In a world where we discover new bacteria and other potential hazards almost on a daily basis, and where traditionally prescribed antibiotics are failing, it is helpful to understand how antibacterial essential oils can play a part as antibacterial agents. Here, we examine 10 of the best antibacterial essential oils on the market. Let's get started.

10 of the Best Antibacterial Essential Oils

These essential oils have all been shown to have antibacterial properties. See the unique benefits of each of these ten antibacterial essential oils to help you and your family combat illness.

1. Peppermint Essential Oil — Mentha piperita

Peppermint essential oil has many uses that range from a topical to an oral rinse. It is a complex oil that has been used as herb, flavoring, and more for thousands of years. Its versatility as one of the antibacterial essential oils makes peppermint a top choice for most health concerns. There are strong antibacterial capabilities, but that is just the tip of the iceberg from this amazing plant.

Peppermint essential oil is a complex ingredient that has benefited man for thousands of years. In this study, which appeared in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, peppermint essential oil was shown to be an effective treatment for all 22 types of bacteria used in the study. These included both gram-positive cocci bacteria and rods as well as gram-negative rods. This makes peppermint essential oil one of the more well-rounded antibacterial essential oils [1].

2. Tea Tree Essential Oil — Melaleuca alternifolia 

Tea Tree essential oil has a long history as a curative and tool for wound treatment. And now it seems to be the new wonder ingredient in many products. It has a strong, pungent odor and powerful antibacterial action. However, its usage goes far beyond that of antibacterial essential oils and includes skin treatment, cosmetics, and as a blending ingredient in special recipes for health.

In a study that appeared on the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health's site, they discussed the fact that tea tree is an antibacterial essential oil that may provide a treatment for wound therapy against antibiotic resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)[2]. The article is quick to point out that major medically backed studies are absent. However, tea tree oil shows a lot of promise and might be an answer for people who suffer from MRSA type bacterial infections. Read more about replacing antibiotics with tea tree oil.

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3. Lavender Essential Oil — Lavandula angustifolia 

Lavender essential oil, like peppermint essential oil, has a long and rich history as a versatile treatment for many different conditions. Lavender is prized for its ability to help reduce emotional stress, improve sleep, and even to help us look younger.

In a study that appeared in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine site, the benefits of lavender essential oil was shown to be an effective agent against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria  [3]. Lavender Essential Oil is an ancient medicinal agent with a long list of healing benefits. Read more about the healing powers of Lavender Essential Oil.

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Eucalyptus globulus

Eucalyptus essential oil is perhaps best known for its respiratory benefits. The powerful smelling eucalyptus essential oil not only invigorates the body but also works well as both an antibacterial and antifungal agent.

Eucalyptus essential oil, like peppermint essential oil, appeared in a study found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website. The study compared ten essential oils and their antibacterial properties against 22 gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria [4]. Like peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil was effective against all 22 strains of bacteria in the test. Discover 8 unique uses for Eucalyptus Essential Oil and its benefits beyond being an antibacterial essential oil.

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5. Oregano Essential Oil — Origanum heracleoticum

Oregano essential oil is an oil made from an herb that was used in early civilizations to help prevent food from spoiling. That history points strongly to this essential oil as both an antifungal and antibacterial agent.

A study that appeared on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's site [5] tested the ability of oregano essential oil as an antibacterial agent against two types of bacteria — Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The results outlined in the study show oregano as having an effect on both bacterial strains with a greater effect against Escherichia coli. Each test pitted oregano essential oil against 20 strains of each bacteria where it was victorious. Read more about these 6 healing benefits of Oregano Essential Oil.

6. Palma Rosa Essential Oil — Cymbopogon martini

Palma Rosa essential oil is not a rose at all but a grass with amazing restorative properties. It has long been used as an aid for digestive issues but it also is a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent too. It is an excellent tool for reducing fevers.

Palma rosa essential oil was one of the ten essential oils tested against 22 strains of bacteria in a study that appeared on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's site [1]. Palma rosa essential oil was shown to be an effective treatment against 21 one of those bacterial strains. It did not have a perfect score, but it has amazing results as an antibacterial agent. Discover the Daily Essential Oils User Guide by Dr. Eric Z.

Antibacterial Essential Oils: The Top 10 Choices for Bacterial Infections

7. Orange Essential Oil —  Citrus sinensis

Orange essential oil is used to help improve the quality of our immune system. It also helps to regulate inflammation and can be used to regulate digestion. As a topical, orange essential oil is wonderful for the care of skin blemishes.

According to a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, orange essential oil is one of four oils that is most effective on all 22 strains of bacteria. [1] The study tested the effectiveness of ten essential oils and measured their effectiveness as antibacterial agents. Orange, lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus were the only four essential oils of the group to impact all 22 samples of bacteria. You can learn more about benefits of Citrus Essential Oils at this link.

8. Lemongrass Essential Oil — Cymbopogon citrullus 

Lemongrass essential oil has been used traditionally for treatment of muscle pain and as a powerful antibacterial. This is an oil that is found in many skin care products because it helps produce relaxation and soothes away stress, and it can also be a curative for headaches.

Lemongrass essential oil is a powerful antibacterial agent. It joined three other prominent essential oils (Orange, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus) as one of four essential oils to affect all 22 types of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria in a study that looked at the activity of ten essential oils used in vitro  [1]. Discover the 8 Ways Lemongrass Essential Oil Can Heal.

9. Geranium Essential Oil — Pelargonium graveolens

Geranium essential oil is a broad acting essential oil that helps to regulate hormones, treat acne, and to calm us as it relieves anxiety and depression. Geranium is known to be an effective for skin issues, such as eczema. Discover the 5 healing properties of Geranium Essential Oil.

Geranium essential oil was an effective essential oil against 15 of the 22 strains of bacteria that appeared in a study found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's website [1]. While it was not as powerful against all 22 strains of bacteria tested, it was very effective against certain types of bacteria. The other part of this study included testing against 12 types of fungal — 3 yeast-like and 9 filamentous — and geranium essential oil was effective against all 12 strains of fungi. This suggests that geranium essential oil is a perfect choice when you want to combat both bacteria and fungi.

10. Citronella Essential Oil — Cymbopogon nardus

Citronella essential oil is potent and its use in aromatherapy helps to relieve respiratory infections and inflammation. It is often part of anti-aging products because it has a positive effect against free radicals. Discover how Citronella Essential Oil Heals.

In terms of the study on the U.S. National Library of Medicine's website, citronella essential oil matched the effectiveness of geranium essential oil by impacting 15 of the 22 strains of bacteria tested; it was also capable of taking down all 12 strains of fungi. Citronella is well known as a deterrent for mosquitoes, and now it can respectfully add to its resume its effective use against bacteria and especially against fungi [1].

These ten antibacterial essential oils offer a great defense against bacterial infections. In addition, most of these oils are powerful agents that treat a variety of health issues from stress, anxiety, and depression, to physical ailments such as acne, hormonal imbalance, and muscle pain. Click on the links in this article to find additional resources that contain more information about all of these important antibacterial essential oils.

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