Essential oils capture the essence and properties of the plant from which they are obtained. Each essential oil acts differently but there are some essences, which we will talk about in this article, particularly able to fight viruses and bacteria. With this statement, we are not saying that a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil are enough to kill the novel coronavirus, in this case only alcohol in a concentration between 60 and 70% is effective and able to kill the virus in a minute ( Kampf et al, J Hosp Infect, 2020). However, essential oils can be diffused at home or are useful for enriching and reinforcing disinfectant solutions to fight certain forms of flu, infections and the attack of bacteria.
Tea tree essential oil, scientific name melaleuca alternifolia, is one of those essences that should always be with you or in your home. In fact, tea tree oil is antiviral and, as proven by a study, able to counteract the replication of the influenza A virus (Garozzo et al, Antiviral, 2011). Not only that, tea tree is also antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Topical applications of tea tree oil diluted in a carrier oil have been shown to accelerate wound healing while inhalations have been helpful in calming coughs and colds (Carson et al, Clin Microbiol Rev, 2006).
An antiviral essential oil is obtained from Eucalyptus globulus, or eucalyptus, able to inhibit the herpes simplex virus and influenza A, having been tested both in its pure form and in a mixture given by carrot, rosemary and cinnamon oils. Not only that, eucalyptus is also antimicrobial (Brochot et al, Microbiologyopen, 2017).
Clary sage is antiviral and acts against flu (Choi et al, Osong Public Health Res Perspect., 2018). In addition, thanks to its powerful antimicrobial action, sage can be applied, always diluted in a carrier oil, on wounds, infections and irritation of the skin to accelerate healing (Sienkiewicz et al, Postepy Dermatol Alergol, 2015).
The essential oil obtained from the thyme, scientific name Thymus vulgaris, is antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory (Marino et al, J Food Prot, 1999). In addition to this, this essence also proves to be antiviral, in fact, its action against the herpes simplex virus has been tested, even in the case of strains particularly resistant to treatment with acyclovir, an antiviral drug commonly used to treat herpes but also chickenpox and shingles (Nolkemper et al, Planta Med, 2006).