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AAA: How Do Antiviral Essential Oils Work?

by Bella Martinez April 08, 2020

AAA: How Do Antiviral Essential Oils Work?

Viruses are particles of genetic material that invade living cells and replicate within them. If you’ve ever had the flu, you know firsthand how these small particles can quickly become a big problem as they proliferate throughout the body. Recent events have caused people to think a lot about these particles and their effects, including those of us at EG. But as with all of life’s big questions, our answer is this: essential oils. In this case, antiviral essential oils. 

When asking an aromatherapist “which essential oils are antiviral?” you’re likely to receive a few follow up questions. Namely, “which virus are you concerned with?” Because when it comes to antiviral essential oils,they’re not one-size fits all. If an essential oil is considered antiviral, it has likely only been shown to inhibit one type of virus and not all viruses. For example, Tea Tree oil hasproven to be antiviral against H1N1 but not against a variety of other viruses, including polio 1, Coxsackie B1, HSV‐1 and more. 

Furthermore, there are different stages of viral infection. Antiviral essential oils oftentimes are only effective against viruses at certain stages but not all stages. We’ll use Tea Tree again as our example. Tea Tree oil was shown to be useful inpreventing viral uncoating of influenza (which inhibits viral replication) and to remove airborne influenzaparticles altogether when diffused, but was not useful in preventing cellular attachment of the virus (early stage of viral infection) nor did it inhibit neuraminidase activity (late stage of viral infection). 

It’s also important to keep in mind the conditions in which essential oils are antiviral. Did the study show an essential oil was antiviral to happen in vitro or in vivo? If in vivo, was the study on humans or animals? Does antiviral activity occur when using a safe amount of essential oil for humans or is more EO needed than is generally recommended for human use? Etc.

So for those of you wishing to research antiviral essential oils, be sure to look up the specific virus you want to address and note which stage(s) of the viral infection the EO shows antiviral activity. Creating a supportive blend of oils that are antiviral at different stages of a viral infection is the best way to go about addressing the problem. 

Further Reading: 

Essential Oils to Prevent the Spread of Flu

Essential Oils and Coronaviruses

Leave a comment (Comments will be approved before showing up)


Edens Garden

April 23, 2020 at 10:10 am

Hi Vickie! At this time there are no clinical studies nor evidence of essential oils’ effectiveness against COVID-19. Therefore, we cannot make a recommendation.


April 23, 2020 at 9:54 am

This is good info but your information falls short of addressing which oils should be used at this point in time, with this specific virus. Which ones would help prevent Covid-19 in particular? I’m using your Fighting Five and Guardian.


April 10, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Either Jessica didn’t read it, or just didn’t understand what she read, but both are concerning when she’s posting such comments.


April 10, 2020 at 8:32 am

Lol Jessica did you even read the article? They never once said their essential oils kill covid and on their facebook someone asked which essential oils stop covid and they said there’s no proof that essential oils do.


April 10, 2020 at 8:27 am

Star anise is the main ingredient used to make the flu fighting drug tamiflu. It works by slowing replication of the virus… Star anise essential oil is a good bet for staying healthy during flu season and/or covid 19… Best to take when you first show signs or symptoms of cold flu.

Rosemary Leeder

April 10, 2020 at 8:26 am

I had symptoms of COVID 19 and started straight away putting Tee Tree and Eucalyptus on a tissue and inhaling. Although sick I didn’t get the cough and am now better.

Ingrid Louise Lawrence

April 10, 2020 at 8:26 am

I am surrounded by wife I Towers I’ve used every essential oil that I have from peppermint to Eucalyptus to tea tree oil in a pot of water heated on my stove and my head breathing over it with a towel covering. I also tried placing the oil on the soles of my feet and on my wrist to enter into my body also over my love I have the coronavirus I’m also sick with multiple viruses Epstein-Barr and HPV 13 I have asthma and a pelvic infection that is chronic I would like to know what else I can use?


April 10, 2020 at 8:25 am

Please for the love of God stop trying to fool customers into thinking essential oils will kill viruses. Your product is not going to protect anyone from the covid-19. So stop.

Edens Garden

April 8, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Hi Tauney! At this time, there are no studies that we know of, though we hope to see them in the near future!

Tauney Lockhart

April 8, 2020 at 3:10 pm

I know this is relatively new, but are there any studies being on EOs and COVID-19?