Using Essential Oils For A Healthy Home
By Joan Apter, Aromacologist

They’re everywhere. Newspaper, magazine and TV articles on the number of bacteria that are resistant to the actions of multiple drugs are disturbingly high. Our once “invincible” antibiotics no longer have any effect against “disease-producing” germs. Once again, we see the reappearance of ancient diseases, appearing as Hantavirus, Ebola virus, Encephalitis, killer flus and even mad cow disease. In the profound book, “The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight”, author Thom Hartman speaks to the alarming rise of tuberculosis, also impervious to over 100 different antibiotics. Stuart B. Levy, Ph.D., Professor of molecular biology at Tufts University School of Medicine wrote in a March, 1998 article in Scientific American, “With each passing decade, bacteria that defy not only single but multiple antibiotics-and therefore are extremely difficult to control-have become increasingly common.”

Our children bring us colds, flu and viruses home from school. Soon everyone has “it”, and another community falls prey to the unimpeded spread of virus, bacteria, fungus, mold or mites.

In my ten years working with essential oils and aromatherapy, I can say with confidence that the addition of a diffuser in the home is the best line of defense against airborne illness.

What is a diffuser?

A diffuser is a special air pump uniquely designed to dispense essential oils into the atmosphere. It is the most effective way to finely vaporize essential oils without harming or altering their vital components and valuable properties. A cold-air diffuser is designed to atomize a microfine mist of essential oils into the air, where they can remain suspended for up to several hours.

Unlike aromalamps or candles, a diffuser disperses oils without the heating or burning that damages the fragile essential oil constituents and can even create toxic compounds. Essential oils remain most effective if they are not heated as they are diffused.

The primary components of a diffuser are the glass nebulizer and an air pump connected by flexible tubing, usually plastic. Designs vary, but the effects are generally the same.

If you don’t have a therapeutic diffuser, add several drops of essential oil to a spray bottle, add distilled water, and shake. You can use this to mist your entire house.

What diffusing does:

Which oils should I use?

Only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils should be used in a diffuser.

Essential oils have been clinically studied since 1881. Since the French studies of Chamberland, Cadeac and Meunier and Bertrand in 1887, hundreds of lab tests have reaffirmed the antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of essential oils. Every essential oil has such properties, but some are more or less effective against a specific bacterium than others.

Tea Tree Oil, (Melaleuca alternafolia, ericfolia or quinquenervia) is deadly not only to streptococci, gonococci, and pneumoccocci bacteria, but also to the Candida albicans fungus and the single-cell trichomonas vaginalis parasite. It is also antiviral.

Cinnamon Bark (cinnamomum verum) has been successful against the typhus bacillus. Researchers found that viruses cannot live in the presence of cinnamon oil.

Clove (Syzgium aromaticum) is highly antimicrobial and antiseptic. Courmont demonstrated that a solution of .05% eugenol from clove oil was sufficient to kill the tuberculosis bacillus.

Lemon Oil (citrus limon) has been studied by Jean Valnet, M.D., who found that the vaporized essence of lemon can kill meningoccus bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in one hour, Staphylococcus aureus in two hours, and Pneumoccus bacteria within three hours. Even a .2% solution of lemon oil can kill diphtheria bacteria in 20 minutes and inactivate tuberculosis bacteria.

Thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris) is effective against Escherichia coli, the typhus bacillus, and streptococcus, diphtheric, staphylococcus and tuberculosis germs.

My favorite antibacterial blends

Whenever I hear there is an epidemic of some sort nearby, I immediately turn to the blend called “Thieves. ” This blend was created from research about a group of 14th century thieves who rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while the robbed the bodies of the dead and dying. When apprehended, these thieves disclosed the formula of herbs, spices and oils they used to protect themselves in exchange for more lenient punishment.

This blend was tested at Weber State University for its potent antimicrobial properties. It was found to have a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. The oils are highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious and help to protect the body against such illnesses as flu, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, etc.

Recently I applied Thieves on the back of my throat to combat a strep throat. In one day the strep was gone completely!

Thieves contains:


Purification is an antiseptic blend formulated for diffusing to help purify the home and work environment. It cleanses the air and neutralizes mildew, cigarette smoke and all disagreeable odors. When I first moved into my house, I diffused Purification in the basement, and in two days the two years of mold that was growing was dead!

Purification contains:

How to use a diffuser:

Begin by diffusing oils for 15-30 minutes a day. As you become accustomed to the oils and recognize their effects, you can increase the diffusing time to 1-2 hours.

At the first sign of any airborne virus or bacteria going around, start diffusing Thieves and/or Purification in your home. I feel strongly that every schoolroom should also be diffusing essential oils to kill airborne virus, bacteria, fungus, and mold. At the very least, when we come back to our homes, it is so important to know we have created a “clean zone”, where whatever we have brought home is neutralized effectively.


Essential oils are literally the lifeblood of the plant, and may assume an increasingly important role in combating new mutations of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Hospitals in England, France and Germany use essential oils for their anti bacterial properties. The essential oil of lemon is used in place of harsh chemical cleansers. A vast body of anecdotal evidence (testimonials) suggests that those who use essential oils are less likely to contract infectious diseases. Oil users who do contract an infectious illness tend to recover faster than those using antibiotics do.

I have experienced avoiding all kinds of “epidemics” since I started using essential oils in my wellness program. They are a true blessing from nature’s pharmacy.

Joan Apter, Aromacologist,  has 22 years experience in the use and application of essential oils. You may contact her for classes and presentations to your group or organization.

For information, or to obtain any of the oils mentioned in this article, contact Joan at 845-679-0512 or e-mail her at

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