Sure, lots of people (including me) use essential oils because they like the way they smell. Some of them, however, don’t really smell good at all. When I first started buying essential oils, the only place I knew to get them was online so I couldn’t try them before buying. I would be so disappointed when I received any in the mail whose scent I really hated! I thought they were just a complete waste of my money. Now I know better!! It’s important to think about many essential oils as therapeutic substances rather than perfume oils or scents. Besides, the ones that are best known for smelling great tend to be the most expensive ones – rose, sandalwood, neroli, and jasmine. My goal for Botanichl, LLC is to introduce my readers and customers to the health benefits of essential oils. I love having a clean-smelling diffuser blend and a sensual body moisturizer as much as anybody – and I’ll talk about those things in my blog too. But today’s post is all about medicine and is very technical. My nurse, doctor, and other healthcare-knowledgeable friends will probably find this more interesting than some others, but read it and think about the exciting potential of essential oils to our future healthcare needs. This post contains real evidence that essential oils can be used as medicine!
Ajowan is a plant that grows primarily in India, Pakistan, and parts of Iran. Its seeds are used as a spice, the leaves are crushed and placed on skin infections, and the powdered seeds are smelt to decrease the pain from common colds and migraines. In India, the seeds are also chewed to aid digestion & reduce flatulence (I know, gross, but I’m a nurse so nothing bothers me). 5 researchers published a study in the International Journal of Infection that discusses the inhibitory action of ajowan essential oil on bacterial growth. Specifically, ajowan oil shows antibacterial activity against antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, and Escherichia , though at different concentrations. Those of you who love microbiology, keep reading… if it makes your head spin then just skip to the next paragraph! The Staphylococcus aureus being tested was resistant to erythromycin, cefixime, and tetracycline. Ajowan seed oil (ASO) was effective for this strain with a MIC of 1.25 mg/mL. The E. coli used in the study was resistant to erythromycin & tetracycline. ASO was effective against this gram-negative bacteria at a MIC of 2.5 mg/mL. The Klebsiella species in the article was resistant to cefixime & tetracycline. ASO was effective for this strain at a MIC of 5 mg/mL. If you don’t know what a MIC is, it’s defined as the “lowest concentration of an antimicrobial agent that inhibits the visible growth of a microorganism, after a specific incubation time” (Sharifi-Mood et al., 2014, p. 2).
I kind of apologize for the science lesson, but this stuff is very interesting to me! It’s been a really long time since pharmaceutical companies have developed any significant new antibiotics. I’ve learned about and had discussions in healthcare for years about antibiotic resistance and how difficult it is to overcome. Awareness and education are the keys to unlocking society’s ability to “think outside the box” and create new solutions to both old and new problems. Natural, plant-based therapies might just be the best strategy to overcome the shortfalls of traditional medicine. Americans already spend $30 BILLION every year on alternative medicine, so people definitely see a need for change and improvement in the healthcare system we currently have. Botanichl, LLC is at the forefront of this shift towards natural health & wellness.
Sharifi-Mood, B., Shafaghat, M., Metanat, M., Saeidi, S., & Rad, N.S. (2014). The inhibitory effectf of ajowan essential oil on bacterial growth. International Journal of Infection, 1(2), :e19394. doi: 10.17795/iji-19394.
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