Therapeutic essential oils can be used in many different ways for support against MRSA Staph infections due to their antibacterial properties. Uses can include: bathing, skin application, internal use, cleaning, cooking and as ingredients in your soaps and personal care products.
One of the best ways you can benefit from essential oils is to diffuse them into the air to reduce MRSA or Staph bacteria, as this is one way you can get colonized or get infected. Click here for more about airborne MRSA transmission.
People have been using (and diffusing) essential oils for thousands of years. While you can simply add a drop of essential oil to your hands and inhale, it’s much more effective to use a modern essential oil nebulizer (air diffuser). An oil diffuser or nebulizer disperses the oil into the air as a fine mist, making it much easier to benefit from the oil’s aroma, and maximizing it’s ability to kill bacteria.
Benefits of using an essential oil diffuser
Diffusing essential oils is an effective way to get the oil into your body through your lungs. This is a big help for infections of the nose, sinuses, lungs and respiratory tract, as well as other infections. Cold air diffusers are small and simple devices, making them convenient for home and office use and even use while traveling (as long as you have an electrical outlet).
Diffusing essential oils into the air has been scientifically proven to reduce airborne bacteria like MRSA and Staph. In 1955 Keller and Kober found over 175 types of essential oils to be effective in controlling a number of bacteria and fungi in room air, including Staph bacteria. They found twenty-one different essential oils to be the best at reducing or eliminating Staph bacteria when sprayed in an enclosed area.1
Many hospitals in the UK diffuse essential oils in their wards, finding up to a 90% reduction in bacteria in the air.2 There are countless studies that have been performed over the years on various essential oils and their antibacterial activity against MRSA, Staph and other bacteria and fungi. It only makes sense that dispersing these oils into the air would reduce these same bacteria.
Tips for how to use an essential oil diffuser
Cold air diffusers can be found at some health food stores or online, but you need to know what kind to look for. The tips below will help you find the right kind of diffuser and get the most benefit from using it:
- Only use a cold air diffuser. Diffusers that heat essential oils will decrease or eliminate the effectiveness of the oil.
- Be careful when diffusing essential oils that are “hot” or spicy. Some essential oils, including thyme, oregano and cinnamon bark, can irritate and burn your eyes and nose when diffused. If you choose to diffuse more spicy or “hot” oils, be sure to keep away from your face, diffuse slowly at shorter intervals, and only use in a well-ventilated area.
- Diffuse at intervals. It’s generally best to air diffuse in short intervals throughout the day rather than continually for long periods at a time. 15 to 20 minute intervals are commonly used for diffusing. Diffusing too often or for too long may cause irritation and may create a detoxification reaction in your body.
- Many holistic veterinarians caution against using essential oils on or around cats, though this is likely due to the use of inferior perfume grade oils, and not true medicinal quality oils. It’s probably best to keep cats out of any rooms or areas where you are air diffusing.
- As with any natural remedies, be sure to use only the highest quality, authentic therapeutic grade oils for air diffusing. Most essential oils at the health food store fail and I would not use them for medicinal purposes.
- Lavender oil is probably the most commonly diffused oil for its calming and relaxing effects. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are both excellent and mild options for antibacterial action with Staph and MRSA.
1) Kellner and Kobert study from “Medical Aromatheraphy, Healing with Essential Oils”, Kurt Schnaubelt, 1999.
2) Essential oils ‘combat superbug’, Tests of new machine at a hospital have found it could be effective in the battle against the superbug MRSA, BBC NEWS UK, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/6471475.stm