9 Amazing Lilac Essential Oil Benefits & Uses

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The many benefits and uses of lilac essential oil include its use in cosmetics and cleaning products. It also has the ability to eliminate parasites, reduce inflammation, soothe the nervous system, improve the odor of your home, protect the skin and strengthen the immune system.

What is Lilac Essential Oil?

Lilac essential oil is derived from one of more than two dozen species of lilac, all of which belong to the Oleaceae family. The most common species of lilac is Syringa vulgaris and is a deciduous shrub that is native to Eastern Europe and the Balkans but has since spread through Europe and has been naturalized in much of North America. Its documented use in medicinal practices only stretches back a few hundred years but has likely been used by indigenous people for far longer. Lilacs are some of the most popular flower varieties in the world, resulting in the wide availability of this essential oil.

The sedative, febrifuge, anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory properties of this essential oil are caused by the active ingredients in this concentrated oil including indole, lilac aldehyde, and ocimene, all of which can have positive effects on the body when used in moderation. [1]

Note: Unlike some other essential oils, lilac essential oil should never be consumed directly and should be kept away from mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose, ear, and mouth.

Lilac essential oil bottles with fresh lilac flowers in a spa table setting

Lilac essential oil is used for calming anxiety and balances emotions. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits & Uses of Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac essential oil is particularly useful for people dealing with high-stress levels, anxiety, a weak immune system, parasitic infections, sunburn, premature aging, wrinkles, fever, inflammatory conditions, cuts, scrapes, and bruises.

Skin Care

The stimulating and antioxidant properties of this essential oil can help speed the healing process of the skin, particularly when you have small cuts, bruises or scrapes. It will not only protect these open wounds from infection but also stimulate the growth of new cells and increase the rate of healing, even of sunburns, rashes, and other inflammatory conditions. [2]

Prevents Premature Aging

The antioxidants and astringent compounds in lilac essential oil can work in combination to improve the appearance of skin and make you look and feel younger. If you have lines, wrinkles, blemishes or other age-related marks, this oil can help tighten the skin, increase elasticity, and prevent many of the symptoms of premature aging. [3]

Boosts Immune System

Bacterial and fungal infections are particularly susceptible to the effects of lilac essential oil. When inhaled through a diffuser, this oil can help your respiratory and gastrointestinal system stave off attacks from various airborne pathogens. [4]

Reduces Fever

Traditionally known as a febrifuge, lilac essential oil can help to break stubborn fevers and begin the recovery process for people suffering from infections and illnesses. By promoting sweating, febrifuges can stimulate the release of toxins from the body and give your immune system a much-needed break. [5]

Lowers Anxiety and Stress

As one of the most popular aromatherapy oils on the market, lilac essential oil is well known for its effects on stress and anxiety. Simply inhaling a few whiffs of this oil can impact your limbic system, promoting feelings of calmness and lowering stress hormone levels in the body. This can lead to better sleep and lower levels of depression, as well as a reduced risk of chronic disease. [6]

Eliminates Parasites

In many parts of the world, the lilac essential oil has been used to cleanse the body of internal parasites and intestinal worms. While many people think of digestive aids as something to consume, it is not recommended that you consume it. Inhaling these powerful compounds or applying them to the skin is enough to promote their effects internally. [7]

Improves Room Odor

Lilac essential oil provides a wonderful aroma to a room when used in an essential oil diffuser, and also has certain antibacterial properties that help to cleanse the room’s air and surfaces. The scent of lilac oil is very pleasant and commonly sought after by people interested in aromatherapy and passive health treatments. [8]

Cosmetic Uses

Lilac essential oil is commonly included in cosmetic products, such as soaps, shampoos, perfumes and bath soaps. This is as much for the lovely smell of lilac as it is for the oil’s potential benefits for the skin and hair. [9]

Cleaning Applications

People who prefer natural house cleaners, as opposed to mainstream products that may contain harsh chemicals, the lilac essential oil is often relied upon. The antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic nature of this oil, combined with its pleasant smell, make this an excellent ingredient in cleaning products.

Side Effects of Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac essential oil does incur certain side effects, particularly when used improperly or by certain groups of people with pre-existing conditions or allergies. The active ingredients in this oil can be very powerful and can have serious side effects if consumed or used incorrectly.

  • Allergies – Lilac essential oil does have a reputation for being an allergenic substance, so when you first begin using the oil, apply a small amount to a patch of skin and wait for 60-90 minutes to see if an allergic reaction occurs. If you use it and experience any sort of negative side effect, discontinue use immediately and speak with your doctor.
  • Pregnancy – Due to the high concentration of active ingredients and chemicals in lilac essential oil, it is generally not recommended for pregnancy. However, some women find relaxing and anxiolytic effects beneficial. But always speak to a doctor before using essential oils in any form when pregnant.
  • Skin Inflammation – Aside from allergic reactions, some people’s skin will react to the use of lilac essential oil, particularly when large amounts are used. Reactions may include the skin turning very red and itchy, combines with hives or a larger rash. Using this oil with a carrier oil for topical applications can lower your risk of this side effect.
  • Internal Consumption – Under no circumstances should lilac essential oil be consumed, as it can have toxic effects and lead to stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and other more serious side effects.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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