Evidence Based Essential Oil Therapy to Support the Urinary System
Scientists have been investigating the interaction of essential oils and various pathogens for a long time now and they are publishing some promising work, clues to help us support our health with natural solutions.
UTIs develop when a person has an overgrowth of bacteria in their urinary tract, Nearly 85% of UTI are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli). To address a UTI, we have to have a solution that has the potential to kill this type of bacteria..
The following essential oils are represented in recent studies:
Bergamot Citrus bergamia
- actually many of the citrus oils are mentioned often in the literature.
Clove Eugenia caryophyllata
A 2016 study suggests that clove oil may help to kill E. coli, particularly when the bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.
Oregano Origanum vulgare
A 2012 study found that oregano oil could slow or stop the growth of E. coli and other bacteria. The bacteria strains used in the study resisted other treatments, which means oregano oil may also kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A 2015 study that compared the effectiveness of oregano and lavender oils found that oregano had higher antimicrobial properties, suggesting that it can fight bacteria such as E. coli.
Thyme is always an oil that I think of first when considering protective properties. It's a little milder than Oregano as well.
Cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Cinnamaldehyde, the chemical that gives cinnamon its flavor, may inhibit the growth
of E. coli. The oil and the spice may also help to prevent UTIs from recurring. In addition to using cinnamon oil, a person might consider adding powdered cinnamon to their diet.
Those of you who struggle with recurring UTI, add cinnamon to tea or coffee or favorite diffuse blends - it just may be what make the difference!
Lavender Lavendula augustofolia
Research suggests that lavender can kill bacteria, fungi, viruses, It may also act as an antioxidant.
Research published in 2015, for example, found that lavender and oregano oils, separately and in combination, may inhibit the growth of, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).
Tea Tree Melaleuca alternafolia
In his book, Medical Aromatherapy, Kurt Schnaubelt recommends two dorps of tea treee oil, internally, every twenty minutes ofr the first 4-6 hours. He also recommends Oregano oil as an option - one drop every hour, four times.
Authors of a 2013 study propose that some herbal oils are effective against E. coli and other bacteria. These include:
I love this because one of my favorite blends contains all of these oils! AromaTouch, is doTERRA’s proprietary massage blend. It is a combination of oils known to provide relaxing and comforting effects. It is so much more than that, AromaTouch combines our essential oils of Cypress, Peppermint, Marjoram, Basil, Grapefruit, and Lavender essential oils - all oils that are researched for their protective properties.
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus radiata
Eucalyptus oil may combat a wide range of bacteria. This makes it a good option when a person is unsure which type of bacteria is causing the infection.
A 2016 study identified compounds in eucalyptus oil that may explain its antibacterial properties. The researchers found that eucalyptus may kill or slow the growth of E. coli, S. aureus,
Cumin and Coriander
Cumin oil became even more effective when used in combination with some antibiotics, suggesting that it may be a complementary treatment. Like Cumin, Coriander oil was more effective when paired with antibiotics.
Good point to make here is that using essential oils, choosing natural solutions, is not an all or nothing choice. Essential oils can also work with our allopathic approaches - take the antibiotics prescribed - and add essential oils into your plan to address the root cause and support overall health.
Once you have chosen the oil you want to use - what do you do with it???
Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically or internally.
Many Aromatherapists will say not ever to use them without consulting an Aromatherapist - Well, I get to be that for you. Internal use is not to be taken lightly and really I can only speak for doTERRA essential oils because they are the oils that I know and trust. There may be other companies who offer pure oils, but I don't know of any who put the work into assuring quality and purity as doTERRA does.
In this case, I would begin with all three - topical application and an inhaled option as well as an internal option. Rememeber if you are also being treated by a Provider - full transparency about your preference to use essential oils is a must.
When applied topically, essential oils are best used diluted in a carrier oil. The usual recipe is 3 to 5 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a popular choice. There are some oils that should should only be used if diluted (Oregano would definitely be one of those, it can be very hot on the skin).
Essential oils should not be applied to mucous membranes of the vagina or urethra. The mixture of essential oils you choose can be applied to areas around the inner thighs, mons pubis - the fatty tissue that lies just over the joint of the pubic bones. Diluted essential oils can also be safely used in a warm compress on skin near the affected area.
Another option would be to add a few drops of diluted oils to a bath may promote relaxation and provide temporary relief from pain. Remember that oil and water don't mix, oils will sit on the top of the water and then your skin and with some oils - that isn't going to feel good! So, Mix 5-20 drops of essential oil per ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) of your chosen bath base. Either use this amount for one bath, or make up a larger quantity for future use (Tisserand). You can safely use solubol, castile soap, shampoo, shower gel, vegetable oil - fractionated coconut oil, bath oils
A couple recipes:
Lavender - 5 drops
Marjoram - 5 drops
General rule with essential oils: It is best to use small amounts of high-quality essential oils diluted in a carrier oil, you cannot go wrong using doTERRA oils -the oils that I trust.
Now, when you have trouble - consider this and take this to your Provider and share your goal of minimizing antibiotic use when possible and ask that outcomes be measured to help you track the effectiveness of your chosen method of management. It is not advised to take matter into your own hands, you should seek medical advice from a provider who will listen and honor your preferences.... And consult with your Certified Professional Nurse Aromatherapist!
Wellness Advocate, BSN,RN