Today, I’m taking a closer look at cleaning the home with essential oils. Inside our homes lay some of dirtiest surfaces such as the whole kitchen, knobs, handles, switches, etc. Pretty much anything you touch on a daily basis is an infestation of bacteria. But the kicker is that bacteria and fungus can grow anywhere easily around the home in wet, warm places. Especially if it is not frequently cleaned.
Now, I saw this experimental challenge awhile back about using a piece of bread to grow mold. The challenge is to purposely grow mold on bread with a few drops of essential oil to see if the essential oil works to kill bacteria and fungus. The bread is placed in a plastic bag with a wet cloth and put on a warm spot. Then after a week or two examine the bread slice for mold.
For my little experiment, I used Young Living’s Thieves which is a blend of 5 different essential oils. Other companies have similar products, but I like Young Living’s blend because of their high-quality standards. Not all essential oils are created equal.
There are many stories floating around the internet about the origin of Thieves. The most well-known story is The Legend of Four Thieves. Basically, they were people who wore bird shaped masks filled with herbs while they robbed people who were dying of the Bubonic Plague in the 1300s. The herbs were thought to help the robbers not contract the disease because of their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties.
Is there any truth to this? Well, let’s dig a little deeper before getting to the results of the bread challenge.
What herbs were used?
All sources dating back to the Legend of Four Thieves reference different herbs. When D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living, studied herbal medicine in the 80s and 90s, he reached the conclusion that the robbers used variations of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon.
Why did they use these herbs?
These herbs were chosen because each one separately has powerful chemical properties that expel many bad organisms that make us ill. Evidence grows daily showing what these herbs can do for our health. Many of these findings are not new, but more or less have been forgotten over time.
People have been using herbs successfully for millenniums. Our ancestors were much smarter than we all think. It was their everyday job to figure out what plants were useful and which ones to avoid at all costs. Even modern medicine is sometimes modeled after essential herbs.
Now that you know why I chose Thieves essential oil for this experimental challenge. Let’s get back to the bread.
The Bread Challenge:
I used a simple homemade biscuit for the challenge. I sliced it in half, so I could use one half as a control and the other half for the experiment. I placed two drops of Thieves oil on one half, slid it into a plastic baggie with a wet cloth, and labeled it one. I did the same with the other half but without the oil and I labeled it two. I proceeded to place the halves on top of the radiator. This creates a nice warm and moist environment for bacteria and fungus to flourish.
Here’s their daily progress:
Day 1: both slices are mold free
Day 2: mold free
Day 3: mold free
Day 4: mold has started on the #2 control sample
Day 5: mold has increased on the control and is creeping on #1’s edges
Day 6: mold has darkened on the control and is more noticeable on #1
Day 7: same as before
Day 8: same as before
Day 9: mold has darkened on #1’s edges
Day 10: same as before
Day 11: mold has not affected or grown near the Thieves drops on sample #1
Meaning of Results:
Bacteria and fungus did not grow where the essential oil was at. Does this answer the question: Do essential oils like “Thieves” kill germs and mold? Well, I’m not sure about “kill”, but it does an awfully great job with not allowing it to grow. That’s why we see many natural household and hygiene products that contain essential oils like clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon. It’s because not only do they smell amazing, but they also play “double-duty” and kill things that are trying to hurt us.
This is why I use essential oils in my daily life. Not only do they clean my indoor environment in a natural way, but some are also ingestible and safe for topically use to eliminate germs and other pesky organisms. They are definitely essential for a clean, sustainable life. Especially when the essential oil comes from organic and sustainable sources.
Thanks for reading. Take care of yourself!
Secret of Thieves
- Four Thieves Vinegar: Evolution of a Medieval Medicine: https://secretofthieves.com/?p=412
- Thieves Oil and Mold: https://secretofthieves.com/?p=436
A Touch of Eden
- Legend of the Four Thieves: https://www.a-touch-of-eden.com/blog/legend-of-the-four-thieves
- Global Palm Oil Demand Fueling Deforestation: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6059
Stop the Stomach Flu
- Do essential oils like thieves really kill germs?: http://www.stopthestomachflu.com/do-essential-oils-like-thieves-really-kill-germs