Monday, June 30, 2008

Modern evidence for the antiseptic powers of essential oils

Towards the end of the19th century, the first acknowledged research to prove the antiseptic properties of essential oils was that undertaken by Chamberland ( 1887). This was followed early in the 20th century by Cavel's research into the individual effect 35 essential oils on microbiology cultures in sewage. The most effective oil in terms of the quantity required to render inactive 1000 ml of culture was found to be thyme (0.7 ml) . Two other well-knowb oils showing high efficacy were sweet orange ( 1.2 ml, 3rd) and peppermint ( 2.5 ml, 9th). The antiseptic power of several oils now been proved to be many times greater than that of phenol. Certain essential oils have also been shown to be effective against different bacteria, e.g. lemon, which is one of best in its antiseptic and bactericidal properties, neutralizing both the typhus bacillus and staphylococcus aureus in a matter of minutes. Cinnamon kills the typhus bacillus even when diluted to 1 part in 300.

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