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Scientific Study on Herbs That Kill Bacteria

Are Herbs as Potent as Household Cleansers in Killing Bacteria?

This was a science fair project designed by Sierra Melton while she was attending St. Johns Academy, St. Augustine, Florida in 2008. Sierra is the daughter of Dr. Becki and Gene Melton. This experiment is a great example of how almost anyone can come up with a comparative analysis to see whether herbs have beneficial effects. The abstract reads:

“The purpose for this experiment was to evaluate whether or not herbs are as potent as house hold cleaners in killing bacteria. My procedures were as follows: I swabbed the three most common household places a person touches in the house which are the front door knob, the bathroom sink faucet, and a just used cutting board. Using sterile procedures, I then streaked nine sterile agar petri dishes. I then placed four inhibitory disks directly on the streaked agar.

Each inhibitory disk consisted of sterile gauze soaked in either one of the herbal essential oils: Juniper, Lavender, Ginger, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit seed extract and Pine needle or one of the following household cleansers: Clorox, Lysol, and Pine-sol.

I documented in my journal the bacterial growth every day for ten days and the inhibition of bacterial growth around the inhibitory disk. My data shows that some herbs are as potent as household cleansers in killing bacteria.

The most potent of the herbs are Juniper, Lavender, and Ginger. The household cleansers also inhibited bacterial growth with the exception of Pine-sol. Distilled water was used as a control solution.

In conclusion, some herbs are as potent as household cleansers in killing bacteria. However, in one aspect herbs are better than household cleansers because they are better for the environment. Household cleansers are made in chemical factories whereas herbs can be grown in your back yard.”

Herbs that kill bacteria

This project was listed under the category Microbiology.
The student independently performed all procedures as outlined in this abstract.
The abstract was stamped by the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists and had been reviewed by a committee.


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