Every once in a while I run across an article in some publication that really is interesting. It is really interesting when it is not part of some political propaganda campaign, well sort of as everything published is to some degree in the strictest sense, propaganda. But this article that I am going to discuss with you is really a good positive piece of propaganda. So here goes;
The title of this article is; "Beyond the Spice Rack: Oregano and Calves". This article is authored by Amanda Kerr and Lauren Yanch for Progressive Dairy and was published in the Nov. 7th, 2021 edition of the Progressive Dairy magazine, on page 36 and 37. In this article they are discussing a study that was done as it relates to baby dairy calves and their gut health. They looked at 4 different essential oils and the oils were applied to 4 different pathogens. Those 4 are as follows; Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, (E.coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Salmonella typhimurium. These 4 pathogens have a direct affect and severe challenge to humans as well. In fact it might very well be said that they affect humans in much more severe ways and with devastating results. But the good news here is that the solutions are exactly the same rather it is in humans or in a baby calf's belly. So through out this discussion we will use the article as a reference point and I will add in a number of other comments as well. The essential oils used in this study were as follows; Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Oregano and Thyme. The article did not specify which chemo type or variety of each of the oils used, but the focus was on the specific compounds that each oil offered and their effect on each of these pathogens. It did say in the article that the Consistency and the purity of each oil and specifically the quality and purity of the Oregano oil is the key to maximizing the effectiveness of the outcome.
A specific law was created in 1996 that authorized for a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) to be placed into law and it took effect on Jan, 1, 2017 and is referred to as the The Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) of 2017. Up until this law taking effect, producers of livestock could use a variety of antibiotics within their feeding programs for their livestock. One of the primary reasons for this action by the producers and care takers of livestock was to "take care" of many of these various pathogens, IE; Parasites of sorts, within the animal's digestive tract. The antibiotics were at times given properly and were effectively used, but as with human medical care, antibiotics were way over used and or not used properly. So as with many things, the FDA and other agencies stepped in and started twisting the screws on the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in animal husbandry. Of course the same thing is or has happened with human medical care. With the VFD of 2017, it made the use of antibiotics with animals on the same level as with antibiotics with humans. IE; you have to have a prescription from either a Veterinarian or a MD or like professional to prescribe antibiotics. Since many of you are familiar with the human side, every livestock producing operation, hobby operations are kind of excluded, from the requirement of having a Veterinarian of record for the operation. That Veterinarian is required to visit the operation at least once per year and go over the livestock production practices for that operation. It also made all of the antibiotics of any significance to be placed under prescription by the Veterinarian for that operation. This means that a person raising livestock cannot just go to the feed store and buy and use antibiotics at will. In fact many bigger operations have gone to hiring an on site, licensed, Veterinarian that is full time on their farm/feed lot. In what almost seems like a past life, I worked on several various sized dairy operations. Most of my job description was centered around livestock care. But back in those days the owners usually hired a Veterinarian to work for them on an on call basis and used their services as needed for specific needs. I sort of ended up working as what they presently call a Veterinarian Technician. In today's world that is a university trained position and in some states a licensed professional. That person works as a go between the Vet and the on farm operations. That technician is much like an RN, does the boring work, with a touch of a PA here and there with some EMT stuff in the job description as well. In my day, the Vet would visit the dairy and do his thing, then get with me, leave me with instructions on what to do with many situations and to follow up with treatment protocols on a daily basis or until he was to revisit the operation.
So with that being said, I can appreciate these types of studies and what we can learn from them. But with this VFD coming into play, a lot of other alternatives have been looked at and one of those is found in studies such as the one being referenced with this article. Although this idea appears to be new to those in the US, these types of studies have been in progress in Europe for well over 20 years and more. So, lets go back to revisit the article in more detail.
The type of study that was done was one referred to as a MIC test. This stands for Minimum Inhibitory Concentration. This type of a test is one that looks at the minimum amount of active ingredient needed to obstruct/inhibit the growth of the pathogen being tested for. IE; this type of test is used to determine the least amount of an item needed to do the job. Within this study they looked at both the Gram Positive Bacteria, IE; ones that have a cell wall and Gram Negative Bacteria, IE; ones that don't have a cell wall. What they discovered was that the Carvacrol within Oregano worked wonders, ie; strong inhibition against the Gram Negative bacteria. Whereas the Thymol, which is found in both Oregano and Thyme oils, worked wonders against the Gram Positive bacteria, such as found in Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus. This Staph was not discussed in the article, I just threw it in for good measure and for future reference.
