Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria

Essential oils usually used in aromatherapy have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria according to research carried out at The University of Manchester.

Tests revealed that three essential oils killed MRSA and E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just two minutes of contact. The oils can easily be blended and made into soaps and shampoos which could be used by hospital staff, doctors and patients in a bid to eradicate the spread of these deadly `super bugs'.

Researchers are now desperately looking for funding to develop their work and carry out a clinical trial. Peter Warn from the University's Faculty of Medicine who worked on the research said: 'We believe that our discovery could revolutionise the fight to combat MRSA and other `super bugs', but we need to carry out a trial and to do that we need a small amount of funding ' around £30,000.

'We are having problems finding this funding because essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work as they do not see it as commercially viable. Obviously, we find this very frustrating as we believe our findings could help to stamp out MRSA and save lives,' added Peter, who is based at Hope Hospital.

Essential oils are chemical compounds found within aromatic plants, which the plants use to fight off infections. Researchers tested 40 essential oils against ten of the most deadly bacteria and fungi. Two of these oils killed MRSA and E. coli almost instantly, while a third was shown to act over a longer period of time, meaning that any soaps or shampoos made by blending these three oils would be effective over a period of time.

Jacqui Stringer who is Clinical Lead of Complementary Therapies at the Christie Hospital instigated the research and said: 'The use of plants in medicine is nothing new but some people regard the use of essential oils as unconventional. Our research shows a very practical application which could be of enormous benefit to the NHS and its patients.

'The reason essential oils are so effective is because they are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which the MRSA and other super bug bacteria finds difficult to resist. The problem with current treatments is that they are made of single compounds which MRSA relatively quickly becomes resistant to, so treatment is only successful in around 50% of cases.

'While a wide range of products currently exist to help prevent the spread of MRSA these are often unpleasant for patients as their application can cause skin irritation. MRSA is often carried inside the nose which means that patients often have to insert treatments up their nostrils, whereas these essential oils can simply be inhaled to prevent the patient being at risk,' added Jacqui.

Jacqui works with leukaemia patients at the Christie Hospital using essential oils to help in their treatment. Patients receiving treatment for cancer and leukaemia are often left with weakened immune systems which makes them vulnerable to infection from MRSA.

The National Audit Office estimates that infections such as MRSA kill 5,000 people each year and hospital-acquired infections cost the NHS around £1 billion a year.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    The University of Manchester. (2019, June 19). Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 24, 2024 from

  • MLA

    The University of Manchester. "Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria". News-Medical. 24 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    The University of Manchester. "Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria". News-Medical. (accessed July 24, 2024).

  • Harvard

    The University of Manchester. 2019. Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria. News-Medical, viewed 24 July 2024,


  1. Ankur Tandon Ankur Tandon India says:

    Rose Oil is also highly effective of treating dermatitis and other skin related problems. The researches has been done on treatment of leprosy using rose oil.

  2. diana rothang diana rothang United States says:

    OK, aren't you going to tell us which oils?

  3. amanda amanda United States says:

    Well? Which oils are used?

  4. Uchechukwugaeme Uchechukwugaeme Nigeria says:

    What are the Essential Oils used on the MRSA and others?

  5. H. CORRELL H. CORRELL United States says:

    Of course they won't tell you what oils. They are trying to patent these 3 oils so they can charge more for them. Lemongrass, Tea Tree, & Oregano have worked for me as well as adding Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark and Frankincense.

  6. Lynda Clardy Lynda Clardy United States says:

    I will take a bath in these oils daily if I need to ... just tell us how to use them most effectively...

  7. Clarissa Noelle S Clarissa Noelle S United States says:

    10 % Benzoyl Peroxide soap will work topically for staph folliculitis. Also Coconut oil applied in the morning and night.

  8. Michele Spilberg Hart Michele Spilberg Hart United States says:

    My friend treated her MRSA infection using essential oils both internally (which almost every professional aromatherapist in the US recommends against but which can be effective when done with guidance) and topical application (bottom of feet every two hours) using a combination of onguard (combination of clove, wild orange and few other essential oils from an oil company), oregano, frankincense, peppermint and lemon. She took the protocol from a book called Modern Essentials.

  9. Fiona R Bowen Fiona R Bowen United States says:

    I would think that diffusing the oils would be best, since it mentions that MSRA enters through the nose (at least that's what I recall the article saying).  I know the brand of EO's that I sell has a blend I would use if I was in the hospital.

  10. William Pratt William Pratt United States says:

    The researchers from the article aren't interested in helping society, they're in it for themselves and want to make money off of the products. Who cares if thousands of people die from MRSA while they try and figure out a way to produce a sellable product. Sounds like they will all make great CEO's of their new company.

  11. Leann Boustead Moses Leann Boustead Moses United States says:

    This type of article just makes me angry!!  Give us ALL the info will ya??
    Here are a couple HELPFUL articles.

  12. Beverly Thompson Beverly Thompson United States says:

    I was wondering if you could please provide a reference to the cited study, as I would be interested in reading it.. I have searched the internet for any other references and have found none..

  13. Louise Brown Louise Brown Australia says:

    How was the research conducted? Was it in vitro or in Vivo? What was the sample size? Did it reach statistical significance? Great if it's true but doesn't appear to be enough info to back up claim.

