Did you know there are hundreds of scientific studies showing the anti-viral properties of essential oils?
In fact, essential oils are rich in potent bioactive compounds that fight inflammation and infection, according to a recent review published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research.
Scientists have discovered that essential oils ‘inactivate’ viruses in one of two ways: by inhibiting their ability to replicate and/or inhibiting viruses’ ability to fuse to cell walls and infect a host cell.
Thyme Essential Oil
A 2006 study published in the Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, found that thyme oil possesses antimicrobial and antiviral properties due to its multiple plant compounds, such as flavonoids, thymol, eugenol, aliphatic phenol, saponin, luteolin and tetramethoxylated flavones.
The study found that thyme oil extract could stop the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative pathogen that causes urinary tract infection. Additionally, thyme oil extract also inhibited the growth of C. albicans. (Related: Beyond the spice rack: Experts explore the anti-microbial properties of conehead thyme essential oil.)
Eucalyptus essential oil
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil possesses antiviral properties that have been found to be effective against common pathogens. A 2001 study discovered that a combination of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil worked effectively against the herpes simplex virus. Additionally, a 2013 study showed that tea tree oil was able to prevent the spread of influenza.
Tea tree and eucalyptus essential oil aerosol and vapours cleared 95% of influenza A virus and E. coli phage M13 within 5 – 15 minutes of exposure. From: Usachev, E. V., Pyankov, O. V., Usacheva, O. V., & Agranovski, I. E. (2013). Antiviral activity of tea tree and eucalyptus oil aerosol and vapour. Journal of aerosol science, 59, 22-30.
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Ten minutes of exposure of vapors from essential oils Citrus bergamia, Eucalyptus globulus, and the constituents citronellol and eugenol were very active against the influenza virus. Vapors of Pelargonium graveolens, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, and Cymbopogon flexuosus were very active with 30 minutes of exposure. From: Vimalanathan, S., & Hudson, J. (2014). Anti-influenza virus activity of essential oils and vapors. American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products, 2(1), 47-53.
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