Essential oils have multiple uses. Some of the common uses of some specific oils are as follows:
- Lavender exhibits luminescent and florescent emissions.
- Ocimum basilicum from the family Lamiaceae has antibacterial activity.
- Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) exhibit various antifungal,antibacterial and antioxidant character.
- Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) produced oil which is importantly used in fragrance industry.
- The lavender genus which includes Lavendula angustifolia and Lavendula latifolia are characterized by terpenes and terpenoids which are responsible for distinct flavors.
- The importance and uses of essential oil is not restricted to the what mentioned above, and they are quite diverse. Below given is the list of distinct and different uses for essential oils.
As Antiviral agent
Essential oils possess antiviral activities without having any toxicity. Incorporation of Artimisia arboreseens essential oil in multi lamella liposomes improved its activity against intracellular herpes simplex virus type. Lemon grass essential oil possesses the most important HSV1 activity and inhibits replication. Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil show high level of virucidal activity. The complex mixture of essential oils showed higher antiviral activity than individual compounds due to synergism phenomenon.
As Antibacterial Agent
Essential oils can act as anti-bacterial agents against many pathogenic bacterial strains like Listeria monocytogenes, L. innocua, Salmonella typhimurium.
Thyme and oregano essential oils show some pathogenic bacterial strains such as E.coli, Salmonella choleraesuis and Salmonella typhimurium where inhibition is directly related to phenolic components of carvacrol and thymol. The essential oil of Artimisia annua inhibits the bacterial growth of Enterococcus Hiral. It contains βselinene, β- caryophyllene, camphor, germacrene D, trans pinocarveol and artimisia ketone. It is also suggested that use of tea tree oil in formulation does not lead to dermatological problems and also do not effect the original protective bacterial flora of the skin. In veterinary therapy 10% tea tree oil containing cream formulation causes much faster relief against canine localized acute and chronic dermatitis than any commercial skin care creamAnd the active ingredient for antimicrobial property of tea tree oil is the high amount of terpenen-4-ol. Bactericidal activities are also shown by essential oil against oral and dental pathogenic microorganism and therefore are used into rinses or mouth washes for pre-procedural mouth control.Mouth washes containing essential oils could be used to control plaque since they can penetrate the plaque bio film where they kill pathogenic wall and inhibit their enzymatic activity. Listerine contains thymol, menthol and eucalyptol components from essential oil which is very useful against dental problems. Effectiveness of essential oil is also observed with gargles for the treatment of oropharyngeal candidiasis in AIDS. They can also be used as anti- bacterial agents against certain respiratory tract pathogens. The oil of Achillea clavennae showed its maximum activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae and penicillin susceptible and penicillin resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae.
The essential oil used as pesticides
Oils with their constituents are clove oil (eugnol), thyme oil (thymol and carvacrol), mint oil (menthol, pulegone), lemon grass oil (citronellal, citral), cinnamon oil (cinnamaldehyde), rosemary oil (1,8- cineole) and oregano oil (carvacrol). They work with many alternative mechanisms on insects for toxicity. In arthropod and many insects having octopamine as a neuro transmitter and neuro modulator, many essential oil constituents work by blocking these receptors, certain essential oil may work with the disruption of cell membrane or they block the tracheal system in insects. But still the efficacies of these are low as compared to the current synthetic pesticides used. Still phenols are more active pesticide than other monoterpenes. As insect repellents Insect repellent used for the protection against mosquitoes is prepared by using lemon grass oil mixed with mint oil. The active ingredient of it is citronella. Also these repellents are used to remove cockroaches and prevent their return in human habitations. It is found in the study that terpinen-4-ol is most effective against adult lice which is further followed by the pulegone. While for P. humanus eggs, nerolidol and thymol are more active. As miticides Essential oil containing menthol and thymol has been used as mite fumigants in beehives . Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil containing 1, 8-cineole are effective against house dust mites. Commercially used products Various commercial products are available as pesticides containing essential oil.
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