There is a surprising amount of research that documents the efficacy of essential oils on killing germs and bacteria.
And to single out one oil would be frivolous, considering the countless oils that contain anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and countless other properties.
Maybe it’s one of those dreadful times where it seems like everyone around you has a cold or the flu. And you want to do everything it takes to stay healthy.
Well, essential oils offer a healthy, 100% natural solution for improving and maintaining your health.
Top 5 Oils For Killing Germs and Bacteria
Below you’ll find the five best essential oils for fighting sickness and germs. Not only do these oils conclude with firsthand accounts, there are a portfolio of studies that back up the claims.
With eucalyptus, you never have to wonder whether it’s really “working.” All you have to do is take a whiff from the bottle, and you’ll instantly feel your nasal passages clear up.
It is commonly used as a decongestant and it can ward off colds thanks to its antiviral properties. In addition to fighting congestion, eucalyptus can calm a sore throat and speed up the healing process. The common benefits are:
- Tame a scratchy throat
- Clear up sinus blockage
- Eliminate chest mucus
According to this study, the use of eucalyptus essential oil as a disinfectant was revealed in vitro studies regarding antibacterial.
Lemon by itself has powerful antibacterial properties. But if you are looking for a more mellow and gentler scent, lemongrass is a great solution. Lemongrass helps stall the growth of bacteria both externally and internally, making it a great solution for:
- Eliminating body odor
- Home cleaning
- Urinary tract infections
In addition to these more specialized benefits, lemongrass has a profound influence on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to a study by the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy,
In the medicinal field, inhalation therapy of essential oils has been used to treat both acute and chronic bronchitis as well as acute sinusitis. Inhalation of vapors of essential oils augmented the output of respiratory tract fluid, maintained the ventilation and drainage of the sinuses, reduced asthma, and had an anti-inflammatory effect on the trachea.
3. Tea Tree
Also known as melaleuca, tea tree essential oil packs quite the punch, containing a range of properties: antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial. Among its benefits:
- Clearing up acne
- Eliminating cold sores
- Relieving earaches
- Killing fungal infections
This list doesn’t even include the many household uses tea tree has to offer – everything from insect repellent to mold killer to household cleaner. Records reveal that tea tree has been used for thousands of years, and science is finally catching up. In fact, more than 300 studies have validated tea tree oil’s antimicrobial benefits.
Another great germ-buster, clove essential oil can ward off germs like a plague. Antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral, clove can kill mouth bacteria and relieve symptoms of colds, the flu, and headaches. Other common benefits include:
- Easing toothaches
- Curbing asthma symptoms
- Improving digestion
Clove’s ability to fight off infection and stimulate the immune system makes it a must during times of the year when you are surrounded by sickness.
According to the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, “Clove essential oil, used as an antiseptic in oral infections, inhibits… bacteria as well as yeast. Essential oils like clove are potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds especially against bacterial pathogens.”
Cinnamon essential oil has many similarities to clove. Both contain strong antiseptic and antiviral properties. Among its many uses:
- Create your own natural toothpaste
- Craft a homemade mouthwash
- Add a few drops to your laundry
- Include in a natural air freshener
According to a recent study, “Cinnamon oil, due to the strong activity, can be used as alternative antibacterial agents in cosmetics, toiletries and disinfectants.”
Best Ways to Apply Your Oils
Now that you know the top five essential oils to kill bacteria, germs, and general illness, here are the best ways to apply them:
- Add 3 drops of your chosen oil to a warm bath and soak for at least 10 minutes
- Apply to your chest, neck, and bottom of your feet to relieve congestion
- Run your oils through a diffuser to cleanse and purify the air
- Include in your own natural, homemade cleaner (hint: lemongrass is a great ingredient)