The inhibitory effect of essential oils on herpes simplex virus type-1 replication in vitro

Microbiol Immunol. 2003;47(9):681-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2003.tb03431.x.


The antiviral effect of 12 essential oils on herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) replication was examined in vitro. The replication ability of HSV-1 was suppressed by incubation of HSV-1 with 1% essential oils at 4 C for 24 hr. Especially, lemongrass completely inhibited the viral replication even at a concentration of 0.1%, and its antiviral activity was dependent on the concentrations of the essential oil. When Vero cells were treated with the essential oil before or after viral adsorption, no antiviral activity was found, which suggests that the antiviral activity of essential oils including lemongrass may be due to the direct interaction with virions.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / drug effects*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Viral Plaque Assay
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Oils, Volatile