Four Essential Oils for Fighting a Persistent Mycoplasma Infection
For people with recurring inflammation and fatigue caused by a persistent mycoplasma infection
by Greg Lee
I once asked my mom for her secret recipe for barbeque steak. I would savor each bite as it filled my mouth with delicious flavor. I started salivating when I read her well-worn 3×5 card with the list of ingredients: steak, garlic (lots!), sugar, soy sauce, spring onions, rice wine, pepper, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. I felt like I discovered her hidden secret for flavor when I read: “poke holes in the meat with a fork and marinade overnight in the refrigerator.”
How can knowing about marinades help you to fight a persistent mycoplasma infection?
Mycoplasma infections can be found throughout into the body
Mycoplasmas are very small bacteria that can spread throughout the body and have been found in the lungs and heart1, central nervous system2, and the blood3. Mycoplasma infections have been linked to illnesses including: multiple sclerosis4, cancer5, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia6, arthritis and hepatitus7. Patients report a wide range of symptoms including: respiratory tract infections, fever, chest pain, neurological problems, meningitis, encephalitis, and hemolytic anemia. Unfortunately, mycoplasma infections can develop drug resistance.
Antibiotic resistant mycoplasma infections are being found across the world
In multiple studies, macrolide or tetracycline antibiotic resistant mycoplasma have been found in North America8, Asia9,10, and Europe11. These germs can also form biofilms12, which can increase drug resistance up to five-thousand fold13. In addition to developing drug resistance, these germs can also hide inside cells14 which makes killing them much more challenging.
What else besides antibiotics can help you fight a persistent biofilm and intracellular mycoplasma infection?
Essential oils can help you fight a persistent mycoplasma infection
Fortunately, there are four essential oils that have anti-mycoplasma properties. Not only can they inhibit different mycoplasma species, they can also penetrate into biofilms and inside of cells. Fortunately, these essential oils have been used safely for decades for food preservation and in therapeutic treatments topically and internally.
Essential oil #1: Bergamot orange, Citrus Bergamia
The properties of this essential oil are cooling, refreshing, and astringent. It is recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)15. However, bergamot essential oils that contain furanocoumarins are phototoxic potentially carcinogenic, and can lead to blistering if exposed to UV light or sunlight after being applied to the skin topically. Fortunately, there are furanocoumarin-free oils, labelled as bergamot essential oil (FCF) which are non-toxic16.
In one experiment, bergamot essential oil and its major components (limonene, linalyl acetate and linalool were tested against forty-two strains of Mycoplasma hominis, two strains of Mycoplasma fermentans, and one strain of Mycoplasma pneumoniae. All strains were inhibited at 0.5% (M. hominis and M. pneumonia) to 1% (M. fermentans) minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) levels by bergamot essential oil. Linalyl acetate was highly effective against M. hominis and M. pneumonia with MIC levels of 0.015% and M. fermentan at MIC levels of 0.12%. Linalool had MIC values of 0.015% against M. pneumoniae, 0.06% MIC levels against M. fermentans, and 1% MIC levels against M. hominis. Limonene had MIC levels of 0.03% against M. pneumoniae, 1% against M. fermentans, and >4% against M. hominis17.
In other experiments, liposomal bergamot essential oil demonstrated anti-cancer properties18, the essential oil modulates intracellular calcium levels19, vaporized bergamot and orange essential oils remove methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus sp. (VRE) and their biofilms20, lavender and bergamot essential oil mixture helps to reduce anxiety and depression21, and bergamot essential oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects22.
Essential oil #2: Tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia
The properties of this essential oil are warming and fragrant. High doses, approximately a teaspoon to a half a teacup, of tea tree oil have resulted in ataxia, drowsiness, diarrhea, unconsciousness, and allergic reactions. Maximum topical dose is 15% when combined with other essential oils or carrier oils23.
In two studies, tea tree essential oil demonstrated anti-mycoplasma effects at very low concentrations. Against M. pneumoniae, MIC was 0.006% for the wild type and 0.003% against mutant strains24. In the second study, M. pneumoniae showed MIC values of 0.01%, M. fermentans, showed MIC values of 0.06%, and M. hominis was 0.12%25.
In other studies, tea tree has been effective against drug resistant MRSA, streptococcus, and candida26, reducing inflammation and stimulating pro-inflammatory cytokines27, and preventing influenza28.
Essential oil #3: Peppermint, Mentha piperita combined with #4 Eucalyptus, spp
The properties of peppermint essential oil are cooling, releases the exterior, and pungent. It is recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)29. Maximum oral daily dose is 152mg and maximum dermal dose is 5.4%. However, massive doses of peppermint essential oils, 4g/kg, produce neurotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, convulsions, and paralysis in animal studies30.
In laboratory studies, peppermint essential oil combined with beta-lactam antibiotics reduces antibiotic resistance in drug resistant E. coli31, demonstrated moderate antibacterial activity against: Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, Salmonella enterica, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa32, inhibits candida and it’s biofilms33, and peppermint combined with spearmint essential oil reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting34. Peppermint essential oil use is contraindicated in cases of cardiac fibrillation and in patients with a G6PD (Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase) deficiency.
Essential oil #4 Eucalyptus, spp
The properties of eucalyptus essential oil are cooling, disperses wind, and releases the exterior. Maximum oral daily dose is 600 mg and maximum dermal dose is 20%. This essential oil is contraindicated in patients with inflammatory disease in their gastro-intestinal tract and bile ducts, and in cases with severe liver disease35. Multiple cases of acute toxicity have been reported in adults and children after ingesting 5 ml to 75 ml with signs of central nervous system depression, abnormal respiration, and pinpoint pupils. Other symptoms of acute toxicity may include: stomach pain, vomiting, weak legs, cold sweats, headaches, and even death.
In laboratory and animal tests, eucalyptus essential oil demonstrated anti-bacterial activity against E. coli36, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), multi-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ESBL-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae37, Streptococcus mutans38, Candida albicans39, and reduces inflammation40.
In one animal study, a commercial combination of peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils (Mentofin) helped to reduce the effects of a Mycoplasma gallisepticum and H9N2 infection in chickens by reducing mucus production and levels of intracellular infection41.
Patients with mycoplasma report a significant reduction of chronic symptoms
After taking sub-lingual doses, one drop (0.03 ml) to thirty drops (0.9 ml), or topically one to three drops of an organic essential oil mixture containing one or more of the oils above, several patients have reported significant decreases or the elimination of muscular and joint pain, headaches, insomnia, inflammation, fatigue, and mental fog, and confusion. In some cases, symptoms were aggravated due to a toxic die off Herxheimer reaction. In order to reduce sudden flare ups of symptoms, patients are evaluated with an electro-dermal scan and often treated to reduce systemic toxicity. As they become less toxic, patients are started at very low doses which are gradually increased in order to reduce or eliminate uncomfortable symptoms due to toxic die off reactions. Using essential oils in a careful, safe strategy helps to reduce persistent mycoplasma symptoms.
The right essential oils can help you to fight off a persistent mycoplasma infection
Just like the right marinade, the proper anti-mycoplasma essential oils can permeate into cells and other hiding places in the body where mycoplasmas can cause trouble. These oils can help to significantly reduce the persistent pain, fatigue, and mental fog caused by these germs. Since these essential oils can lead to uncomfortable toxic die off Herxheimer reactions, being evaluated and treated to reduce systemic toxicity can help significantly with reduce flare ups of symptoms. Since these oils come with cautions and contraindications on their use, work with a Lyme literate essential oil practitioner to develop a safe and effective essential oil strategy for your condition.
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