“We are facing a huge crisis worldwide not having an antibiotics pipeline.” She added, “It is bad now, and the infectious disease docs are frantic. But what is worse is the thought of where we will be five to 10 years from now.” – Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told the New York Times June 2, 2013
According to Airase.org, “No one had to promise Mother Nature $200,000 to create antibiotics. Polish researchers at the Medical University of Lodz report in a new 2013 study that basil and rosemary essential oils have promise as effective antibacterial agents.”
Researchers identified multiresistant bacteria for which there are currently few available treatment options:
- Acinetobacter baumannii
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Stenotrophomonas maltiphilia
- SomeKlebsiella pneumoniae
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
- S. aureus with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin and/or linezolid
- Methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci
- Vancomycin-resistant enterococci
- Multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, rapidly growing mycobacteria, Mycobacterium avium complex2
Just how bad are these deadly outbreaks? Statistics are very difficult to find. The Centers for Disease Control director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, managed to give 17 pages of Congressional testimony on this topic in 2010 without divulging a single statistic on how many Americans have died from multidrug-resistant bacteria.3
Purdue University reported March 27, 2013, that “superbugs” are linked to tens of thousands of deaths yearly in the U.S. with C. difficile killing 14,000 annually and MRSA 19,000.4 A report from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease stated that “Some 440,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) are identified each year, causing at least 150,000 deaths from a disease that should be curable. Extensively drug-resistant TB, which has an even higher fatality rate, has now been reported in more than 65 countries.”5 Did you catch that new term: Extensivelydrug-resistant TB? If the resistance gallops all the way to “greatly” and finally “completely,” will we have the unwieldy acronym CGEMDR-TB?
A June 2013 New York Times article had more news to report. The Health and Human Services Department announced in May 2013 that it will award $40 million to GlaxoSmithKline to help develop new medicines against antibiotic-resistantpathogens. The Times article reported that “Under the plan, the federal government could give the drug company as much as $200 million over the next five years.”6
The most shocking news we have saved for last. In response to the NYT article, the president and chief executive of a biopharmaceutical company wrote a letter to the editor. All caught up in some kind of righteous indignation, this executive said that the legislation to spur development of new antibiotics will have limited impact.
He wrote, “The unmentioned and perhaps larger issue is that many, including physicians, insurers and pharmacists, expect antibiotics, which may cure us of a potentially fatal infection, to be virtually free. In contrast, treatments for cancer, which may extend life for a few months but not cure patients, commonly command prices of tens of thousands of dollars. . . . In fact, it is the absence of market incentives that drives the abandonment of antibiotic development, the overuse of cheap generics and the consequent resistance crisis we face today.”7 (Emphasis added.)
Do you understand what this pharmaceutical company executive just said? That many people expect the antibiotics “which may cure” us to be virtually free, when the cancer drugs “which may extend life for a few months but not curepatients commonly command prices of tens of thousands of dollars.” (Emphasis added.) In other words, since you will pay exorbitant drug prices for not curing cancer, there should be hefty financial incentives for the drugs that may cure people’s infections. What an amazing admission of avarice!
Essential Oil Efficacy to the Rescue
No one had to promise Mother Nature $200,000 to create antibiotics. Polish researchers at the Medical University of Lodz report in a new 2013 study that basil and rosemary essential oils have promise as effective antibacterial agents.
After citing the “considerable therapeutical problems of persistent infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacterial strains,” the researchers stated their aim was “to demonstrate the activities of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oils against multidrug-resistant clinical strains of Escherichia coli.”8 The two essential oils were tested against standard strain Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 as well as 60 other clinical strains of E. coli.
E. coli is often in the news with sad tales of children and adults suffering and even succumbing to this wicked bacteria. The North Carolina Public Health epidemiology page gave these E. coli statistics:
“Each year in the United States, E. coli infections cause approximately 265,000 illnesses and about 100 deaths. Approximately 40 percent of these infections are caused by the strain E. coli O157:H7, a strain that is part of the shiga toxin-producing group of E. coli bacteria (STEC). The other 60 percent of E. coli cases are caused by non-0157:H7 shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).”9
For this study, E. coli strains were obtained from patients suffering from infections of the respiratory tract, abdominal cavity, urinary tract, skin, and from hospital equipment (not a comforting thought). Inhibition of microbial growth was tested by agar dilution, while susceptibility testing was carried out using disc diffusion.
Happily for humanity, “The results showed that both tested essential oils are active against all of the clinical strains from Escherichia coli,including extended-spectrum β-lactamase positive bacteria, but basil oil possesses a higher ability to inhibit growth. These studies may hasten the application of essential oils in the treatment and prevention of emergent resistant strains in nosocomial infections.”10
Truly, may this study and hundreds of others on essential oil efficacy against drug-resistant bacteria forward the cause of using essential oils in the battle against “superbugs.”
Also important is using the proper essential oil to achieve the results mentioned above. 98% of the oils on the market lack the original plant constituents in the proper amounts to achieve a medicinal effect. This is why we use an essential oil that can be ingested, inhaled and applied topically. Learn more about what oil we use here, and how to get your own protection.
Credit to http://www.airase.org for this article and amazing research.
- Charles PG, Grayson ML, “The dearth of new antibiotic development: why we should be worried and what we can do about it, Med J Aust. 2004 Nov 15;181(10):549-53.
- NYT, op cited.
- Sienkiewicz M, op cited.