Practical Aromatherapy Anti Viral Properties Of Essential Oils

Antiviral Activity of​ Essential Oils

The body of​ evidence regarding the​ effectiveness of​ natural botanicals against a​ great variety of​ viruses is​ growing. Over twenty years ago,​ German scientists found extracts of​ more than 100 species of​ the​ Lamiaceae family to​ have antiviral effects. This discovery lead to​ and increase in​ the​ examination of​ essential oils in​ Europe for the​ treatment of​ viral infections.

Essential oils from many plant families have now been demonstrated to​ have antiviral properties. Interestingly,​ different plant families exhibit varying degrees of​ effectiveness depending on​ the​ virus strain. This is​ due to​ the​ particular molecular structures found in​ each type of​ oil,​ which penetrate physical entities to​ varying degrees (different tissues,​ cell walls,​ mucous membranes,​ etc). the​ effect on​ each virus strain depends also on​ the​ virus structure (enveloped,​ non-enveloped,​ molecular symmetry,​ etc.)

Certainly,​ one of​ the​ reasons for oils' effectiveness en vivo is​ their lipophillic character - essential oils are easily absorbed into mammalian tissues,​ where they may produce the​ greatest results. in​ fact,​ when studying the​ anti-viral effects of​ essential oils,​ researchers found that normal cells seemed to​ acquire a​ special resistance to​ viral penetration,​ though the​ mechanism for this effect is​ not yet known.

Melissa and the​ Herpes Virus

One of​ the​ Lamiaceae plants studied,​ Melissa (Melissa officinalis - also known as​ Lemon Balm),​ was shown particularly efficacious against the​ herpes virus (HSV). Doctor Dietrich Wabner,​ a​ professor at​ the​ Technical University of​ Munich,​ has even reported that a​ one-time application of​ Melissa oil led to​ a​ complete remission of​ HSV lesions. a​ cream medication for Herpes outbreaks,​ who's active ingredient is​ an​ extract of​ Melissa,​ is​ now sold in​ Germany under the​ name Lomaherpan. Use of​ Melissa essential oil itself may be just as​ effective - the​ oil can be applied directly to​ the​ lesions (or diluted to​ 10% in​ carrier if​ sensitivity is​ noted) to​ speed healing. Further occurrences can be prevented by applying oil to​ the​ area when sensations signal an​ eminent outbreak - repeating this protocol 3 or​ 4 times has been reported to​ cause total remission in​ some individuals.

Other essential oils found effective against the​ Herpes virus include bergamot,​ eucalyptus,​ lemongrass and tea tree. Related to​ HSV is​ Herpes Zoster or​ 'Shingles',​ another common virus-mediated skin condition. Application of​ a​ 50/50 blend of​ Ravensara essential oil and Tamanu nut oil has been found extremely effective for reducing symptoms by many people.

Antiviral Components of​ Oils

The list of​ essential oils exhibiting antiviral effects is​ extensive: Melissa (as above),​ tea tree,​ juniper,​ eucalyptus,​ thyme,​ palmarosa,​ lavender,​ rosemary,​ clove,​ laurel,​ cinnamon bark,​ anise,​ rose,​ lemongrass,​ geranium,​ neroli,​ bergamot,​ clary sage,​ and dill. the​ antiviral effect of​ an​ essential oil is​ due to​ particular components of​ the​ oil - some oils will work just as​ effectively on​ a​ particular infection as​ another,​ because they contain similar amounts of​ a​ certain component. the​ components of​ essential oils showing antiviral activity,​ and the​ oils in​ which they can be found,​ are as​ follows (from K. Schnaubelt,​ Ph.D. - Advanced Aromatherapy,​ p. 36):

Anethol - found in​ Anise
Alpha-Sabines - found in​ Tea Tree,​ Laurel,​ and other oils
Beta-Caryophyllene - found in​ Lavender,​ Rosemary,​ Thyme Linalool,​ and other oils
Carvone - found in​ Dill
Cinnamic aldehyde - found in​ Cinnamon Bark
Citral - found in​ Melissa,​ Lemongrass and other oils
Citronellol - found in​ Rose and Geranium
Eugenol - found in​ Clove
Gamma-Terpinene - Found in​ Juniper,​ Eucalyptus,​ Niaouli,​ Tea Tree and other oils
Linalol - found in​ Lavender and Neroli
Linalyl acetate - found in​ Clary Sage,​ Lavender,​ Bergamot and other oils

Limited In-Vivo Data

Good studies of​ application of​ these essential oils in​ cases of​ illness are difficult to​ come by,​ as​ infecting people with viruses in​ the​ laboratory to​ subsequently be treated with aromatics would be a​ difficult process at​ best. the​ oils and components above have mostly shown effectivenessin-vitro,​ though tests also indicate that the​ anti-viral effect should occur in-vivo as​ well. as​ with Melissa,​ it​ has been HSV that has been most thoroughly examined,​ because of​ the​ relative simplicity of​ doing so. But there is​ nothing particularly special about the​ herpes virus,​ and proper oil/pathogen paring should prove as​ effective.

There are some noted case studies by professional aromatherapists. of​ importance in​ these studies is​ the​ oil/symptom relationship. Essential oils from plants of​ the​ Myrtaceae family - notably Eucalyptus Radiata and Tea Tree - and Ravensara (also high in​ Eucalyptol) seem to​ have helped in​ cases with respiratory symptoms. For the​ lower respiratory tract,​ Hyssop decumbens (from the​ same plant family as​ Melissa) has been of​ interest. Essential oils for such cases may be used either in​ a​ diffuser,​ being taken at​ regular intervals,​ or​ through massage,​ diluted in​ a​ carrier oil.


Because of​ the​ difficulty in​ many cases of​ illness in​ determining the​ exact virus type involved,​ more specific application cannot be given. Certainly,​ in​ cases of​ HSV,​ Melissa has been shown effective in​ a​ number of​ studies. For respiratory infections,​ Eucalyptus and Ravensara have been used with success,​ and can be safely used as​ an​ adjunct to​ regular medical care. These oils may support one's recovery on​ a​ physiologic level - essential oils also play a​ part in​ uplifting emotions,​ which may also speed healing,​ or​ at​ least improve mental outlook during the​ healing process. For such instances,​ one may simply find the​ essential oil or​ combination that one finds pleasant,​ calming,​ and/or uplifting. PLEASE NOTE: in​ no cases,​ however,​ should self-treatment with essential oils be used in​ place of​ professional medical care where signs/symptoms of​ infectious illness are present.
Practical Aromatherapy Anti Viral Properties Of Essential Oils Practical Aromatherapy Anti Viral Properties Of Essential Oils Reviewed by Henda Yesti on December 19, 2017 Rating: 5

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