Sunday, November 6, 2011

Aromatherapy vs MRSA

Because of my own "near death experience" from having MRSA in my bloodstream, I've been eager to find ways that the general public can protect themselves against these potentially deadly strains of Staph.

In 2006, Debi Rodriguez, one of Jane Buckle's instructors, and a nurse/researcher at St. Clare's Hospital in Wisconsin contacted us about doing some research to see if topical blends of Lavender and Tea Tree oils could indeed kill MRSA. The answer was a resounding yes, in the laboratory.  We tested a wide range of dilutions, in soap and in aloe vera, and when Debi was satisfied, our MERCY line of products was launched.

Almost two years ago St. Clare's published this article describing the sorts of success Debi has had with the MERCY product line.

We've not had the opportunity to do clinical testing to establish the effectiveness of these products; if we *did* do the testing then the government would probably insist that we were selling drugs, not cleansers and skincare products, so it is probably just as well. In the five years since we've made the MERCY products available we've had amazing feedback, some of which has been shared in this blog and in our newsletter.  We know MERCY can make a difference in people's lives.

Fast forward.  In the Spring of 2009, Maggie Tisserand contacted us with information about some of the testing that had been done on her new essential oil blend, named "Benchmark Thyme" - a blend of several different cultivars, designed to give the gentleness of Thyme Linalol, with the antibacterial effectiveness of Tea Tree oil.  At that time, Maggie told us of research indicating that Benchmark Thyme was more effective than Tea Tree oil at killing the bacteria causing MRSA.  But we could not see the research; she was keeping it for her book.

I was frustrated, and a bit skeptical, but we brought in our first couple of kilos of Benchmark Thyme.  Some clinicians started working with it, and reported successful results, but with the known efficacy of our MERCY products, we saw no need to change any formulas.  For quite a long time, Nature's Gift was the only North American source for the oil.

We waited, impatiently, for the book to arrive.  This summer, we received our review copy of the book, and a handful of others to share with those who might be best able to use the information.  Is it any surprise that my first copy went to Debi Rodriguez?

The book does, indeed, show that Benchmark Thyme has a faster "kill rate" than does Tea Tree Oil.    More than that it gives both the health care professional and the layman good solid *valuable* information on how to protect themselves against this "superbug."

I remember after my hospitalization with MRSA my doctor prescribing an antibacterial ointment to be put in my nostrils, to lower the bacterial count.  Maggie suggests using any one of several antibacterial essential oils, Benchmark Thyme, of course, being one of them, but others - Manuka, Fragonia, Tea Tree, Clary Sage - also being effective. A 1% dilution,  in Jojoba, applied with a cotton swab nightly can "decolonize" the nostrils, a common place that MRSA hides. As time allows, I will repost more of Maggie's suggestions.  If you can't (or shouldn't) wait, please order the book from her at the link below. 

With the increasing incidents of "community based" MRSA (as opposed to MRSA caught in a hospital) it become more and more important that we take responsibility for our own wellbeing, and be proactive against this major threat.    Maggie gives suggestions for defending our selves, with formulas for "aromatic waters" to gargle and wash wounds,  blends and dilutions for both washing and treating broken skin to prevent infection, methods to keep our environment safe, concerns about pets, infants, the elderly.  This appears to be a valuable handbook.

Personally, I've been excited to read the alternative treatments suggested. Because of my wellknown allergy/sensitivity to Lavender essential oil, I can't use our MERCY line of products; so finding other suggestions has been a gift.  More important though, the MERCY products have a stronger dilution of the essential oil blend than I am comfortable having people use on a daily basis.  If, by working with the Benchmark Thyme, or with some of the other suggested essential oils, we can come up with an equally effective blend in lower dilutions;  or even just blends that are as effective using different oils, so that people can 'trade off' occassionally - this would be a good thing.

I've sent the book to Debi. I've sent some Benchmark Thyme to Debi. Now we wait for her to go into the lab and see what happens.

Maggie Tisserand's book,  Aromatherapy vs MRSA, is available directly from Maggie at this link.  We contemplated bringing the book in but given the cost of shipping, the disastrous exchange rates, it will be just as effective for our clients and friends to order direct from the UK.


Ann said...

What would be a good way for us to use the benchmark thyme? I've wondered about having something to wash with after I leave my taekwondo dojang. I know they bleach the mats, but....the place is a big, semi-carpeted warehouse space, and it has got to be crawling with interesting flora and fauna, and I've got a medically compromised guy at home. Is a body wash too fleeting to be useful? Any other ideas?

Marge said...

Ann we KNOW a body wash is effective; did you see the case studies I posted after this article? One used our MERCY body wash. I think the Benchmark Thyme could be used in a body wash... most effective if you could leave the 'soap' on for 5 to 10 mins before rinsing off. Another alternative - an aloe based gel... a leave on product. Other alternatives that Maggie suggests to 'decolonize' the ares where the nasties are most apt to hide... the jojoba nasal swab mentioned in the article.. dissolve the EO in distilled water, shake VERY well and gargle. but yes, a body wash or gel should be effective. (Now watch my least favorite come down on me for this answer.!)

medical accident said...

Aromatherapy is some thing that how you can be mentioned as a good smelled, in case of MRSA its some thing else.

Marge said...

If you are saying using the oils to combat MRSA is *not* aromatherapy...well, sorry, but if that isn't a perfect example of the healing uses of essential oils I don't know what is. sorry, but you comment isn't clear.