ESSENTIAL OILS for Lyme Disease

By: Maggie Tisserand -

One of nature’s antibiotics

Essential oils, the mainstay of aromatherapy, are well known and much appreciated for their ability to uplift emotions, energise a tired body, help induce restful sleep, as well as improve the condition of the skin.  Not so well known is the fact that some essential oils are ‘natural antibiotics’ and that over the course of the last two decades a considerable amount of research has taken place in universities around the world; with results being written up into scientific papers and published in journals. As Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacterial spirochete, there is a very good probability that essential oils can be successfully used. As of this date, I am not aware of any university research with essential oils against Borrelia but I have first-hand, scientific evidence that some superbugs can be killed by essential oils.

 

 From 2005 – 2009 I was personally involved with a university microbiology team and together we set out to identify essential oils with enough power to kill superbugs - bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics - and that is what I would like to tell you about. The trials started with several essential oils tested against a range of micro-organisms, but eventually, with the high cost of university research, a decision was made to focus on the common bacterium - staphylococcus Aureus/MRSA.  This harmless bacterium that lives on our skin has evolved and mutated, from the end of the Second World War when it could easily be killed with penicillin, to become a superbug, resistant to antibiotics and claiming the lives of thousands of people every year.  It only becomes a problem when the skin is damaged, either by accident, surgery or a skin condition such as eczema. When staph Aureus enters the body and cannot be killed by antibiotics, it is known as MRSA in the UK and MERSA in the USA. The university microbiologists I worked with found that the three most powerful essential oils to kill off the MRSA superbug were:-

TEA TREE

 THYME LINALOL

 BENCHMARK THYME

Each of these three aromatic oils, in a 5% dilution, were individually tested against superbugs and have each been proven, in scientific tests, to be bactericidal against MRSA. Whilst effective at killing the superbug, these oils are safe to use on the skin and may be used regularly. MRSA bacteria double in number every 24 hours, so if a wound is colonised with MRSA and cannot be killed with antibiotics, then the bacteria will eventually invade the bloodstream: with fatal consequence.  Borrelia burgdorferi are said, by some internet sites, to double in number every 12 – 24 hours, whilst other sites state that Borrelia doubles in number every seven days. Until evidence provides a definitive answer to the query, I will just say that Borrelia is able to double in number, at least once a week. Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes are unique in the way that they affect humans and animals - being able to hide in tissues and organs and be undetectable in the bloodstream - and yet they are still bacteria. I do not have scientific evidence that essential oils are effective against Borrelia and other microorganisms involved with Lyme disease, as it would cost many thousands of dollars to set up university trials.

I am a firm believer in the power of essential oils, using them whenever I pick up an infection. This means that I have not taken an antibiotic for more than 35 years. So I am going to stick my neck out and say “if the MRSA superbug can be killed off with essential oils then there is every reason to suppose that Borrelia burgdorferi can also be killed”.

 Antibacterial essential oils are easy to administer. They just need to be diluted in a good quality fatty oil (or jojoba which is a liquid wax) and rubbed into the skin – so anybody can treat themselves – very easily and inexpensively.

See below for more detailed information.

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Antibacterial essential oils

 Primary.

Benchmark; Tea tree; Thyme linalool

These three oils are very effective at killing bacteria. I have university evidence of each of these oils killing off MRSA bacteria, in vitro, within 24 hours.

Supportive.

Cumin ; Eucalyptus (lemon-scented) ; Fragonia; Geranium;  Lavender; Lemon ; Lime ; Marjoram ; Melissa ;  Myrtle (lemon scented) ; Palmarosa ; Patchouli ; Rosemary ; Savoury (mountain )

Citrus oils can sometimes cause irritation to people with sensitive skin.

University researchers, around the world, have challenged bacteria with essential oils – mostly with positive results.  I have listed the oils in alphabetical order rather than in their effect on the micro-organisms, as it is very difficult to compare one research result against another without knowing the dilution of essential oil used and the ‘Log’ - the numbers of bacteria in a Petri dish. For example, a Log 3 would be 1,000 individual bacteria per ml of the growing medium - which is usually agar - in a Petri dish, whereas Log 10 would be 10,000,000,000 per ml.  That is a huge difference.

Avoid

The following essential oils also performed well in microbiology tests. However, these oils are known to be skin irritants and I would advise against using them on the skin.

Cinnamon bark; Citronella; Clove; Peppermint; Thyme (common).

Before using essential oils I strongly recommend that you read one of the many excellent books on aromatherapy in order to have understanding and confidence in buying and using essential oils. Or take a short, online course at http://www.aromahead.com/courses/free-trainings .

To see Latin names of the above mentioned essential oils please scroll down.

Essential oils can be sourced from numerous internet sites.  Here are a few N. American suppliers of oils (including lesser-known essential oils).

 www.aromaticsinternational.com  ;  www.naturesgift.com  ; www.stillpointaromatics.com  ;  www.inshanti.com  ; www.anandaapothecary.com  ; and some non-USA sites. www.aromantic.co.uk ;  www.57aromas.com ; www.atlanticaromatics.com

 My suggestions for a massage blend would be:-

-          To choose one of the Primary oils

-          choose two or three of the Supportive oils. Choose the aromas that you like. Choose oils that smell good when combined with the Primary oil

-          buy a good quality base oil

Essential oils should always be diluted, and for a massage oil should be added to a fatty oil base such as sweet almond oil or other good quality oil.  I always use jojoba oil, which is a liquid wax that does not oxidise. Normally, the percentage of essential oil used in a massage base is 1% - 2%  - but  I hear a lot about Herxheimer’s reaction so it is wise to begin cautiously - for example, rub a little of your 1% blend into the soles of the feet, once or twice a week for a few weeks, and monitor how you feel. If you feel fine then also massage the blend into the tops of the feet and the calves, once or twice a week for another few weeks. If you are not having any adverse reactions, then in addition to the massage of feet and calves, have someone massage the blend along your spine and neck.

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For more information on the above-mentioned university research + citations to enable you to access the scientific papers, please refer to ‘Aromatherapy vs MRSA’ which is available in paperback or e-book, on Amazon. You can find more information about the contents of the book on www.maggietisserand.com

Maggie Tisserand is the author of six books on the subject of aromatherapy. She lives in the South West of England, United Kingdom.

 Latin names of essential oils listed above.

 Benchmark thyme                                           thymus Zygis Loefl. + 3 other thyme variants

Tea tree                                                               melaleuca alternifolia

Thyme linalool                                                   thymus vulgaris (chemotype) linalool

Cumin                                                                   cuminum cyminum

 Eucalyptus (lemon-scented)                       eucalyptus citriodora

Fragonia                                                               agonis fragrans

Geranium                                                            pelargonium graveolens

Lavender                                                             lavandula angustifolia

Lemon                                                                  citrus limonum

Lemon-scented myrtle                                   backhousia citriodora

Lime                                                                      citrus aurantifolia           

Marjoram                                                            origanum marjorana

Melissa                                                                 melissa officianalis

Palmarosa                                   cymbopogon martinii

Patchouli                                                             pogostemon cablin

Rosemary                                                            rosemarinus officianalis

Savoury (mountain )                                       satureja montana

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