Study Examines Antiviral Effects of Geranium and Lemon Essential Oils

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus is one of the most serious emergencies that have happened on a global scale in recent decades.

Scientists and medical professionals have been in a race for months, in an attempt to get the situation under control.

There isn’t any official treatment yet, however, it was reported that some medications have proved to be effective, and there is a vaccine development undergoing clinical trials.

In the meantime, efforts have been directed towards finding effective preventative measures, besides the standards - wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing.

Following this, a recently published study examines the antiviral effects of geranium and lemon essential oils.

Let’s see the details.

What’s Important

Essential oils have been widely used in folk medicine as signature elements of aromatherapy and psychotherapy.

However, in recent years, modern studies have revealed that they also have many pharmacological effects.

They include calming anxiety, aiding digestion, boosting focus, treating headaches, and even reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and fighting microbes.

Both geranium and lemon essential oils are thought to exhibit antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

The Details

The study was done in vitro, which means it was done in a test tube in controlled laboratory conditions.

They thoroughly examined the compounds present in each essential oil, and they tested their enzyme activity.

The results revealed that geranium and essential oils displayed a significant inhibition of the expression of the ACE2 enzyme, without being toxic to cells in the body.

The ACE2 provides the entry point for the virus to hook into and start spreading.

Therefore, the inhibitory effect of geranium and lemon essential oils could halt the virus from the very start, thereby preventing an infection.

In Conclusion

This study has presented firm evidence of the antiviral properties of these two essential oils.

The results seem quite promising on paper, however, it’s natural that more studies are needed for more information about the mechanism behind the inhibitory effect.


Resource: Senthil Kumar, K.J.; Gokila Vani, M.; Wang, C.-S.; Chen, C.-C.; Chen, Y.-C.; Lu, L.-P.; Huang, C.-H.; Lai, C.-S.; Wang, S.-Y. Geranium and Lemon Essential Oils and Their Active Compounds Downregulate Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), a SARS-CoV-2 Spike Receptor-Binding Domain, in Epithelial Cells. Plants 2020, 9, 770. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9060770 

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