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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Essential Oils and the Herpes Virus Scientific Studies

Here are three studies showing the efficacy of essential oils in 'against' the herpes virus. We suggest Melissa oil (though others may certainly be as effective, it's just that melissa has been extensively studied and seems gentle enough for most folks) and a 50/50 blend of Ravensara and Tamanu for Shingles (HSV-1).

Antiviral activity of the volatile oils of Melissa (melissa essential oil) officinalis L. against Herpes simplex virus type-2.

Allahverdiyev A, Duran N, Ozguven M, Koltas S.
Tropical Diseases Center, Faculty of Medicine, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey.

Melissa officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) has been used in a variety of practical applications in medical science. Our objective in the current study was to determine the effects of the volatile oil components of M. officinalis on Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) replication in HEp-2 cells. Four different concentrations (25, 50, 100, 150 and 200 microg/ml) of volatile oils were examined. Experiments were carried out using HEp-2 cells. M. officinalis volatile oil was found to be non-toxic to HEp-2 cells up to a concentration of 100 micro/ml. It was, however, found to be slightly toxic at a concentration over of 100 microg/ml. The antiviral activity of non-toxic concentrations against HSV-2 was tested. The replication of HSV-2 was inhibited, indicating that the M. officinalis L. extract contains an anti-HSV-2 substance.

Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture.

Schnitzler P, Sch÷n K, Reichling J.
Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

The antiviral effect of Australian tea tree oil (TTO) and eucalyptus oil (EUO) against herpes simplex virus was examined. Cytotoxicity of TTO and EUO was evaluated in a standard neutral red dye uptake assay. Toxicity of TTO and EUO was moderate for RC-37 cells and approached 50% (TC50) at concentrations of 0.006% and 0.03%, respectively. Antiviral activity of TTO and EUO against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was tested in vitro on RC-37 cells using a plaque reduction assay. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of TTO for herpes simplex virus plaque formation was 0.0009% and 0.0008% and the IC50 of EUO was determined at 0.009% and 0.008% for HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively. Australian tea tree oil exhibited high levels of virucidal activity against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in viral suspension tests. At noncytotoxic concentrations of TTO plaque formation was reduced by 98.2% and 93.0% for HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively. Noncytotoxic concentrations of EUO reduced virus titers by 57.9% for HSV-1 and 75.4% for HSV-2. Virus titers were reduced significantly with TTO, whereas EUO exhibited distinct but less antiviral activity. In order to determine the mode of antiviral action of both essential oils, either cells were pretreated before viral infection or viruses were incubated with TTO or EUO before infection, during adsorption or after penetration into the host cells. Plaque formation was clearly reduced, when herpes simplex virus was pretreated with the essential oils prior to adsorption. These results indicate that TTO and EUO affect the virus before or during adsorption, but not after penetration into the host cell. Thus TTO and EUO are capable to exert a direct antiviral effect on HSV. Although the active antiherpes components of Australian tea tree and eucalyptus oil are not yet known, their possible application as antiviral agents in recurrent herpes infection is promising.

Inhibitory effect of essential oils against herpes simplex virus type 2.

Koch C, Reichling J, Schneele J, Schnitzler P. Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Essential oils from anise, hyssop, thyme, ginger, chamomile and sandalwood were screened for their inhibitory effect against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro on RC-37 cells using a plaque reduction assay. Genital herpes is a chronic, persistent infection spreading efficiently and silently as sexually transmitted disease through the population. Antiviral agents currently applied for the treatment of herpesvirus infections include acyclovir and its derivatives. The inhibitory concentrations (IC(50)) were determined at 0.016%, 0.0075%, 0.007%, 0.004%, 0.003% and 0.0015% for anise oil, hyssop oil, thyme oil, ginger oil, camomile oil and sandalwood oil, respectively. A clearly dose-dependent virucidal activity against HSV-2 could be demonstrated for all essential oils tested. In order to determine the mode of the inhibitory effect, essential oils were added at different stages during the viral infection cycle. At maximum noncytotoxic concentrations of the essential oils, plaque formation was significantly reduced by more than 90% when HSV-2 was preincubated with hyssop oil, thyme oil or ginger oil. However, no inhibitory effect could be observed when the essential oils were added to the cells prior to infection with HSV-2 or after the adsorption period. These results indicate that essential oils affected HSV-2 mainly before adsorption probably by interacting with the viral envelope. Camomile oil exhibited a high selectivity index and seems to be a promising candidate for topical therapeutic application as virucidal agents for treatment of herpes genitalis.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Aromatherapy Massage Studies

Massage using essential oils in a carrier oil is also known as 'aromatherapy massage'. Aromatherapy massage has been studied in clinical settings for its effect on the subjective wellbeing of patients, as well as for changes in physiological markers such as cortisol levels, white blood cell activity and the like. In general, aromatherapy massage seems to help patient's conditions, though some of the markers tested for do not always show statistically significant improvements. It would be interesting to see results if first the patients were allowed to select their favorite aromas for the blend, as we all know how many scents are loved by some and not by others. Aromatherapists would point out that this is a psycho-emotional response which should be listened to for best results with aromatherapy. Here's a few of the studies:

An evaluation of aromatherapy massage in palliative care.

Wilkinson S, Aldridge J, Salmon I, Cain E, Wilson B. Marie Curie Cancer Care, London, UK.

The use of complementary therapies, such as massage and aromatherapy massage, is rising in popularity among patients and healthcare professionals. They are increasingly being used to improve the quality of life of patients, but there is little evidence of their efficacy. This study assessed the effects of massage and aromatherapy massage on cancer patients in a palliative care setting. We studied 103 patients, who were randomly allocated to receive massage using a carrier oil (massage) or massage using a carrier oil plus the Roman chamomile essential oil (aromatherapy massage). Outcome measurements included the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and a semi-structured questionnaire, administered 2 weeks postmassage, to explore patients' perceptions of massage. There was a statistically significant reduction in anxiety after each massage on the STAI essential oils appears to reduce levels of anxiety. The addition of an essential oil seems to enhance the effect of massage and to improve physical and psychological symptoms, as well as overall quality of life. A randomized controlled trial of aromatherapy massage in a hospice setting.

Soden K, Vincent K, Craske S, Lucas C, Ashley S.Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, Surrey, UK.

Research suggests that patients with cancer, particularly in the palliative care setting, are increasingly using aromatherapy and massage. There is good evidence that these therapies may be helpful for anxiety reduction for short periods, but few studies have looked at the longer term effects. This study was designed to compare the effects of four-week courses of aromatherapy massage and massage alone on physical and psychological symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. Forty-two patients were randomly allocated to receive weekly massages with lavender essential oil and an inert carrier oil (aromatherapy group), an inert carrier oil only (massage group) or no intervention. Outcome measures included a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) of pain intensity, the Verran and Snyder-Halpern (VSH) sleep scale, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale and the Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL). We were unable to demonstrate any significant long-term benefits of aromatherapy or massage in terms of improving pain control, anxiety or quality of life. However, sleep scores improved significantly in both the massage and the combined massage (aromatherapy and massage) groups. There were also statistically significant reductions in depression scores in the massage group. In this study of patients with advanced cancer, the addition of lavender essential oil did not appear to increase the beneficial effects of massage. Our results do suggest, however, that patients with high levels of psychological distress respond best to these therapies.

Aromatherapy and massage for symptom relief in patients with cancer.

Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson S.Marie Curie Palliative Care Research and Development Unit, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Royal Free Campus, Rowland Hill Street, London, London, UK, NW3 2PF.

BACKGROUND: Aromatherapy massage is a commonly used complementary therapy, and is employed in cancer and palliative care largely to improve quality of life and reduce psychological distress. OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether aromatherapy and/or massage decreases psychological morbidity, lessens symptom distress and/or improves the quality of life in patients with a diagnosis of cancer. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched CENTRAL (Cochrane Library Issue 1 2002), MEDLINE (1966 to May week 3 2002), CINAHL (1982 to April 2002), British Nursing Index (1994 to April 2002), EMBASE (1980 to Week 25 2002), AMED (1985 to April 2002), PsycINFO (1887 to April week 4 2002), SIGLE (1980 to March 2002), CancerLit (1975 to April 2002) and Dissertation Abstracts International (1861 to March 2002). Reference lists of relevant articles were searched for additional studies. SELECTION CRITERIA: We sought randomised controlled trials; controlled before and after studies; and interrupted time series studies of aromatherapy and/or massage for patients with cancer, that measured changes in patient-reported levels of physical or psychological distress or quality of life using reliable and valid tools. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed trials for inclusion in the review, assessed study quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted where information was unclear. MAIN RESULTS: The search strategy retrieved 1322 references. Ten reports met the inclusion criteria and these represented eight RCTs (357 patients). The most consistently found effect of massage or aromatherapy massage was on anxiety. Four trials (207 patients) measuring anxiety detected a reduction post intervention, with benefits of 19-32% reported. Contradictory evidence exists as to any additional benefit on anxiety conferred by the addition of aromatherapy. The evidence for the impact of massage/aromatherapy on depression was variable. Of the three trials (120 patients) that assessed depression in cancer patients, only one found any significant differences in this symptom. Three studies (117 patients) found a reduction in pain following intervention, and two (71 patients) found a reduction in nausea. Although several of the trials measured changes in other symptoms such as fatigue, anger, hostility, communication and digestive problems, none of these assessments was replicated. REVIEWERS' CONCLUSIONS: Massage and aromatherapy massage confer short term benefits on psychological wellbeing, with the effect on anxiety supported by limited evidence. Effects on physical symptoms may also occur. Evidence is mixed as to whether aromatherapy enhances the effects of massage. Replication, longer follow up, and larger trials are need to accrue the necessary evidence.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Antimicrobial Studies of Eucalyptus Essential Oils

Eucalyptus essential oils have been extensively studied for thier antibacterial action particularly for infections of the respiratory tract. Here are a few of the study abstracts:

Antibacterial effects of Eucalyptus globulus leaf extract on pathogenic bacteria isolated from specimens of patients with respiratory tract disorders.

Salari MH, Amine G, Shirazi MH, Hafezi R, Mohammadypour M.Department of Pathobiology, School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

The antibacterial activity of Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum Eucaplytpus essential oil) leaf extract was determined for 56 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, 25 isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes, 12 isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae and seven isolates of Haemophilus influenzae obtained from 200 clinical specimens of patients with respiratory tract disorders. MIC50s for these species were 64, 32, 16 and 16 mg/L, respectively; MIC90s were 128, 64, 32 and 32 mg/L, respectively; and MBCs were 512, 128, 64 and 64 mg/L, respectively. These results suggest that further studies to clarify the possible therapeutic role of E. globulus leaf extract in the treatment of respiratory tract infection are warranted.

Effect of eucalyptus essential oil on respiratory bacteria and viruses.

Cermelli C, Fabio A, Fabio G, Quaglio P.Dipartimento di Scienze di SanitÓ Pubblica, UniversitÓ di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, 41100, Modena, Italy.

The activity of Eucalyptus globulus essential oil was determined for 120 isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes, 20 isolates of S. pneumoniae, 40 isolates of S. agalactiae, 20 isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, 40 isolates of Haemophilus influenzae, 30 isolates of H. parainfluenzae, 10 isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae, 10 isolates of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and two viruses, a strain of adenovirus and a strain of mumps virus, all obtained from clinical specimens of patients with respiratory tract infections. The cytotoxicity was evaluated on VERO cells by the MTT test. The antibacterial activity was evaluated by the Kirby Bauer paper method, minimum inhibitory concentration, and minimum bactericidal concentration. H. influenzae, parainfluenzae, and S. maltophilia were the most susceptible, followed by S. pneumoniae. The antiviral activity, assessed by means of virus yield experiments titered by the end-point dilution method for adenovirus, and by plaque reduction assay for mumps virus, disclosed only a mild activity on mumps virus.

Antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities of volatile oils and extracts from stems, leaves, and flowers of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and Eucalyptus torquata.

Ashour HM.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt.

Eucalyptus species leaves have been traditionally used to heal wounds and fungal infections. Essential oils and extracts of some Eucalyptus species possess antimicrobial and antitumor properties. We sought to determine antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of oils and extracts of leaves, stems, and flowers of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and Eucalyptus torquata grown in Egypt. An agar diffusion method was used to analyze antimicrobial activities of essential oils and extracts of Eucalyptus against medically important gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. A sulphorhodamine B assay was used to analyze the in vitro cytotoxic activities of oils and extracts against Human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HEPG2), and Human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF7). Gram-positive bacteria were highly susceptible to oils and extracts of both Eucalyptus species. With the exception of Escherichia coli, gramnegative bacteria were resistant to extracts, but susceptible to the oil obtained from at least one organ of E sideroxylon and E torquata. Although Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger were resistant to the extracts, essential oils of E sideroxylon and E torquata generally exhibited moderate to high antifungal activities against Candida albicans, A flavus and A niger. Oils of E torquata stems exhibited cytotoxic activities on MCF7 cells followed by oils of E torquata leaves and E sideroxylon leaves. However, oils from both species failed to exert cytotoxic effects on HEPG2 cells. This is the first report of antimicrobial and antitumor properties of E sideroxylon and E torquata. Results suggest a wider use of Eucalyptus species products in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food preparations.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Research of Aromatherapy's Effects on the Brain

Several studies have been published tracking essential oils' and aromatherapy's effects on the's a few for your reading pleasure! The first discusses the balancing of brainwaves between the hemispheres by inhalation of either Lavender or Rosemary essential oil. The second discusses the mood modulating properties of Peppermint and Ylang Ylang oils, with Peppermint being an excellent all-around pick me up, ylang ylang was found significantly calming...

Study: EEG asymmetry responses to lavender and rosemary aromas in adults and infants.

Sanders C, Diego M, Fernandez M, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Roca A.
Touch Research Institutes, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820 (D-820), Miami, FL 33101, USA.

Frontal EEG asymmetry shifting from baseline was examined in adults and infants exposed to lavender essential oil and rosemary essential oil by reanalyzing previously published data, using techniques different from those utilized in the original two studies. Results from Study 1 on 39 adults revealed significant EEG shifting in the lavender group, with greater relative left frontal EEG activation (associated with greater approach behavior and less depressed affect). The participants in the two aroma groups were further grouped by those with greater baseline, relative to left frontal EEG activation, versus those with a greater baseline, relative to right frontal activation. Collapsing across aroma groups, those with greater baseline, relative to right frontal activation, shifted left during the aroma. Those with greater baseline relative to left frontal activation did not change. In the rosemary group, those with greater baseline relative to right frontal EEG activation shifted left during the aroma, while those with greater baselines relative to left frontal EEG activation shifted right. In the lavender group, those with greater baselines relative to right frontal baseline EEG activation shifted left, but those with greater baselines relative to left baseline did not shift. Study 2 on 27 full-term newborns revealed no significant shifts in asymmetry in either aroma group. However, when the aroma groups were collapsed, the right frontal EEG group exhibited significant shifting relative to left frontal EEG activation. This finding was similar to the adult findings, suggesting that either lavender or rosemary may induce left frontal EEG shifting in adults and infants who show greater baselines relative to right frontal EEG activation.

Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang.

Moss M, Hewitt S, Moss L, Wesnes K.Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit Division of Psychology, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

This study provides further evidence for the impact of the aromas of plant essential oils on aspects of cognition and mood in healthy participants. One hundred and forty-four volunteers were randomly assigned to conditions of ylang-ylang aroma, peppermint aroma, or no aroma control. Cognitive performance was assessed using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment battery, with mood scales completed before and after cognitive testing. The analysis of the data revealed significant differences between conditions on a number of the factors underpinning the tests that constitute the battery. Peppermint was found to enhance memory whereas ylang-ylang impaired it, and lengthened processing speed. In terms of subjective mood peppermint increased alertness and ylang-ylang decreased it, but significantly increased calmness. These results provide support for the contention that the aromas of essential oils can produce significant and idiosyncratic effects on both subjective and objective assessments of aspects of human behavior. They are discussed with reference to possible pharmacological and psychological modes of influence.

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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