Schnitzler P, Reichling J
Essential oils from various aromatic medicinal plants are highly active against some viral infections, e.g. labial herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. Balm oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil demonstrate in vitro a significant antiherpetic activity, mainly related to a direct drug-virus particle interaction, some essential oils also act directly virucidal. Interestingly, these essential oils are also highly active against acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus strains. In clinical studies, tea tree oil has been shown to possess antiherpetic, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, as well as to accelerate the healing process of herpes labialis. Applying diluted essential oils three to four times daily for the antiherpetic treatment of affected areas is recommended. Some companies have marketed plant products, e.g. from Melissa, for the treatment of recurrent herpetic infections.
Schnitzler P, Reichling J. Efficacy of plant products against herpetic infections. HNO. 2011;59(12):1176-1184.