Lilac Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Did you know that there are over 120 essential oils in the market? Some of the most common options include lavender, lemon, peppermint, frankincense, and eucalyptus. However, lilac is one of the less common essential oils, but it has so many benefits for you and your family.

Lilac essential oil has some benefits like easing anxiety, acting as an antifungal agent, treating skin problems, preventing premature aging, eliminating parasites, improving room odor, among other uses.

Read on to learn more about the history of lilac essential oil, how to use the oil safely, and some of the common uses of this essential oil. 

Lilac essential oil in amber glass vials placed near lilac flowers

History of the Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac essential comes from the lilac, which has different species, all that falls under the Oleaceae family. The most common lilac is the Syringa Vulgaris, a species common in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

When the 16th century was ending, lilac was taken from Ottoman gardens and got into the west and north of Europe. People brought lilacs to the US during the 1800s, and now you can find lilacs spread out in homesteads and abandoned lots.

While lilac oil’s benefits have been known for years, it’s believed that the local people were using it as a healthy oil for a long time to treat infectious diseases and intestinal worms. The plant itself grows between 5-15 ft depending on the species. Most lilacs are yellow, pink, white, creamy yellow, purple, and red.

The flowers have medicinal properties and are edible. They are used as flower displays and as garnishes on pastries.

There are over 18 different lilac types, with the most common being the lilac of Moscow, Sensation lilac, Tinkerbelle lilac, and President Grevy. The French lilac is the most common and traditional one that has a calming effect. It also has a soothing and calming effect that encourages relaxation. White lilacs evoke a feeling of sensuality—that’s why lilacs are famous for their scent. 

Where Does Lilac Essential Oil Come From?

Lilac essential oil comes from the leaves of the lilac plant. The manufacturers use the steam-distilled method of extraction. The oil is extracted from the flowers and leaves. Sometimes manufacturers use the fruits to extract the oil.

Characteristics of Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac oil has a fruity, distinct aroma. Some of the things that make lilac oil act as an anxiolytic, an anti-inflammatory, and a sedative are items like aldehyde, indole, and acumen. When combined, these substances provide health benefits when used in moderation.

Some of the physical properties of the lilac essential oil include:

  • Light purple color
  • Waxy consistency
  • Floral, refreshing, and a robust smell

Lilac essential oil also has other chemical properties like:

  • Indole
  • Benzyl methyl ether to influence floral scent
  • (E)-Ocimene as the main compound
  • Furanoid terpene aldehyde
  • 1,4-dimethoxybenzene

How Does Lilac Oil Work?

Lilac oil is known for its antiseptic, tonic, and sedative properties, which means it can be used in different ways. You can mix the oil in your beauty or bath products or add it to your cream or lotion.

The oil also works as a topical agent; all you’d need is to mix it with a safe carrier oil and apply it to wrinkles, rashes, or a sunburn. People also use it as a mild massage oil. Inhaled or diffused lilac essential oil may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. All you need is to add some drops of the oil in a burner. 

How to Make Lilac Essential Oil

Here are some steps on how to make lilac essential oil:

  1. For you to make lilac oil, you need to get a handful of fresh lilac flowers. Put the blossoms on the top of a bowl that is lined with cheesecloth. 
  2. Submerge all blossoms with one to two cups of water and cover the bowl. Allow the bowl to sit overnight.
  3. In the morning, turn the cheesecloth into a packet after drawing the edges. Ensure the flowers are at the center of the packet and tie with a string. Put the lilac infused water to a heating vessel like a pot or vessel and boil for an hour.
  4. Let the infused water sit and cool. Pour the cooled mixture into a bowl and add some drops of glycerin. Shake the bottle well to ensure everything mixes well. 

How to Make Lilac Infused Oil

To get started, you’ll need:

  • Fresh lilacs
  • A mason jar
  • A cooling rack
  • Carrier oil
  • Labels
  • Cheesecloth
  • Slow cooker which is optional

Here are the steps to making lilac infused oil:

  1. Get the lilacs and cut them into multiple bunches. Place them on a cooling rack in bunches of two or three and allow them to dry.
  2. Leave them to dry for a week and remove the flower petals from the stems. Throw away the stems
  3. Put the dried flowers in a mason jar, and ensure they are 3/4 full.
  4. Cover the flowers with witch hazel or carrier oil in different jars. Ensure the flowers are covered completely. You can also use a slow cooker to infuse the flowers quickly. Put a folded hand towel on the bottom and fill it with some water. Place the jars on the towel, ensuring that the water covers half of the flower mixture. 
  5. Reduce the heat on low and allow the mixture to further infuse for four hours. Don’t cover with a lid as it can collect condensation that could drip into the jars. An alternative is to cover the lilacs and oil with a lid for slow infusion. Allow this to sit for two weeks in a dark and cool place, shake this mixture one a day to ensure even infusion.
  6. Pour the infused oil through cheesecloth to remove the leftover flowers. Throw away the flowers. 
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You can use the lilac infused oil in your bathing products or combine it with a carrier oil for improved skin health. 

