COVID-19 pandemic sheds a new research spotlight on antiviral potential of essential oils – A bibliometric study.

Publication date: Jul 01, 2023

Essential oils are thought as potential therapies in managing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Many researchers have put their efforts to tackle the pandemic by exploring antiviral candidates which consequently changes the research landscape. Herein, we aimed to assess the effect of COVID-19 pandemic toward the landscape of essential oil research. This study employed bibliometric analysis based on the metadata of published literature indexed in the Scopus database. The search was performed on December 15, 2022 by using keyword ‘essential oil’ and its synonyms. We grouped the data based on publication year; pre-COVID-19 (2014-2019) and during COVID-19 (2020-2024, some studies have been published earlier). Further, we separated the COVID-19-focused research from COVID-19 (2020-2024) by introducing a new keyword ‘COVID-19’ during the search. All metadata were processed using VoSviewer and Biblioshiny for network visualization analysis. Selections of frequently occurring keywords, clusters of keyword co-occurrence, and the list of most impactful papers were performed by two independent reviewers. Metadata from a total of 35,262 publications were included for bibliometric analysis, comprised of three groups of datasets namely pre-COVID-19 (n = 18,670), COVID-19 (n = 16,592), and COVID-19-focused (n = 281). Five research topics clusters were found from pre-COVID-19 dataset, eight – from COVID-19 dataset, and nine – from COVID-19-focused dataset. COVID-19 cluster containing the keyword ‘antiviral’ emerged in the COVID-19 dataset, whereas none of the previous research topic clusters contained the keyword ‘antiviral’. Antiviral, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) inhibitory, and anti-inflammation activities were among the top occurring keywords in studies covering both essential oil and COVID-19. Studies on essential oil used for managing COVID-19 were most reported by authors from the United States (documents = 37, citations = 405), Australia (documents = 16, citations = 115) and Italy (documents = 23, citations = 366). A significant increase was found during COVID-19 pandemic for publications covering essential oil themes, but only a small portion was occupied by COVID-19 research. The COVID-19 pandemic does not alter the ongoing progress of essential oil research but rather offers a new spotlight on the antiviral potential of essential oils. Hence, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to investigate deeper the antiviral potential of essential oils.

Concepts Keywords
Coronavirus Aromatherapy
December Novel coronavirus
Oil Pandemic
Research Research landscape


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
drug DRUGBANK Angiotensin II
disease MESH inflammation

Original Article

(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *