Recently, an article in Futurity Magazine, titled "Essential Oils Might be the New Antibiotics" cited some amazing studies about oils commonly used in our practice. One study in Italy found that a "combination of thyme and clove essential oils was just as effective in treating bacterial vaginosis as the usual antibiotic treatment." Although there are also Chinese herbal medicines to treat this effectively, adding these two oils to the repertoire is easy and economical. Those who are inclined (yours truly notwithstanding) may choose to make their own suppositories and keep on hand if they suffer from frequent infections.
Many infections - bacterial and viral - recur more frequently and become chronic when treated repeatedly with antibiotics. That's not even taking into consideration the creation of resistant strains worldwide through the use - and misuse - of these medications. Our hospitals and long-term-care facilities are plagued with outbreaks of staph and similar infections, with no other recourse but to treat with stronger and longer doses of antibiotics.
But take a look at the findings of a recent study in the U.S. ... it showed that staph-infected wounds healed faster when they were treated with vapors of tea-tree oil than with conventional methods. And here is a quote directly from the National Institutes of Health: "In vitro studies show that tea tree oil is capable of killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a laboratory setting." Seems like something we should pursue vigorously. Of course plant components cannot be patented - to the dismay of Merck, Pfizer, et al - and therefore cannot be capitalized upon by big pharma. I suppose that's why DoTERRA and similar essential oil companies are doing so well amongst the masses. Keepin' it grass roots, folks.
A word of advice though. Essential oils are not free of side-effects, and should be applied responsibly, with a healthy dose of respect. Make sure to research your oils and their application thoroughly - and better yet, get the advice of a licensed practitioner.