Therapeutic properties of the essential oils:

With some texts from Shirley Price and Franchomme-Penoel.

Antiseptic and antibacterial

This is probably the most studied property of essential oils. Test have been carried out on the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of essential oils for more than one century. (Chamberland 1887, Dr Jean Valnet-1963... and many others) Test made with electric diffusers have proven how powerful and rapidly bacteries can be destroyed with essential oils.


Many esential oils have this property:

Clove oil: used to calm dental pain

Peppermint oil(Mentha x Piperita ) headaches...

Lavender (Lavandula x hybrida clone super): migraine...

Birch (Betula aleghaniensis): rhumatism...



Different essential oils are well known having this property:

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct carvacrol, ct geranium)



Some essential oils are famous regarding this property:

German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): due to the azulene and (-)-alfa-bisabolol it contains, thus explaining the blue color.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): sunburn, small burns, insect bites...



Chamomile oil has been found to be capable of inactivating toxins produced by bacteria.


There are some powerful antiviral essential oils:

Melissa officinalis and Eucalyptus smithii on Herpes simplex virus I

Ravensara aromatica

Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora or quinquinervia)



Aromatherapists are well aware of the remarkable balancing powers of the essential oils. At times this can cause puzzlement because of the apparantly contradictory effects of the oils. For instance some oils act sedative in small doses, but very stimulating at higher doses...


Diffusing sweet smelling essential oils can replace bad odours very rapidly. They are also very usefull in underarms and foot deodorant recipes.


Most essential oils obtained from seed (Anise, Caraway...) have powerful digestif properties. Also Peppermint and even Lavender oils are useful here.


The most famous diuretic essential oil is Juniper (Juniperus communis).


Not surprizing, this property, because we know essential oils are in some way materialized sun-energy!


This helps in healing wher there has been damage or removal of tissue. Probably the best known use is lavender oil for minor burns, which yields positive and rapid results.


Some essential oils are hormon-like:

Clary...amenorrhoea, oligomenorrhoea, pre-menopause...

Pine : stimulates the cortex of the suprarenal gland...



Essential oils promote local peripheral circulation due to a primary irritation of the skin, and the effects of this are twofold:

The freeing of mediators (e.g. bradykinin) which cause vasodillation

Humoral reactions resulting in the antiinflammatory effect.

Eucalyptus globulus, Rosmarinus officinalis , Juniperus communis...


Different essential oils have been reported to have an immunostimulant. For instance Melaleuca viridiflora (Niaouli)(Penoel 1981), but other essential oils have also been mentioned.

Insecicidal and repellent

Most famous insect repellants:


Cinnamon(Cinnamomum camphora

Geranium (Pelargonium asperum)


Mucolytic and expectorant

Many oils are mucolytic thanks to their content of powerful ketones (carvone, menthone, thuyone, pinocamphone, etc.)and in some cases lactones.

Eucalyptus globulus, Pine, Anise, Thyme ct thymol...


Well known: Melissa , Valerian... Lavender, Citrus oils (Citrus aurantium var. amara)...

(Personal note: Melissa is extremely expensive, so I preferr the use of citrus oils and lavender.)


Many essential oils have this property, ...Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Majoran (Origanum majorana), Cypres (Cupressus sempervirens-folia)...Laurel (Laurus nobilis), German chamomile...