Essential Oils and MRSA Staph Infections – Part 1

Business 2.0The latest issue of Business 2.0 has an article entitled Go Green. Get Rich. It lists MRSA staph infections as the eighth biggest challenge and opportunity. Of course, they don’t know the Secret of Thieves and a large variety of essential oils that stop these (not so) superbugs in their tracts.

Some interesting statistics from the article:

  • In 1969 the U.S. surgeon general proclaimed “the war on infectious diseases has been won.”
  • In 1974 just 2% of the most common form of staph infections found in hospitals were resistant to the common antibiotic methicillin. Today more than 60% are impervious to it.
  • This year nearly 2 million Americans will get bacterial infections while in a hospital. 90,000 of them will die.
  • Current estimates place the annual cost of treating drug-resistant infections at more than $10 billion.
  • As ultraresistant strains continue to rise, so will demand—both for treatments and for new ways of preventing the spread of bacteria before it takes root in a person’s body.

According to the authors, “the key to battling these new bugs is developing new classes of antibiotics. But they’re not coming from Big Pharma…” Note to Business 2.0: New classes of “antibiotics” are created every year by nature…in non-toxic forms that are much more effective, far less expensive and much more flexible than Big Pharma could ever hope to create. A more intriguing story would be an investigation of why doctors, hospitals and patients aren’t aware of them. Go to MRSAwatch to see all the exciting medical research taking place around essential oils and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Although authoritative on staph, the site is fairly incompetent when it comes to essential oils simply because natural substances are the step child of modern medicine…natural substances don’t get the research and attention because they can’t be patented. No conspiracy, just economics. If there’s no huge financial reward in it, why should the boards of the pharmaceutical companies waste time validating “wives tales, folk medicine, and voodoo.”

I only highlight this (that essential oils are not their field of expertise) to help explain the next few points…

1. Tea Tree is not necessarily the heavy hitter when it comes to fighting MRSA staph infections. It’s just a very common one…that’s how the doctors happen to cross paths with it every once in awhile. Why do most shark attacks occur in three feet of water? Because that’s where all the people are. Also, the Australian medical profession is much more open to it because (a) Australia is the source of tea tree, (b) tea tree has a long history there, and (c) Australia is more open to natural approaches.

2. I cringe whenever I hear the term “tea tree.” Most Australian’s understand what this term really means and they use it correctly. In America though, you can almost rest assured that someone selling “tea tree” has limited understanding of essential oils. The terms “tea tree” and “melaleuca” are often used interchangeably with no depth of understanding. In reality, there are many types of melaleuca plants, each with its own unique therapeutic properties. Young Living sells three types of melaleuca. Melaleuca alternafolia is the specific name for the true tea tree—a slang term used in Australia where the oil originated.

3. Blends of essential oils have proven to have a synergistic effect—the power of the blend is much greater than the sum of the power of each of the individual oils. Young Living’s Melrose, Thieves and Longevity blends come to mind if I were put in a position to fight off a MRSA staph infection. Melrose is a powerful combo of rosemary, two types of melaleuca, and clove. Research with the Thieves blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary has shown that it is amazingly effective at creating an unfriendly environment for bacteria. The Longevity blend contains oils that are legendary for their health benefits, including thyme, clove and frankincense.

4. As hinted at in #2, the medical profession has not yet recognized the importance of quality relating to the therapeutic value of natural substances. This is why there are so many contradicting reports. For example, one study will show the vitamin E is good, the other will show it is harmful. In this case, the first study was done on naturally occurring vitamin E, the second was done on synthetically manufactured vitamin E. It’s akin to comparing breast milk to baby formula. They simply aren’t the same thing and never will be.

Business 2.0 is a magazine that revels in creative destruction—the idea that thousands of entrepreneurs with creative solutions are constantly stripping away the influence of big businesses stuck in outdated paradigms. The Business 2.0 folks missed the mark this time by spotlighting a drug manufacturer with yet another expensive and toxic drug to which superbugs will develop resistance. I say the folks who will really capitalize on this opportunity are the thousands of Young Living entrepreneurs who are helping the world rediscover the power of age-old, therapeutic-grade essential oils…to which MRSA have never developed a resistance.

Essential Oils and MRSA – Part 2

Essential Oil Blends, Essential Oils

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