Melissa essential oil has been researched more than any other essential oil for its anti-viral action versus the herpes simplex I & II viruses. In every study we’ve reviewed, the essential oil has been shown to halt the spread of the virus.
(Note that the oil from our certified organic distiller is currently on sale for 20% off…read more here!)
As the research abstract at the end of this post notes, at non-cytotoxic concentrations (concentrations that do not harm living cells), melissa essential oil has limited viral infectivity by between 97% & 98%. It has, in fact, been noted by one German researcher to have completely eradicated the virus from some individuals.
Anecdotal reports from users of Ananda Aromatherapy’s melissa has been that the oil has excellent effects, particularly when used at the very onset of outbreaks. Some individuals report a near-eradication of the virus, preventing outbreaks from occurring except under the most extremely stressful situations on the immune system — meaning that they have fewer and less severe outbreaks since using the essential oil regularly.
Some folks take one drop of the oil internally several times a day; others use it ‘neat’ on the affected area, and some dilute it in Tamanu oil to ratio that is best tolerated by their skin.
Note: Ravensara and Tamanu in a 50:50 ratio is the most often recommended blend for application to shingles outbreaks (herpes zoster).
Here’s the abstract of a study confirming the antivrial effect of melissa oil…
Study: Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses.
Schnitzler P, Schuhmacher A, Astani A, Reichling J. Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
Extracts and essential oils of medicinal plants are increasingly of interest as novel drugs of antimicrobial and antiviral agents, since herpes simplex virus (HSV) might develop resistance to commonly used antiviral agents. The antiviral effect of melissa oil, the essential oil of Melissa officinalis, on herpes simplex virus was examined.
The inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was tested. At noncytotoxic concentrations of the oil, (virus) plaque formation was significantly reduced by 98.8% for HSV-1 and 97.2% for HSV-2, higher concentrations of lemon balm oil abolished viral infectivity nearly completely. In order to determine the mode of antiviral action of this essential oil, time-on-addition assays were performed. Both herpesviruses were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with balm oil prior to infection of cells. These results indicate that Melissa oil affected the virus before adsorption, but not after penetration into the host cell, thus lemon balm oil is capable of exerting a direct antiviral effect on herpesviruses. Considering the lipophilic nature of lemon balm essential oil, which enables it to penetrate the skin, and a high selectivity index, Melissa officinalis oil might be suitable for topical treatment of herpetic infections.