A little taste of what’s to come with the Johns Hopkins clinical study. You may remember my post following our ONE Convention in 2016… Nicole M Parrish Ph.D intrigued all of us with her research with doTERRA Essential Oils!
Antibiotic resistance is emerging at an alarming rate, outpacing current research and development efforts to combat this trend. As a result, many infectious diseases have become difficult to treat; in some cases, no treatment options exist. The search for new antibiotics must accelerate to avoid returning to the ‘pre-antibiotic’ era. Ancient remedies, including essential oils and their components, have been explored on a limited basis as a source of new antimicrobials. Many are known to possess significant antimicrobial activity against a wide range of microorganisms. Elucidation of the mechanism of action of these compounds may lead to identification new antibiotic targets. Such targets, once identified, may represent biosynthetic or regulatory pathways not currently inhibited by available drugs. Novel drugs and targets are vital for continued control of infectious diseases worldwide.
Essential oils; Antibiotic resistance; New antibiotics
Not long ago, we thought we had conquered infectious disease. The scourge of mankind had been vanquished by the discovery of antibiotics.
“…we can look forward with confidence to a considerable degree of freedom from infectious diseases at a time not too far in the future. Indeed…it seems reasonable to anticipate that within some measurable time…all the major infections will have disappeared….” .
The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized medicine; the increasing emergence of antibiotic resistance threatens to return medicine to the pre-antibiotic era. Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control sounded an alarm regarding emerging antibiotic resistance and the threat to public health.
“CRE are nightmare bacteria. They pose a triple threat. First, they’re resistant to all or nearly all antibiotics, even some of our last-resort drugs. Second, they have high mortality rates. They kill up to half of people who get serious infections with them. And third, they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.” .
To combat emerging antibiotic resistance and the rise of ‘superbugs’, new drugs are needed. However, research and development for new antimicrobial agents is lagging far behind the rate at which bacteria are developing resistance. As a result, many infectious diseases once easily cured have now become increasingly difficult to treat. So where are new antimicrobials to be found? Perhaps by looking to the past, we may discover significant science behind the ‘myths’ of ancient remedies; science which could lead to the development of new antibiotics and other drugs.
Since antiquity, essential oils and their constituents have been used to treat a large number of human illnesses. Today, essential oils are used in alternative and holistic medicine for similar purposes and administered orally, topically or via aromatherapy. A growing number of scientific investigators have begun the process of elucidating the specific mechanism(s) of action of essential oils and components. Emerging evidence has shown that many essential oils have both non-specific and specific mechanisms of action which varies based on the relative abundance and chemical composition of the components. Elucidation of the mechanism of action of these compounds may enable identification of new antibiotic targets and exploitation of novel biochemical pathways; pathways not currently targeted by existing antibiotics. Additionally, combination of existing drugs with essential oils and/or components may provide an alternative approach to combat emerging drug resistance. Since antibiotic resistance is currently outpacing research and development to find new drugs, humanity is facing a return to the ‘pre-antibiotic era’. Perhaps the remedies of the past combined with scientific study may provide the antibiotics of tomorrow.