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Essential oils capable of killing superbugs, research finds

For many people, essential oils are associated with sweet-smelling rooms or a relaxing bath, but their antibacterial components make them “highly efficient” in the treatment of so-called hospital “superbugs”, according to new research.

Scientists based at Sligo Institute of Technology have discovered that some essential oils are capable of killing the most resistant bacteria including MRSA as well as Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL).

Superbugs, which have been attributed to overcrowding and poor hygiene in hospitals, are potentially life threatening, especially for people already frail due to illness.

Describing the findings as “very promising”, the research team, which includes staff from the Department of Microbiology at Sligo General Hospital, said the oils were effective against bacteria which were resistant to conventional antibiotics.

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