mean it is not as effective.

While not many people have heard of citronella, the oil is best known as an effective natural insect repellent. It can also be effective against systemic bacteria, like bacteria in the digestive tract.

In small doses, this essential oil is safe to ingest. You can add it to aromatic beverages such as herbal teas. However, consult with a healthcare practitioner for the right dosage. You can also use it on your skin topically but dilute with carrier oil first.

Eucalyptus essential oil

Eucalyptus

Best known for clearing the symptoms of the common cold, eucalyptus can do so much more for your immune system. Eucalyptus can help you eliminate mucus and bacteria from anywhere in the body, but people mostly use it for respiratory issues.

Eucalyptus has an inhibitory effect against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, meaning the il can protect against infectious diseases without the use of antibiotics [6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21591991.

Add five drops of eucalyptus oil to a warm bath to soak up the benefits of the oil. You can also add a few drops of it into a diffuser, and inhale before bed.
Thyme essential oil

When studies show that an essential oil can be more potent than antibiotics, you take notice. Thyme is one of those essential oils that actually has more potent properties than common antibiotics used for bacterial infections [7]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21428248.

The best way to use thyme is to dilute 1-2 drops of it with a carrier oil and rub onto the affected area.

Benefits of essential oils

In addition to using essential oils for fighting off bacterial infections, you can use them for a number of other benefits. Essential oils have earned the right to be called best natural remedies in the past several years.

Here are some of the other benefits of using essential oils.

  • Can fight off bacterial infections like E.Coli and Candida
  • Can be effective in combating staph infections
  • Help fight off infections found in hospitals, making patients more comfortable when going to a hospital
  • Can help you fight off cold and flu-like symptoms
  • Great against allergies in relieving pain and symptoms
  • Help you relax the body and soothe sore muscles
  • Can be used to balance hormones, especially in women during PMS
  • Improve digestion and prevent digestive issues
  • Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
  • Help with almost any skin problem or infection
  • Improve circulation, useful in treating varicose veins
  • Can heal broken bones
  • Improve respiratory issues like sinusitis, bronchitis, and much more
  • Improve the immune system and reduce inflammation
  • Support brain function
  • Heal burns and cuts
  • Act as natural antiseptic
  • Can naturally thicken hair
  • Reduce bad odors
  • Natural aphrodisiac

Potent antibacterial mixtures

As noted previously, you can use antibacterial essential oils on their own, or mix them together for a more potent solution. With that in mind, here are two great recipes for fighting bacterial infections.

Antibacterial tonic

Ingredients:

  • 1 drop of oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 1 drop peppermint oil
  • 1 drop grapefruit oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • ½ cup of water

Combine all ingredients into a glass and stir well. Drink afterward. The oils used in this tonic are pure and approved for ingestion. But always consult with your physician first.

Topical tonic

  • 1 drop tea tree oil
  • 1 drop vetiver oil
  • 1 drop ginger oil
  • 1 drop lavender oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Combine all ingredients into a small bowl. Mix the ingredients, and then use your hands to apply on the abdomen or directly on the affected area outside of your body. Repeat two times per day. If you experience any irritation, stop using the tonic immediately.

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