  14. sdsioux11 . sdsioux11 . United States says:

    Here's the key 'We are having problems finding this funding because essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work as they do not see it as commercially viable."
    Interpretation: When we get a formula put together, patent it and perform unnecessary already proven clinical results then have to again perform successful multiple double blind studies that we never needed so we can show that we deserve to reap in billions of dollars by helping people recover from this infection. Barf

  15. Sad
    Kellie Pringle Kellie Pringle United States says:

    It saddens me a little that the perception out there from so many commenters is that they won't tell you which oils used because the are trying to make a billion.  While I agree that is likely the case for many out there, I also know that the FDA and other organizations like it have made it difficult for experts and laypeople to make any sort of claims regarding essential oils.  I wonder if they didn't reveal which oils they used because they are trying to keep from crossing the "compliancy" line.  Or maybe they really are looking to find a way to somehow make some money off of it.  I know this - one of the reasons essential oils are considered so taboo these days - when they used to be the ONLY option since the beginning of time - is that they can't be patented.  So as such, no one can really make any money off of them in that sense and therefore like they said in the article, no one will fund the research that proves their effectiveness.  As for me, I don't need the "official" research.  I have seen and felt what they have done for me and my family.  But it saddens me that despite proof and history, these sorts of findings are not more widely accepted and the overall benefit to mankind is not the focus for some.  The funding is out there...I just believe it's just spent on things that can make those providing the funding some additional money.  God bless those people involved on "both sides" of this topic.

  16. K Bronson K Bronson United States says:

    The reason they will not state which oils is that because of FDA restrictions, they are NOT ALLOWED TO.  The key is what they said in the article, they can't find funding because the oils cannot be patented since they are naturally occurring compounds.  I'm a distributor for Young Living oils, and many oils have been found to have these properties, however, if we tell you what they are we can be shut down - even the entire company can be shut down.  They have threatened Young Living with complete shut down unless all distributors comply with not making any claims as to what specific oils can do until a battery of tests is run by people the FDA approves of (nevermind that they are mostly big pharma companies who will not do these studies because, again, they can't make money from something they can't patent).  There are people dying daily who could probably be saved if only the FDA did not have a strangle-hold on the process.  Meanwhile, they approve drugs (and even require certain drugs) that are known to cause cancer, cause major neurological and other problems, and even kill you.  Because those, my friends, make money.  The western medicine system is too caught up in the dollar to be willing to admit or reveal that the human body is interconnected and what impacts one part will impact all.  Drugs go into your bloodstream, therefore, your whole body is being effected when you introduce anything into your bloodstream.  I am ALL FOR people making money, but not at the expense of someone else being sick or dying because something that would end that suffering isn't profitable enough to do what is needed to get it to the public.  The FDA is the biggest problem, here, because it's pockets are interconnected with big pharma and they are both helping each other not let us know what will heal us.

    • Donna Poff Donna Poff United States says:

      Loved what you wrote.  You are so right.  I believe it's about the money and this needs to stop.
      Too many people die of cancer or the cancer reoccurs because no one knows the natural protocol. Our food that is grown, tinkered with genetically or sprayed with insecticides is not good for anyone.  

      I know someone (former sister-in-law) who quit chemo after one session realizing that chemo kills the good cells too and she's still alive after over a decade.  She follows a food diet (Natural).  When she got lazy with her diet, she had to have something removed from her Kidney and I saw a picture of it.  The doctor gave her a few months.  Well, she went right back on the natural protocol and when the doctor continued monitoring her, he was flabbergasted.  She grows her own veggies and eats organic foods only.  Both her parents died of cancer related illnesses.  

      So many things are out there that weren't before the 1950s. I think food containers like Tupperware may be a contributor to a cancer although there may be other things too, i.e. household cleaners.  

      I store leftovers in butcher paper with masking tape and glass jars recycled from pickle and spagetti jars.

  17. Jeanne Watkins Zeltner Jeanne Watkins Zeltner United States says:

    I had MRSA a year ago and almost died.  Please tell me just WHICH oils purchase because it is still in my bloodstream.

    • John Hextall John Hextall United Kingdom says:

      I use a blend from Young Living called 'Thieves' oil. It's quite expensive but fights off all sorts of infections. I usually put a few drops on a scarf tied round my neck and so far it has been very effective. It might be worth trying some of this. Obviously people can't make claims about medical effects without having been through a proper testing regime, and they can't do the tests without substantial funding. It could be worth a try though! Good luck!

  18. Rod Kelly Rod Kelly United States says:

    I contacted this deadly virus back in 96, before they gave it a name.   I spent 7 long hears battling to stay alive because of it.  On 3 separate occasions I did make that transition to the other side. But I always came back...  If this doesn't become mainstream news you can bet your bottom dollar that Giant Pharma has grown kind of fond of the virus.

  19. Julie Nelson Julie Nelson Australia says:

    This is wonderful to see that science is acknowledging this. We have been aware of this for many years. Tea Tree is one that has been used and confirmed.

    I am very pleased to read that they can not patent this and nor should they be able to!

  20. Michael Lind Michael Lind Denmark says:

    It should be illegal to hold back these information from the public. Lets start kicking their asses untill the release this knowledge in details. Stop buying their patented shit and demand new regulations that force them to share all their knowledge and go open source.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
New research could lead to earlier diagnosis and better management of inflammatory bowel disease