By ANAHAD O’CONNOR
Published: September 7, 2009
In a country obsessed with germs and sickness, antibacterial soaps and sanitizers are becoming more and more common. But because such products contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, some researchers recommend sanitizers made with cinnamon oil, which has been shown in many studies to have powerful antimicrobial properties.
A recent study by a team of surgeons, for example, found that a solution made with cinnamon oil killed a number of common and hospital-acquired infections, like streptococcus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The study found it was just as effective as several antiseptics widely used in hospitals. Another study by French researchers in 2008 had similar results, showing that at concentrations of 10 percent or less, cinnamon oil was effective against Staphylococcus, E. coli and several antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, a pediatrician in New Jersey who dispenses natural health advice on his blog, wholechildcenter.org, recommends a tried-and-true recipe for homemade hand sanitizer called thieves oil. “I add cinnamon bark, lemon oil and eucalyptus,” he said, adding, “The recipe goes back to the Middle Ages, where it was used by these thieves who would go around stealing jewelry from dead bodies, and they never got sick.”
Cinnamon oil, when applied topically, is generally safe. But in some people it can cause an allergic reaction.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Cinnamon oil has antiseptic properties.