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Essential Oils and Bacteria

Essential oils of thyme, oregano, rosemary, verbena, basil, peppermint and others were tested against Listeria, Clostridium, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Salmonella, E. coli, and Pseudomonas.

Silva, Alves and Gonçalves report that thyme, oregano and pennyroyal oils showed the greatest antimicrobial activity and basil and mint showed the weakest antimicrobial activity, therefore we would recommend to use these less.

However, the trend was that essential oils killed many types of bacteria. Thyme oil was so powerful it stopped bacteria growth at low doses. Indeed, the mouth has 300-1000 types of bacteria and Listerine lists thymol, a prime agent in killing the bacteria harming teeth and gums, at a surprising low concentration of a mere 0.064%. In our opinion, it cannot be smelled when used at this low level.

Therefore, we wonder if it could be used in low concentrations against biofilms, in food preservation, against resistant bacteria and in other ways.


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