Essential Oils and Viruses: Influenza and Coronavirus
“We are going to pray as if our lives depend on God and take precautions as if our lives depend on us.” - Dr. Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor - First Baptist Dallas
Let me begin by getting this out of the way: There is absolutely no reason to believe that any essential oil can prevent or cure a virus such as influenza or coronavirus. In fact, there is no known “cure” for either. If you believe that you’re exhibiting symptoms of a viral infection, turn to your doctor… not essential oils or any other self-prescribed treatment.
That being said, there are many ways in which essential oils may assist you and your family’s health during these events. Many oils contain various types of aldehydes, phenolics, terpenes, and other antimicrobial compounds which have been proven to effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens.
Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) are a powerful resource in the pharmaceutical industry, as more than 80% of the world’s population currently relies on plant-based medicines to treat a variety of health problems. Currently, aromatherapy is employed worldwide as a treatment of several diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, etc., as well as in cleaning and sterilization products.
In recent years, MAPs are becoming more prevalent in medicinal research as many pathogens are proving resistant to commonly used synthetic drugs, as well as the toxicity, environmental concerns, and carcinogenic effects of said synthetic drugs, which are failing to inhibit many pathogenic microbes. Recent studies (in a controlled lab setting) have shown extracts of many MAPs to be effective against pathogens such as: influenza, e-coli, streptococcus, salmonella (and other forms of pneumonia), cholera, herpes, and countless others (specific testing results are available at the bottom of this page).
The studies mentioned above concluded that the following oils have some of the most powerful anti-pathogenic properties: Cinnamon, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Melissa, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Patchouli, Clary Sage, and Rosemary. Melissa oil showed to be effective against the Herpes Simplex (HSV-2) virus, as well as avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H9N2 (bird flu). Tea Tree showed to be most versatile, killing a large number of tested fungal and bacterial pathogens including e-coli, but failed to prove effective against the virus pathogens melissa oil was able to eliminate. Unfortunately, no reliable data as to the effects of any essential oil on the coronavirus (COVID-19) exists as of this time; however, it’s reasonable to assume that oils which were ineffective against other viruses would remain ineffective against COVID-19.
Killing pathogens may help prevent the spread of certain illnesses, but the benefits of essential oils don’t stop there. Many other oils, such as those included in “Immunity” and “Advanced Immunity” from By Faith Essential Oils have shown historically to help boost the human immune system, and others (such as those found in “Breathe” can help reduce the severity of or alleviate many symptoms of viral infections, which may reduce recovery time.
In addition to recommendations from the CDC and your doctor, we at By Faith Essential Oils would recommend, that you incorporate oils such as high altitude lavender, tea tree, rosemary cineole, and melissa into your cleaning daily cleaning. We recommend diffusing oils such as melissa, “Immunity”, and “Advanced Immunity” for approximately 30 minutes 3-4 times per day. Diffusing “Breathe” at night may also help to alleviate some symptoms as well. As always, Lavender and Frankincense remain staples in our homes as they are two of the most versatile and aromatic, yet affordable oils in the world.
We do NOT recommend that anyone forego or ignore suggestions by the CDC or their medical practitioner for any reason, but to incorporate our suggestions in addition to them. All of the clinical results presented on this page were performed in controlled lab testing. The same results may or may not occur when variables outside of a controlled lab are introduced. Continue to use common sense guidelines, be safe, and remember that God is in control.
Detailed testing results:
In controlled lab testing, the following oils proved effective against the following pathogens:
Cinnamon: Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae, Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium, Bacillus cereus, Acinetobacter lwoffii, Enterobacter aerogenes, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, P. aeruginosa, Salmonella typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens, Mycobacterium smegmatis, C. albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. krusei
Clary Sage: S. aureus, S. agalactiae, S. epidermis, E. coli, Proteus vulgaris, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, E. faecalis, B. pumilus, B. subtilis, S. typhimurium, C. albicans, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis,
Cypress: S. aureus, L. monocytogenes, L. monocytogenes, E. faecium, S. Enteritidis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa
Fennel: S. typhimurium, E. coli, Alternaria alternata, F. oxysporum, A. flavus
Lavender: M. smegmatis, E. coli
Lemongrass: Enterobacteriaceae, S. aureus
Melissa: HSV-2, avian influenza virus (AIV) subtype H9N2
Peppermint: S. aureus, S. typhimurium, V. parahaemolyticus
Tea Tree: E. coli, S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. faecalis, P. aeruginosa, M. avium, H. influenzae, S. pyogenes, S. pneumonia, Alternaria spp. A. flavus, A. fumigates, A. niger, Blastoschizomyces Capitatus, C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, Cladosporium spp., C. neoformans, Epidermophyton floccosum, Fusarium spp., Malassezia furfur, Microsporum canis, M. sympodialis, M. gypseum, Penicillium spp., Rhodotorula rubra, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, T. rubrum, T. tonsurans, Trichosporon spp.
Patchouli: K. pneumonia, H. pylori, E. coli, B. subtilis, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, E. faecalis, Aspergillus species, C. albicans, Influenza A (H2N2) virus
Rosemary (1,8 Cineole): E. coli, S. typhimurium, B. cereus, Bacillus subtilis, S. aureus, S. agalactiae, S. epidermidis, S. aureus, P. vulgaris, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, E. faecalis, B. thermosphacta, L. innocua, L. monocytogenes, P. putida, S. typhimurium, S. putrefaciens, M. smegmatis, C. albicans, M. gypseum, M. canis, A. cajetani, T. violaceum, T. mentagrophytes, E. floccosum, T. rubrum, T. tonsurans, phytopathogens B. cinerea, P. oryzae
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* Much of the preceding information was extracted from research published in the US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health in 2016 by Dr. Mallappa Swamy et. al. - Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review