Essential oil of Australian lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) in the treatment of molluscum contagiosum in children

Biomed Pharmacother. 2004 May;58(4):245-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2003.11.006.


Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral illness of childhood and is increasingly found as a sexually transmitted disease in sexually active young adults. Current treatment options are invasive, requiring tissue destruction and attendant discomfort. Thirty-one children (mean age 4.6 +/- 2.1 years) with the diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum (mean length of time with condition 8.6 +/- 5.3 months) were treated with once daily topical application of a 10% solution (v/v) of essential oil of Australian lemon myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) or vehicle (olive oil). At the end of 21 days, there was greater than 90% reduction in the number of lesions in 9/16 children treated with lemon myrtle oil, while 0/16 children met the same criteria for improvement in the vehicle group (P < 0.05). No adverse events were reported.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Molluscum Contagiosum / drug therapy*
  • Myrtaceae / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile