You may have heard that some essential oils naturally contain antiviral properties. What does that mean exactly? An “antiviral” helps prevent the spread of viruses and their resulting infections. Some essential oils are believed to be antiviral, making them popular choices in aromatherapy, home remedies, and DIY products.
Which Essential Oils are Antiviral?
Essential oils may be effective in helping to reduce the spread of a virus and in managing mild symptoms of a viral infection. Some of the essential oils believed to contain antiviral properties include:
- Clove – We use clove (along with cassia, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus) in Sonia’s Shield, our signature immunity blend.
How to Use Antiviral Essential Oils
- In a surface cleaner – add 7-10 drops of essential oil to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray onto surfaces as you would an all-purpose cleaner.
- In a body or hand cleanser – you can add essential oils to castile soap and use as a hand or body wash, or you can add essential oils to your favorite DIY hand sanitizer recipe. Please note: hand sanitizers that do not contain at least 60% alcohol should not be used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- In your diffuser – diffuse antiviral essential oils throughout your home. Consult your pediatrician before diffusing essential oils around babies or young children. If you have pets, check with your vet before diffusing essential oils in your home.
- In a bath – mix 12 drops of essential with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and add to a warm bath.
Precautions of Antiviral Essential Oils
It’s important to know that just because an essential oil is said to be antiviral does not mean that it is guaranteed to kill all viruses or even any. Only products labeled as “virucidal” are guaranteed to kill or deactivate a virus. While antiviral essential oils are thought to inhibit the spreading of a virus, they are not to be considered universal virus killers. Some essential oils labeled as antiviral are only effective at inhibiting one certain virus, and some can inhibit the spread of several kinds of viruses.
Antiviral essential oils should not replace recommended health procedures – including medication, cleaning and hygiene products, or vaccinations. This is especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. While interesting studies have been conducted on the possible effects of antiviral essential oils on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, essential oils should never replace health guidelines recommended by the CDC or WHO.