They have a figure/graph attached to the article to help with the understanding. So I will have to try to explain the findings shown in the figure/graph, because I can't really transfer to this format. (Referring to the idea of MIC, as earlier described). When it comes to the Enterococcus faecalis it took a 2.0% concentration level using the Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oils to do the job. It took 0.2% of the Oregano and a 0.5% of the Thyme oil to do the same job. With the E.coli it took 1.0% concentration level with the Eucalyptus oil, a 0.3% with the Tea Tree and a 0.1% of both the Oregano and Thyme oils to do the job. With the Klebsiella pneumoniea it took a 2.0% concentration level of the Eucalyptus, a 0.5% of the Tea Tree, a 0.1% of the Oregano and a 0.3% concentration of the Thyme to work that one over. Then when it came to the Salmonella typhimurium it took a 2.1% concentration of both the Eucalyptus and the Thyme oils respectfully, to slap that one down. Then it took a 0.5% of the Tea Tree oil to slap down the Salmonella and only a 0.1% concentration of the Oregano to finish off this bad one.
Summary of the Article;
When all is said and done as it pertains to this article, they have made the point that the use of these oils, individually , will, in theory, produce results that will inhibit the growth and proliferation of the four studied bacteria. It is believed that these oils when used within the feed program of the animals, this means to include the Oregano Essential oil in the animal's feed at the given concentration levels will likely improve the health, both short and long term when administered through their feeding program. Of course they also suggest that other inputs will help the Oregano work more effective and those are items such as; Pre-biotics and Pro-biotics, and acidfiers, along with the essential oils to support a healthy gut environment. In my opinion, since the Rumen is not developed, we will find a similar environment in baby calves as we would find in humans of all ages. That means by doing the same thing and using similar products, we should, at least in theory end up with similar results because of these same types of bacteria. Well, I should say the same "types" because these bacteria are the very same, are disposed of by the same methods, and by using the same solutions.
Discussion on the Bacteria;
Just so that we can get a better picture of each of these 4 types of pathogens, lets talk briefly about them.
The K. pneumoniae bacteria is a diazotroph, This means that it can fixate nitrogen, then it can convert into ammonia. Now when this particular bacteria is in the soil, it can work wonders by capturing nitrogen from the air and converting it into ammonia, thus providing fertilizer for the crops. But the down side is that it is devastating in other settings. This bacteria is one of the leading causes of hospital infections, IE: (nosocomial infection), It is also very hard on people with compromised immune systems. It also plays a role in alcoholism, diabetes, etc., ( I am betting that you didn't know that these diseases have a huge bacterial connection, they do!), and since it is an opportunistic pathogen, it is really hard, in simple terms, with all things related to Pulmonary diseases, Kidney and Urinary issues, Sepsis, Respiratory, etc. As to gender, this one seems to hit older men much harder across the board than it does older women. I have found that the article is consistent with my experiences of using both Oregano and/or Thyme-ct. Thymol on older men and observing remarkable results. Since most men never seem to move from the anal stage, of development, it stands to reason that they are attacked by this bacteria because of the oral/feces connection. (Hey you are suppose to laugh here).
I generally say that if there is an oil for older men, then the Thyme is it. Of course Oregano is there as well because the specific compound is the Thymol. One must also realize that this chemical profile on any oil is a zero sum game. I always poo poo the higher Carvacrol Oregano because as the Carvacrol goes up, then the Thymol goes down. IE; the high Carvacrol Oregano (80+% Carvacrol), is usually missing or has very low level of Thymol. Where as the lower Carvacrol Oregano (60% to 70% Carvacrol), will come in at the 4% or so of Thymol and usually that is enough to make the Oregano work really good in these applications. This bacteria is a Gram Negative bacteria.
E. coli; The E. coli is a relatively not an overly dangerous bacteria. But under many simple circumstances, it can become very nasty. Usually it is confined to the GI Tract, but can move into other areas. For the most part, this is a bacteria that tends to attack the new borne of all species most of the time. Perhaps this is because of the oral/feces cycle is the primary transporter of this bacteria. Although it is not always the case, it is just that the oral/feces route is the most typical. There are about 5 different sup species of this one and when they act up, they can all be very nasty. However, one of the stains has been weaponized, (Good Grief, what hasn't been weaponized?). Also this bacteria has been linked to Crohn's disease. However, on the bright side, E coli plays a major role in Vitamin K2 production. Which is a good thing, because of the "Quinone" connection, which by extension has ties to CO-Q10 production. Now that whole deal can easily give you that good old "deer in the head lights" look. Bottom line is that E. coli is both "the best of times and the worst of times" type of thing. But when it comes to getting the bad side of this E. coli under control, both Oregano and Thyme works equally well, with Tea Tree coming in a close 3rd. place according to the before mentioned study. E. coli is a Graham Negative Bacteria.
