Essential Oil Aromas | Defeating Bacteria with Natural Plants

With the development of the pandemic, the effectiveness of the "lipstick effect" has gradually diminished due to the requirement of wearing masks in public places. At this time, consumers who desire to express their personality have turned to another option - "fragrance." Using a unique scent to express oneself has become a common practice, replacing the "lipstick effect." Simultaneously, with the advancement of the "olfactory economy," the fragrance industry has shown unprecedented vitality.

Among them, essential oil fragrances not only have the lasting effect of traditional perfumes but also possess therapeutic properties such as calming emotions and soothing nerves. Compared to strong perfumes, fragrances have a more subtle aroma, offering a new consumption choice for modern consumers who may feel olfactory fatigue from intense perfumes.

Furthermore, fragrances made from essential oils have purer and safer ingredients compared to synthetic fragrances. They also possess "magical antibacterial abilities," making them more appealing to people who are increasingly conscious of antibacterial properties and inclined towards natural options in the post-pandemic era.

 

【The "Antibacterial" Superpower of Plant Essential Oils】

  1. Essential Oils - Natural Antibacterial Agents

Derived from natural aromatic plants, essential oils are eco-friendly, safe, and non-toxic, with a pleasant aroma. They exhibit highly effective and broad-spectrum antibacterial activity, capable of inhibiting bacteria, fungi, and viruses at very low levels [2][4-5].
According to records, plant essential oils have been used for pharmaceutical and food preservation purposes since ancient times, and the experiments testing their antibacterial properties started with Burt's research in 1881 [3]. The "Roman Book" also mentioned using mustard for fruit juice preservation and inhibiting the growth of fermenting microorganisms [1].

Later, many researchers both domestically and internationally studied the antibacterial activity of plant essential oils, as follows:

• Anderson and colleagues [11] reported in 1953 that cinnamon had inhibitory effects on the spore production of heat-resistant acidophilic bacilli (Bacillus thermoacidurans); garlic essential oil could inhibit the spore production of Bacillus cereus [1];

• Demirci et al. reported that essential oils from two Artemisia species exhibited high antibacterial activity against nine foodborne pathogens, with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 125 to 1000 mg/L [7].

• Bajpai et al. reported that fir essential oil showed high antibacterial activity against two food spoilage bacteria and two foodborne pathogens, with minimum inhibitory concentrations also ranging from 125 to 2000 mg/L [8].

• Mantis et al. [12] reported in 1979 that garlic essential oil had inhibitory effects on the spore production of Clostridium perfringens;

• In 1911, Hoffman and Evans [13] found that essential oils like mustard had inhibitory effects on bacteria in apple juice and tomato sauce. They also discovered the synergistic antibacterial effects between different plant essential oils. Since then, many researchers have reported on the synergistic antibacterial effects of plant essential oils [4-15].

• Al-Bayati reported that thyme, fennel (sweet fennel) essential oils, and their methanol extracts had high antibacterial activity against nine bacterial species and showed synergistic antibacterial effects against eight of them, except for Pseudomonas aeruginosa [15].

圖片來源於網絡

2. The Antimicrobial Mechanisms of Essential Oils and Their Components Against Pathogenic Microorganisms

Experimental data has proven that the actions of essential oils and their components on bacterial cells mainly include:

  1. Destruction of the cell wall and cell membrane.
  2. Interference with the energy metabolism system.
  3. Impact on the entire cell's proteins, DNA, and metabolic composition.
  4. Alteration of cell morphology.
  5. Disruption of cell division.
  6. Inhibition of motility.
  7. Suppression of biofilm formation.
  8. Influence on quorum sensing (QS) activity.
  9. Inducing cytoplasm coagulation.
  10. Interference with signal transduction systems and virulence, among others (as shown in the figure below).

Image source: Internet

From the above content, it is evident that plant essential oils are natural alternatives to chemical antibacterial agents.

 

【Creating Safe "Natural Spaces" with Aromatherapy】

1. Do you know how many bacteria are in the air?

In our daily work environment, bacteria are virtually everywhere, too numerous to count, even though they are invisible to the naked eye. It is said that every cubic meter of air on the road contains 44,050 bacteria, and after greenery is added, there are still 24,480. In pine forests, there are 589 bacteria; in cypress forests, 744; and in camphor forests, 1,218 bacteria. This shows the natural antibacterial ability of the environment.

Harmful bacteria pose a significant threat to humans. Common examples include Staphylococcus aureus, Neisseria meningitidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Candida albicans, Streptococcus hemolyticus, and Bordetella pertussis, among others.

a. Pseudomonas aeruginosa: It can produce various pathogenic substances and is known to cause secondary infections, often occurring when the body's resistance is lowered, such as in extensive burns. Common infections include skin infections, otitis media, meningitis, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections, and sepsis.

b. Staphylococcus aureus: Also known as "golden staph," it commonly parasitizes the skin, nasal cavity, throat, intestines, furuncles, and purulent sores of humans and animals. It is ubiquitous in the air, sewage, and other environments. It can produce enterotoxins, causing food poisoning.

c. Candida albicans: Also known as white Candida, it can cause oral thrush, angular cheilitis, vaginitis, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, endocarditis, meningitis, encephalitis, and occasionally sepsis.

