The overuse of antibiotics in the livestock industry is a growing crisis, sparking a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and health concerns among consumers. Fortunately, there may be a way to mitigate the problem using the power of essential oils.
Specifically, oil of oregano is showing enormous promise for keeping farm animals healthy without pumping them full of antibiotics. Oregano has numerous beneficial compounds, perhaps none more noteworthy than carvacrol, which helps combat various types of bacteria that infect both humans and animals.
A growing awareness of oregano essential oil couldn’t come at a better time, as our relationship with antibiotics becomes more strained and the stakes grow higher and higher.
About 80 percent of antibiotics used in the United States are consumed by livestock,according to The Atlantic. Meanwhile antibiotic resistance contributed to about 2 million human illnesses, 23,000 deaths and $20 billion in health care costs in 2013. And the situation is only getting more dire: Worldwide the phenomenon is poised to cause 10 million deaths and $100 trillion in costs by 2050, according to a report from the United Kingdom.
The World Health Organization calls antimicrobial resistance “an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.” But antibiotic abuse didn’t rise up in a vacuum. Farmers started using the drugs so that animals could survive in cramped, filthy conditions otherwise not conducive to the survival of large mammals. Antibiotics also help the animals grow bigger faster, so producers could realize larger profit from their stock.