Essential Oils From Garlic, Herbs Kill Persistent Lyme Disease Bacteria

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Plant compounds may be better than current antibiotics at killing lyme bacteria

John Hopkins Study - Dec 4, 2018


Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


These oils may be especially useful in alleviating Lyme symptoms that persist despite standard antibiotic treatment, the study also suggests.


The study, published Oct. 16 in the journal Antibiotics, included lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils—oils that are pressed from plants or their fruits and contain the plant's main fragrance, or "essence." The Bloomberg School researchers found that 10 of these, including oils from garlic cloves, myrhh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries, and cumin seeds, showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing "persister" forms of the Lyme disease bacterium.


Johns Hopkins lab study suggests plant compounds may be better than current antibiotics at killing Lyme bacteria that causes lingering symptoms in some cases



In a Johns Hopkins lab study, essential oils from garlic cloves, myrhh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries, and cumin seeds showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing “persister” forms of the Lyme disease bacterium.