Tuberose essential oil comes from the highly aromatic flower petals of Polianthes tuberosa or tuberose plants through solvent extraction method.
The perennial plant is native to Mexico but grows widely in India, Bangladesh, and Central America as well.
The fragrant tuberose flowers are nocturnal, meaning they bloom only at night. The white flowers have a waxy texture and seductive fragrance. Tuberose flowers are also called ‘Mistress of the Night’.
In the Indian subcontinent, aromatic tuberoses garlands are offered to gods in temples and used in wedding ceremonies.
In Indonesia, tuberose flower is an important ingredient in some of the traditional food recipes.
Tuberose flower was first transported in Europe in the 17th century. Since then its highly sensual and rich floral note has been used in the perfume industry.
Recent medical science has tried to investigate more uses and health benefits of tuberose flowers apart from its popular uses in perfumery.
The bioactive constituents of the tuberose flowers and its essential oil have promising therapeutic values for human health.
This article reviews only the research-based health benefits, uses, and therapeutic values of tuberose essential oil.
Tuberose Essential Oil Constituents and Therapeutic Values
Tuberose oil has a unique chemical composition responsible for its positive therapeutic values. Some of the major bioactive components of the aromatic oil include:
- E-Methyl Isoeugenol
- Benzyl Benzoate
- Hexadecanoic Acid
- Methyl Benzoate
- Methyl Salicylate
- Oleic Acid
Researchers claim that these constituents have promising antibacterial, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, relaxing, sedative, aphrodisiac, and anti-cancer qualities.
Tuberose Essential Oil Health Benefits
Here are some of the health benefits of tuberose oil, all supported by evidence.
1. Tuberose Oil May Treat Bacterial Infections.
E. coli or Escherichia coli strain of bacteria may cause intestinal diseases in humans. Some of the common symptoms caused by E.coli are a bloody stool, diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, dehydration, kidney failure, and anemia.
S. aureus or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria thrive in the hair, nose, skin, and throats of humans and other animals. S. aureus may cause numerous skin infections, such as pimples, acne, boils, impetigo, cellulitis, carbuncles, pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis, and so on.
The bioactive components in some essential oils have effective antibacterial effects.
In this study, a low concentration of tuberose essential oil showed significant inhibiting effects against both E. coli and S. aureus strains of bacteria.
2. Tuberose Essential Oil Can Relieve Anxiety.
Inhaling the soothing fragrance tuberose essential oil can relieve your stress and anxiety. In the Iranian folk treatments, tuberose and other aromatic substances are used to relieve anxiety and depression.
A 2016 study in the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences tested the anxiolytic effects of tuberose oil in humans.
In that clinical trial, 54 students inhaled Tuberose oil for 15-20 minutes. The aromatherapy resulted in a significant decrease in the exam anxiety of the students.
3. Tuberose Essential Oil Has Antifungal Activities.
Tuberose oil may have promising antifungal effects in humans. Though there’s no clinical evidence to support the fungicidal activity of the oil in humans or animals.
A 2005 study in Phytotherapy Research journal confirms the antifungal activities of tuberose oil against fungal growth in vegetables such as potato. Three major constituents geraniol, methyl anthranilateare and indole are primary fungus inhibiting agents in tuberose oil.
More clinical research on humans may establish the efficacy and safety of tuberose oil for human fungal diseases.
4. Tuberose Essential Oil May Have Anti-Cancer Effects.
The toxic compounds or saponins and other glycosides had cytotoxic activity (cancerous cell death) against leukemia cells.
We need more scientific research to confirm the efficacy and safety of using tuberose extracts in inhibiting cancer.
5. Tuberose Essential Oil is Aphrodisiac and May Boost Libido.
In India, tuberose flowers are traditionally used in the wedding ceremonies and in ornamenting the bride with it for her first night. These practices hint at the romantic and passionate qualities of tuberose flowers and its essential oil.
According to anecdotal reports, the intoxicating aroma of the oil is a natural aphrodisiac. The intense fragrance may activate sex hormones in the body and stimulate sexual feeling and arousal.
How to Use Tuberose Essential Oil
You can use tuberose oil in a number of ways.
Topical application: for bacterial skin diseases, you can dilute 2-3 drops of tuberose oil in some carrier oil and apply it topically on the affected skin.
Aromatherapy bath: pour 8-10 drops of tuberose oil in your warm bath water and soak for 15-20 minutes. The relaxing aromatic bath can calm your mind, anger, negative feelings. It may boost self-confidence, sensuality, and positive feelings.
Direct inhalation or diffusing: you can pour 2-3 drops of tuberose oil in a fresh handkerchief and inhale the aroma for 15 minutes. The exercise can relieve anxiety. Moreover, you can diffuse the oil in your room for a peaceful and aromatic environment.
Tuberose Oil Side Effects
Undiluted tuberose oil topical application may cause allergic reactions to some people. You should use a small amount of the oil and always dilute it in a carrier oil to avoid the risk of skin rashes, itching, and redness.
Children under 2 years of age should not use this essential oil. The experts also recommend avoiding this oil if you are hypersensitive.
Internal consumption of the oil is strictly prohibited and you need an expert’s guidance in this matter.
Tuberose essential oil is derived from the intensely fragrant tuberose flowers. Traditionally the flowers have ornamental uses, in the perfume industry, and spiritual rituals.
Recent clinical science has investigated the chemical constituents of the tuberose flowers and its essential oil. They have discovered many therapeutic values of the oil that may be beneficial for humans.
Scientific evidence suggests that tuberose essential oil may be an effective remedy for anxiety, stress, bacterial infections, fungal diseases, bad body odor, and weak libido problems.