I first wrote on the best antibacterial essential oils in 2014. That was a while ago. There’s been quite a bit of essential oil research since then.
But the original study (from 1999) I looked at still applies. Why? Because it compared the antibacterial activity of 52 oils on ten drug resistant bacteria and fungi. Fifty-two oils! There hasn’t been research comparing so many since then. That’s why the study is still so relevant.
It found three oils stood above the rest:
Thyme and vetiver essential oil had great results too.
I did this graphic a while ago, in my blogspot days. It explains the study I just talked about.
But… Yes, there’s a but. The study didn’t include some powerful antibacterial essential oils like cinnamon!
Good thing more research has been done on more oils.
More Antibacterial Essential Oils
- A review from 2003 looked at 500 reports from 1987 to 2001. It found thyme, oregano, mint, cinnamon, salvia and clove oils were the strongest.
- A 2006 one tested 21 oils. It proved cinnamon, clove, geranium, lemon, lime, orange and rosemary oils were the best.
- A 2012 study showed black pepper, tea tree, copaiba, cinnamon cassia, and clove were pretty good.
- A 2017 one studied 6 oils and found oregano, thyme, clove and arborvitae had very strong activity.
These are a handful of the thousands of studies that look at antibacterial essential oils. Seriously! There are thousands of studies. And new research is published every month.
So what are you favorite antibacterial essential oils? Which ones do you use to clean and disinfect your home? Let me know in the comments section below. My favorites are tea tree, peppermint and thyme.
Post first created: September 2014
Updated: July 2018
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