In today’s drastically growing population, the demand for food supply is also enormously increasing. In the U.S. alone, poultry consumption has gone from 34.7 kilograms per capita to 46 kilograms per capita from the year 1990 to 2016. With the increasing statistics, livestock farmers are also increasing their production to meet the consumers’ demands, resulting in overpopulated, unhygienic livestock farms.
Farmers have been using antibiotics on an ongoing basis to cure animal diseases, but the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention reported that the excessive / routine use of the drugs has resulted to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This spells bad news for us because drug-resistant microbes could cause more than 10 million deaths by the year 2050.
Fortunately, numerous studies have been conducted by scientists to explore new alternatives for curing bacterial diseases among livestock. These studies have led to the use of essential oils – whether on their own or in combination with antibiotics – as a safer alternative in fighting numerous pathogens.
Researchers believe that essential oils weaken the cell wall of the resistant bacteria, killing the cell and allowing the antibiotic to work. The phytochemicals found in the plants where the essential oils are derived from also provide resistance to infectious diseases and promotes tumor killing, according to Dr. Cyril Gay, senior national program leader at the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service.