Herbs & Superfoods - - Using Herbs In The Home -

Many herbs have po­tent dis­in­fec­tant prop­er­ties, but some are more pow­er­ful than oth­ers. In one Australian study (pub­lished 1999), 52 plant oils and ex­tracts were tested against 10 micro­organ­isms, in­clud­ing E. coli, sal­mo­nella, can­dida and staph. The top-per­form­ing herbs in­cluded bay, lemon­grass and oregano, which in­hib­ited all or­gan­isms at con­cen­tra­tions of less than or equal to 2 per cent. Rose­wood, co­rian­der, pal­marosa, tea tree, niaouli, pep­per­mint, spearmint, sage and mar­jo­ram in­hib­ited all or­gan­isms ex­cept the com­mon Gram-neg­a­tive bac­terium Pseu­domona aerug­i­nosa at less than or equal to 2 per cent. Six oils – pump­kin, macadamia, evening primrose, apri­cot ker­nel and sweet al­mond – and the es­sen­tial oil clary sage, failed to in­hibit any or­gan­isms at the high­est con­cen­tra­tion, which was 2 per cent. Myrrh and cy­press in­hib­ited Gram-positive or­gan­isms only, while car­rot, patchouli, san­dal­wood and ve­tiver in­hib­ited Gram-positive bac­te­ria and Can­dida al­bi­cans only. Man­darin oil in­hib­ited Can­dida al­bi­cans at 2 per cent, while bac­te­ria were not in­hib­ited at less than or equal to 2 per cent. None of the oils in­hib­ited Gram-neg­a­tive bac­te­ria only.

Two laven­ders were tested, one sourced from France and one from Tas­ma­nia. The re­sults differed. When tested against E. coli, the French sourced laven­der in­hib­ited this micro­organ­ism at a 0.5 per cent con­cen­tra­tion while the Tas­ma­nian sourced laven­der in­hib­ited it at 0.25 per cent. For many of the other micro­organ­isms laven­der was tested against, the rate of in­hi­bi­tion for both laven­ders was greater than 2 per cent.

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