2. An essential oil fragrance with a antibacterial rate of over 99.9%.

In response to the three mentioned bacteria, Puzhen has innovatively developed two dual-action antibacterial essential oil fragrances and conducted antibacterial experiments using a control method with 70% concentration alcohol as the reference.

a. "StapSeud" dual-action essential oil fragrance is created from European spruce, lemon-scented peach wood, true lavender, coriander, and other plant essential oils, specifically targeting the resistance against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in children. The experimental results showed that "StapSeud" dual-action essential oil fragrance achieved an antibacterial rate of over 99.9% against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa after 6 hours of contact.

Image source: Internet

b. FormuCana" dual-action essential oil fragrance is formulated with true lavender, Bourbon geranium, lime, sweet fennel, and other plant essential oils, designed to combat Candida albicans. The experimental results indicated that "FormuCana" dual-action essential oil fragrance achieved an antibacterial rate of over 99.9% against Candida albicans after 6 hours of contact.

Image source: Internet

The experimental data demonstrates that the antibacterial rate of the essential oil fragrances exceeds 99.9%.

 

3. Creating a Safe "Natural Space" with Essential Oil Fragrances

With such excellent antibacterial effects of essential oil diffusers, how can we apply them in our daily lives?

a. Antibacterial Aromatherapy Masks:
By incorporating antibacterial essential oil formulas into masks, it can protect the respiratory tract, effectively inhibit bacteria, eliminate odors, and maintain fresh air.

 

b. Aromatherapy Diffuser Pendants:
Dropping an appropriate amount of essential oil into diffuser pendants allows for easy attachment to collars, masks, or in the form of bracelets, providing long-lasting antibacterial and fragrant effects.

 

c. Aromatherapy for Spaces:
Using diffuser stones, diffuser devices, and other means of aromatherapy with essential oils to create a comfortable and naturally antibacterial aromatic space, not only can inhibit bacteria but also soothe emotions with a lasting fragrance.ㄉ

 

d、Body Fragrances:
Many people are troubled by sweat and body odors, especially in hot summers. In fact, the body's own fatty acids and amino acids are odorless, and the scent emanates from bacteria. Therefore, antibacterial fragrance products for scalp care and body odor developed by Pureness are about to be launched, addressing the public's concerns.

 

【The Future of Antibacterial Essential Oil Fragrances】

With the regular demand for aromatherapy in the market, many brands have incorporated aromatherapy into fragrance products, sparking a boom in functional fragrance products. Functional fragrance products may become a new trend, with a focus on natural plants, additive-free diffusers, and organic antibacterial properties.

Fragrance products that emphasize efficacy while valuing natural, safe, and healthy attributes have rapidly penetrated the Taiwanese consumer market, with an ever-expanding consumer base.

Fragrance and aromatherapy function together, combining essential oils with other functional ingredients to assist consumers in making choices.

—— The future fragrance market is a fragrant journey towards physical and mental well-being.
—— Emphasizing natural antibacterial properties and healing through fragrance may become the trend of the future!

 

Reference|
[1] Shelef LA. Antimicrobial effects of spices[J]. Journal of Food Safety, 1984, 6 (1): 29–44.
[2] Ceylan E, Fung DYC. Antimicrobial activity of spices[J]. Journal of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology, 2004, 12 (1): 1–55.
[3] Burt S. Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods—a review[J]. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2004, 94 (3): 223–253.
[4] Bullerman LB. Inhibition of aflatoxin production by cinnamon[J]. Journal of Food Science, 1974, 39 (6): 1163–1165.
[5] Boonchird C, Flegel TW. In vitro antifungal activity of eugenol and vanillin against Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans[J]. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 1982, 28 (11): 1235–1241.
[6] Wang HX, Guo YQ. Feasibility of aromatic essential oils used in prevention of feed mold[J]. Guangdong Feed, 1996 (5): 26–28. (in chinese) Wang Hongxing, Guo Yanqun.
[7] Demirci F, Guven K, Demirci B, et al. Antibacterial activity of two Phlomis essential oils against food pathogens[J]. Food Control, 2008, 19 (12): 1159–1164.
[8] Bajpai VK, Yoon JI, Kang SC. Antifungal potential of essential oil and various organic extracts of Nandina domestica Thunb. against skin infectious fungal pathogens[J]. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2009, 83 (6): 1127–1133.
[9]Osuntokun OT, Ogunleye AJ (2017) Prospects of essential oils in drugdiscovery. Adv Cytol Pathol 2(1):1–3
[10]Mihai AL, Popa ME (2013) Essential oils utilization in food industry—aliterature review. Sci Bull Ser F Biotechnol 17:187–192
[11] Anderson EE, Esselen JR WB, Handleman AR. The effect of essential oils on the inhibition and thermal resistance of microorganisms in acid food products[J]. Journal of Food Science, 1953, 18 : 40–47.
[12] Mantis AJ, Koidis PA, Karaioannoglou PG, et al. Effect of garlic extract on food poisoning bacteria[J]. Lebensmittel Wissenschaft und Technologie, 1979, 12 (6): 330–332.
[13] Hoffman A, Evans AC. The use of spices as preservatives[J]. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 1911, 3 (11): 835–838.
[15] Al-Bayati FA. Synergistic antibacterial activity between Thymus vulgaris and Pimpinella anisum essential oils and methanol extracts[J]. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2008, 116 (3): 403–406.

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