Candles With Essential Oils Kill Bacteria

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Candles With Essential Oils Kill Bacteria

Post by moose_goose » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:51 am

Candles With Essential Oils Kill Bacteria
Flame and Oils Work Together, Say British Researchers
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Medical NewsNov. 19, 2004 -- Candles containing certain essential oils can do more than set a mood and smell pretty. They can also kill bacteria, according to a new British study.

The finding shows a new way to destroy bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph) on surfaces, say researchers Lindsey Gaunt, PhD, and Sabrina Higgins of England's University of Southampton.

Gaunt and Higgins worked on the project with John Hughes, a professor at the university's Bioelectrostatics Research Centre. They presented their study in Tokyo at the sixth joint symposium of the International Electrostatics Society of Japan and the Electrostatics Society of America.

The scientists made their own essential oil candles and tested them against the two common bacteria.

Staph and E. coli can both spread easily and cause skin infection and food poisoning respectively. There are hundreds of strains of E. coli, most of which live harmlessly in the digestive tracts of humans and animals; however, some strains produce a powerful toxin.

The scientists used essential oils of orange, palmarosa, may chang, thyme, and an element of tea tree oil called beta-pinene.

They burned each candle for one, three, or five hours in an airtight chamber containing E. coli and staph bacteria.

For comparison, the researchers also tested plain wax candles without essential oils and evaporated essential oils in water on a hot plate.

The candles containing beta-pinene and may chang did the best job of killing the bacteria. Both were almost 100% effective, virtually wiping out the bacteria.

The staph bacteria were killed within an hour, but it took five hours for the beta-pinene candle to destroy the E. coli bacteria.

The other essential oils had varying effects.

For instance, orange oil worked better against E. coli, while palmarosa was more effective against staph. That's probably due to the different chemical composition of the oils, say the researchers.

In contrast, the plain wax candle had no effect on bacteria, and vapor created by the essential oil also had little to no impact on the bacteria.

The candle flame and essential oil components appear to work together for a sterilizing effect, say the researchers. ... l-bacteria

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Post by Rose of Sharon » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:36 pm an essential oil mist would be good for killing bacteria?

It is interesting, but I'm not sure how useful it is. I don't have any airtight rooms.

Amazing these people can make a living testing out some of these theories. I would LOVE to burn an EO candle and know that I've killed icky illness-causing germs. I just don't think I can take that confidence out of this study, sadly.

I sure would like to make the money they probably made playing with candles that smell nice, though! :lol:

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Post by sacredherbals » Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:37 pm

There are alot of essential oils that are anti bacterial. Tea tree, Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus to name a few. You can burn essential oils in an oil burner to clean up the air and, it smells good too :D

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EO candles

Post by SDorje » Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:47 pm

I realize this is a fairly old thread, but I would like to add my views. First, I've always thought that heat destroyed, or at least lessened EO active properties. Tests from Germany and France have shown that diffusing EO is effective at eliminating or reducing bacteria. No heat, just air and droplets (mist).

I find it kind of humorous that WEBMD is even doing a study. They are pretty much against, or want to control CAM's for themselves. Just my views.... Thanks
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Post by Breathe » Sat Feb 09, 2008 7:40 pm

Either the article is poorly written or I question the validity.

Has anyone ever tried to burn a candle (much less for hours) in an "air-tight container?" Yeah. Hmm.
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Post by Galaxy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:35 am

I agree with you Breathe

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Post by AngEngland » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:19 am

I read a study about a burn ward in a Great Britain hospital that diffused Geranium throughout. The weeks they diffused Geranium essential oil they had 90% fewer secondary infections (always a HUGE risk for serious burn victims).

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Post by essentialie » Fri Apr 25, 2008 6:19 am

It's quite factual that a great many essential oils have anti-bacterial and even anti-viral properties. But I, too, would like to know more about this study, and how it is even possible to burn a candle in an airtight room. :roll:

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Essential Oils

Post by essentialoil0 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:09 pm

Hi, This is a web site that i have seen while browsing.

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Post by kathryn » Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:11 pm

I make candles and the heat to melt the wax would kill off many medicinal oils depending on their flashpoint.

I also make cold process soaps and the same goes there. The soap reaction with the lye gets to around 140 degrees and that definitely burns off medicinal value of essential oils, but does leave the scent intact (usually). So on that note, there's no need to purchase a soap for the medicinal value because whatever value of the essential oil was probably burned off in the making, whether hot process or cold process soap.

Most, if not all, commercial candle and soap companies are using food grade essential oils, meaning there is no medicinal value at all-- only the scent.

For the full medicinal value of the oils, a room spray works really well. Just clean out or purchase a spray bottle and add the oils to water and shake very well. Some people go by a recipe but I use a 2 oz bottle and add various dropperful amounts if I'm making a particular blend to total one or two dropper fulls (yeah, very scientific!!). One type of oil only maybe 1/2 dropper full. I also drop the oils in before adding the water, so I can adjust the scent first.

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