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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

ANTIMICROBIAL EFFECTS OF EUCALYPTUS AND LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OILS ON COMMON EPIDERMAL BACTERIAL AND FUNGAL STRAINS

Abstract

Pathogenic microorganisms, like bacteria and fungi, are always evolving to become more resistant to antimicrobial agents, necessitating a search for new agents. The results from this experiment show that lavender and eucalyptus essential oils have antimicrobial effects against Candida albicans, Corynebacterium xerosis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Disk diffusion assays using 2 μl of the oil or DMSO control were done on Mueller Hinton agar (bacteria) or Sabouraud agar (fungus). Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assays were performed using the oil and the corresponding broth media. The MIC was the lowest concentration of oil that significantly inhibited growth compared to the no oil control. Minimum bacteriocidal concentration (MBC) assays were performed by plating microbes from the broth containing the potential MIC on an agar plate, growing overnight and checking for growth. One-way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey test were used to determine the statistical significance of all results obtained. Neither oil significantly inhibited microbial growth on the disk diffusion assay compared to the DMSO control. Lavender had a MIC of 6.25% for S. aureus and S. epidermidis (p<0.05) and 3.125% for C. albicans (p<0.01). Eucalyptus had a MIC of 1.56% for S. aureus (p<0.05) and C. albicans (p<0.01), 6.25% for S. epidermidis (p<0.05), and 0.391% for C. xerosis (p<0.05). Preliminary data indicate that lavender may have a MBC of 12.5% for S.aureus and S. epidermidis and 6.25% for C. albicans. Eucalyptus may have a MBC of 1.56% for C. xerosis. Using essential oils as an alternative traditional antimicrobials can create a safe and sustainable way to kill bacteria and fungi cultures commonly found on skin.

Acknowledgements

Young Harris College Undergraduate Research Fund

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