E. faecalis; This bacteria is another one of those that is classed as a "best of times and the worst of times" type of pathogen. It is a Gram Positive bacteria. It also hangs out in the GI tract. But it also hangs out in the mouth. In the vast majority of root canal infections or re-infections, you will usually find this one at the front and center of the infection. Perhaps this is why the Clay tooth powders work so well as they are Negatively charged and the Positive charged E. faecalis jumps and grabs onto the Clay particles like flies on fly paper. Also, this bacteria infects other parts of the body, such as the heart valves, UTI's, Sepsis, and Meningitis overall. One good thing about this one is that it cannot pass through the blood/brain barrier. But generally it is not considered a good bacteria to have in the gut because even though it does some good things, it can easily go bonkers, real fast. It doesn't take much to set it off on the wrong path.
Salmonella typhimunium; This bacteria is one that most everyone has had some education on. Most of it is usually from news reports of when there is an outbreak of this bacteria. Interestingly, this was named after the first person to earn a DVM degree in the US. His name was Daniel Elmer Salmon (1850–1914), This bacteria is a real nasty one. It has two types, Typhoidal and Non Typhoidal Serotypes, This bacteria is associated with Typhoid Fever and thought to be a strong contributing cause of this fever. The non-typhoidal types have been labeled as a major factor in emerging diseases in Africa. Interestingly the US has been been moved to emerging status (meaning that this is going to be a major problem), with this one particular strain, Salmonella enterica ser. Javiana. Salmonella is also involved with irritable bowel syndrome and reactive arthritis. So as a general rule, when you are hit with a bout of Salmonella, you can end up with a lot more serious issues than just a gut ache from hell and the green apple nastiness of loose bowls. It does not matter if you are a vegan, vegetarian or a carnivore you can be plagued with this bacteria. Usually the route of transmission is through food borne sources and usually from contaminated by manure, feces, (mostly un-composted sources), etc. Also, other entities such as frogs, snails, reptiles, sick people handling food, just to name a few. Generally if you are hit with this one, if your immune system isn't compromised at this on set, you will usually end up with a compromised immune system before it is cleared from your system. Salmonella is an opportunistic pathogen and is a Gram Negative Bacteria.
We have looked at the 4 types of bacteria. Three of them were Gram Negative types and one being a Gram Positive type. 4 different essential oils were used on each type to assess the effectiveness of each essential oil. The object of the test/study was to determine which essential oil was the most effective in inhibiting the respective bacteria by using the least amount of the product. This type of a test is called a MIC test, (Minimum Inhibitory Test). When used against the Salmonella, the Tea Tree and Oregano did real well. Where as the Thyme and Eucalyptus needed a lot more oil to have an equal effect. With the E. faecalis, Oregano and Thyme was very effective, where as the Tea Tree and Eucalyptus required a great deal more to have the same equal effect. When it came to E.coli, the Eucalyptus was fairly effective, but the other 3 Thyme, Oregano and Tea Tree were all effective in doing the task. Then with the last one evaluated, K. pneumoniae, The Oregano was most effective with both Thyme and Tea Tree coming in close and Eucalyptus required a great deal more to do the job. As you will notice, the oils were all effective at very low % dilution rates. Some were at or below the 0.5% dilution rates with the most being just above 2.5% dilution rate
Some other takeaways from this study are that this study involved internal consumption, but the oils were assessed and consumed with a food product. They were taken with the normal consumption of food, IE;; mixed in with the food and not taken as a stand alone product with or without "some" dilution. The % of dilution is clearly indicated. The study was done on baby calves, so the whole GI tract would be more similar than dis-similar to a human's GI tract and since the bacteria mentioned and worked with are the same as in humans, one can conclude that, IN THEORY, one might find similar results with humans, which I feel is the correct assumption. Both Gram Positive and Gram Negative bacteria were studied.
In reality this whole study and the results should be limited to be studied by the people taking the Clinical Level course. You really need a more extensive background with essential oils when you start dealing with stuff like this. I hope this helps to illustrate that it is necessary to understand just what it is that you are dealing with when working with people on the level that requires this type of work. As you should be able to tell, you have more options to work with if you are working with E.coli than if you are working with Salmonellae, that is if you want to effectively deal with the issue. Also, as you can see working with essential oils is not just a one way deal, IE: wiping out bad bugs. Essential oils can also be used, very effectively I might add, to promote a healthy GI tract. Essential oils are also much more effective when used with other modalities and products than just as a stand alone modality. Another idea to consider along these lines is for example, when you are in a position that you end up eating fast food, like a gut bomb. What is the go to thing for most people? A Coke, right> It is used to help break down that "bomb". If you don't have a Coke with that gut bomb, then it will be there all day long and I mean aaaallll ddddaaayy long. So maybe as an alternative, take a few drops of Dill or Fennel. Works great. Or if you end up having that piece of pizza, or two pieces of pizza, then consider using a drop or two of Oregano. Just remember that the lower Carvacrol type will do you a much better job. However, it does take some pre-planning to be prepared on your part, but it does work and you really can have your "cheat" and enjoy it as well. LOL> Seriously, until next time, I hope this is encouraging for some of you and I hope it gives you something to break down those rocks that roll around up stairs.
End of Discussion. KK