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Killing Germs with Cinnamon Oil

Researchers are suggesting that sanitizers made with essential oils may be a safer option than soaps containing [potentially] harmful antibacterial ingredients, like triclosan, which has been linked to a range of adverse health and environmental effects that include endocrine disruption and antibacterial resistance. A study, published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, found that a cinnamon oil solution was just as effective at killing several common bacteria as many other antiseptics commonly used in hospitals. The team of surgeons conducting the research tested several common essential oils, and found that each demonstrated promising efficacy against several bacteria, including multi-resistant strains. Another study, published in the August 2008 issue of Letters in Applied Microbiology, tested bactericidal activity of 13 different essential oils and had similar results, with cinnamon being the most effective. At concentrations as low as 10 percent or less, cinnamon oil was also effective against several antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and E. coli.


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While essential oils are generally safer than synthetic pesticides, nonprofit organization Beyond Pesticides cautions that just because a product is derived from a plant does not mean that it is safe for humans. Additionally, some essential oil-based products may also contain hazardous compounds.
For more information on antibacterial chemicals and alternatives, see Beyond Pesticides' Antimicrobial program page,, and check out the Pesticide Gateway for detailed pesticide information,
Reprinted by permission of Pesticides and You - A quarterly publication of Beyond Pesticides - Vol. 29, No. 3, Fall 2009.


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Killing Germs with Cinnamon Oil:  Created on December 3rd, 2009.  Last Modified on March 14th, 2010


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Beyond Pesticides provides the public with useful information on pesticides and alternatives to their use.



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