Wednesday, December 16, 2015

An essential oils experiment

Awhile back I decided to do a little science experiment here.  We've used essential oils for various things over the years, and I've enjoyed hearing about all of the amazing properties each of them has.  But I like to see things proven as well.  :)

I had seen somewhere that someone used an oil (I think it was "Thieves") on some bread and it kept mold away -- to show the antifungal qualities of the oil, I guess?  It was a striking image, so I wondered if it was real, and if I could re-create the experiment, even with the less expensive brand that I use (Rocky Mountain Oils).

So the kids and I first used several leftover hamburger buns we had after a party.  I put a little oil on each one -all different kinds of oils - and then also left one untouched, as a means of comparison.

Then we waited and waited -- for weeks -- to see where the mold would grow.  NONE did.  No mold anywhere on any of the buns, with or without oils.

So, lesson #1 learned:  Regular hamburger buns bought in the grocery store are not truly just bread.

Undaunted, I decided to try the experiment again, this time with REAL bread.  Our local bakery makes delicious sourdough bread from scratch -- from a starter and everything -- so we used some pieces of that.

I put a few drops of oil in the center of each piece, and stuck them all in bags, but did not completely seal the bags.

After a few weeks, mold grew on all of them.  Lemon oil was the most resistant at first, but even that piece succumbed in the end.

I failed to take pictures  a week or so later when I threw them all away -- they were ALL covered in mold.

But then I used "Immune Strength" oil -- comparable to "Thieves" -- and I noticed something unusual with this one.  Mold did grow on the edges of the bread, but in the center, around that yellow part which is the oil, the mold never grew!

I know the pictures are gross... but it was cool to see that certain oils DO have antifungal properties!

 "Immune Strength" is a blend of clove bark, cinnamon, lemon, orange, oregano and several other oils.  I'm not sure which one kept the mold away, but something did!  The oil is supposed to help protect us from "viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and other microbes."  I can't prove all of that, but it sure did seem to work with fungi!

Presumably frankincense and myrrh have even greater properties... no doubt those wise men knew what they were doing when they brought gifts to the King!

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