Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, are an increasing problem worldwide, causing intractable woundinfections. Compounded phytochemicals, such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, melaleuca, clove, thyme with butylated hydroxyl toluene, triclosan (0.3%), and 95 undenatured ethanol (69.7%) are being investigated against MRSA in vitro. No clinical trials have been performed.
Two topical MRSA eradication regimens were compared in hospital patients. A standard treatment, which included mupirocin 2% nasalointment, chlorhexidine gluconate 4% soap, and silver sulfadiazine 1% cream was given versus a tea tree oil regimen, which included tea tree 10% cream and tea tree 5% body wash. Both were administered for 5 days. One hundred fourteen patients received the standard treatment, and 56 (49%) were cleared of MRSA carriage. One hundred ten patients received the tea tree oil regimen, and 46 (41%) were cleared of MRSA carriage. In a small group of patients, the tea tree oil regimen was associated with a higher clearance rate of MRSA carriage in the axilla, groin, and wound sites, but the difference versus standard treatment was not significant.
Current Clinical Trials
Check NCI's list of cancer clinical trials for U.S. cancer CAM clinical trials on aromatherapy and essential oils that are actively enrolling patients.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
- Cooke B, Ernst E: Aromatherapy: a systematic review. Br J Gen Pract 50 (455): 493-6, 2000.
- Wilcock A, Manderson C, Weller R, et al.: Does aromatherapy massage benefit patients with cancer attending a specialist palliative care day centre? Palliat Med 18 (4): 287-90, 2004.
- Soden K, Vincent K, Craske S, et al.: A randomized controlled trial of aromatherapy massage in a hospice setting. Palliat Med 18 (2): 87-92, 2004.
- Graham PH, Browne L, Cox H, et al.: Inhalation aromatherapy during radiotherapy: results of a placebo-controlled double-blind randomized trial. J Clin Oncol 21 (12): 2372-6, 2003.
- Wilkinson S, Aldridge J, Salmon I, et al.: An evaluation of aromatherapy massage in palliative care. Palliat Med 13 (5): 409-17, 1999.
- Ndao DH, Ladas EJ, Cheng B, et al.: Inhalation aromatherapy in children and adolescents undergoing stem cell infusion: results of a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Psychooncology : , 2010.
- Potter P, Eisenberg S, Cain KC, et al.: Orange interventions for symptoms associated with dimethyl sulfoxide during stem cell reinfusions: a feasibility study. Cancer Nurs 34 (5): 361-8, 2011 Sep-Oct.
- Kite SM, Maher EJ, Anderson K, et al.: Development of an aromatherapy service at a Cancer Centre. Palliat Med 12 (3): 171-80, 1998.
- Hadfield N: The role of aromatherapy massage in reducing anxiety in patients with malignant brain tumours. Int J Palliat Nurs 7 (6): 279-85, 2001.
- Sherry E, Boeck H, Warnke PH: Percutaneous treatment of chronic MRSA osteomyelitis with a novel plant-derived antiseptic. BMC Surg 1: 1, 2001.
- Dryden MS, Dailly S, Crouch M: A randomized, controlled trial of tea tree topical preparations versus a standard topical regimen for the clearance of MRSA colonization. J Hosp Infect 56 (4): 283-6, 2004.