In a world where bacteria seem to be ever evolving into increasingly dangerous forms, society struggles to find effective solutions. The majority of current research is centered around finding high-tech pharmaceutical solutions for fighting bacteria. What if the solution was right in front of us in the form of readily available and all-natural substances? Drug resistant bacteria are becoming a serious threat. The goal of this experiment is to determine the efficacy of essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree, thyme, oregano, lavender and grapefruit in being able to control or destroy bacteria. The oils (independent variable) were put into petri dishes with agar and bacteria and left to incubate at 38 degrees celsius for 66 hours. After incubation the growth of bacteria (dependent variable) on each plate was observed and measured.
The plates treated with Thyme, Tea Tree, and Peppermint were shown to have little to no bacteria growth present in the vicinity of the treated paper. The plate treated with Grapefruit grew 15 large and medium colonies and was the least resistance. The experiment showed that Thyme, Tea Tree and Peppermint can be used effectively to treat and control bacteria growth. This is important, as essential oils are readily available and are generally not considered to have the significant side effects of the strongest pharmaceuticals. It points to the need to further investigate essential oils to determine if there are other oils that might be even more effective at controlling bacteria and some of the superbugs that threaten us.
The question was tested by preparing petri dishes with agar and then adding bacterium. Small samples of a sterile paper, treated with the six different types of essential oil, were then placed on the agar and the plates were then placed in an incubator at 38 degrees celcius for __ hours to determine if the oils were effective at controlling bacteria growth and, if so, which were most effective.
Can essential oils be an effective antibacterial?
When bacteria are exposed to essential oils they will be observed to have less growth in the area of treatment.