Antibiotic resistance is becoming a real problem in the medical field. In fact, it may be one of the most important health challenges of this century.
The overuse of antibiotics in farm animals used for human consumption, combined with the over-prescribing of antibiotics in humans by doctors in cases where they are not needed are contributing to this problem. The more disease-causing bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, the more they develop resistance to them.
The cost of antibiotic resistance is staggering
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria caused over two million illnesses in the United States in 2013, and 23,000 deaths. This number will only increase as farmers and doctors continue to misuse antibiotics.
A report by the government of the United Kingdom recently estimated that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could cause more than 10 million deaths by 2050 – costing the world trillions of dollars in healthcare costs in the process.
Wait a minute: There is an intelligent alternative to antibiotics
The rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria means there is a critical need to find alternatives to combat these “superbugs.” Thankfully, essential oils are proving to be promising in this area.
There has been only limited research done in the area of essential oil substitutions for antibiotics in humans and animals, but the results of the studies that have been done are encouraging.
Can essential oils really help people with bacterial issues?
A 2011 Italian study discovered that a mixture of thyme and clove essential oils was equally as effective at treating bacterial vaginosis as traditional antibiotics.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine clearly demonstrated staph wounds healing more quickly with tea tree oil vapor than with regular antibiotics.
In addition, a December 2013 study in the Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research showed a lemongrass oil hand gel got rid of MRSA – which boosted previous research that showed MRSA could be cleared by tea tree oil with more effectiveness than even the strongest traditional antibiotics.
Essential oils offer real hope for eliminating the threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria
The results of these and other studies are encouraging, because they show that antibiotic resistant bacteria can be defeated. This gives hope to millions of people – especially healthcare workers, who are affected by the problem of antibiotic resistance every day.
Scientists continue to experiment with single essential oils and combinations of them, and the results are consistently clear. Bottom line, the benefits of essential oils – as effective substitutes for antibiotics – is real.
Let’s face it: Something has to be done about the problem of antibiotic overuse and the superbugs it is creating. Getting antibiotics out of the food supply at the agricultural level is a start.
And, of course, encouraging doctors to stop over-prescribing these drugs is another crucial step in the right direction. But, let’s not forget, finding alternatives to antibiotics that work just as well or better than traditional drugs is the third piece of the puzzle. Essential oils are proving time and time again in the lab that they may just be the answer to our health concerns.