Does Lilac Essential Oil Even Exist?

Searching for lilac essential oil leaves you with lots of questions, and you can sometimes feel confused as to whether this oil really exists. True lilac essential oil doesn’t exist; what exists is lilac fragrance oils that are commonly used in aromatherapy and can have other uses.

The scent of the lilac can’t be captured by steam distillation, and other methods of extraction all only destroy the scent profile. That’s because of the chemical composition of the lilac flowers.

Lilac flowers do not have enough oils to go through cold pressing, which is another method that produces traditional essential oils. The composition of the lilac flowers and the cost makes this process limiting.

What’s done is that lilac essential oil, which is more of a fragrance or essence, mimics lilac’s smell by getting mixed with different synthetic chemicals. Although the oil is not 100% natural, it has some fragrant and relaxing properties like real lilac flowers, making it an excellent addition to your beauty products. The lilac scent pairs well with floral oils like freesia, jasmine, rose, and violet.

Manufacturers opt to make fragrance oil instead, as it’s impossible to extract oils directly from lilacs. You’re likely to come across some people claiming to have lilac essential oils, but these are not natural products and could lead to harmful side effects. What you’ll find and should use instead are lilac fragrance oils.

A process called enfleurage is used to create lilac fragrance oils. This process works well for delicate flowers as it preserves the scent profile. The French developed this process and has been used for ages to preserve the fragrance of different flowers.

The process starts by spreading palm oil on a huge surface. The lilac blossoms are harvested and placed in the palm oil for infusion. Old blossoms are discarded daily, and new blossoms are added to the oils. It takes a month for the blossom infusion process to be successful. Sometimes organic spirits are added to encourage evaporation. All the palm oil evaporates once the process is complete leaving the lilac fragrance oil.

Another point to note is that although the oil is synthetic, it still needs the same care as other essential oils. That means you need to dilute the oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin to avoid skin irritation. You should not also apply it to the area around your eyes. However, you can use the undiluted version when adding in a bath or a perfume. 

Uses of Lilac Essential Oil

Below are some of the uses of lilac essential oil include:


Lilac oil has relaxing properties, something that makes it perfect for easing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Most people use it as a stress reliever. All you need is to inhale a few whiffs, which can be ideal for your limbic system.

After inhaling the fragrant oil, the result is lowered stress hormones in the body and feeling of calmness. The essential oil has been shown to harmonize mood instantly, thus lowering the risk of chronic disease. It can also be used to treat insomnia.

Lilac oil has linalool, something that signals the nervous system to puce low cortisol levels. The sweet scent also helps with stress reduction. Simply add a drop or two of this essential oil to your diffuser and combine it with lavender or rose oil. Inhale this deeply and give this a few minutes to experience the results. 

Helps Alleviate Symptoms of Premature Aging

Lilac essential oil has astringent and antioxidant compounds that work together to improve the appearance of your skin. That helps you appear younger as it helps the body to remove any blemishes, lines, wrinkles, and other age-related marks. The result is a tight skin as it also increases elasticity and helps alleviate symptoms of premature aging.

The antioxidant property in lilac oil prevents cell damage and also repairs cells that have undergone photoaging.

The oil can also support good skin health to avoid or reduce issues like burns, cuts, and rashes. Lilac fragrance oil is also known to help reduce the effects of sunburn. If you’re looking to clear up acne breakouts or achieve smooth skin, you can make a skin tonic using lilac oil. Combine two drops of lilac fragrance oil with eight ounces of water. Spray this mixture on your face once a day in the morning or at night before you sleep. 

Helps the Body Reduce Inflammation

Your body gets inflamed when there is a foreign substance introduced in your body or at a time when you get injured. Inflammation is a natural response when something is wrong in your body. That’s what leads to the sweeping or redness.

Lilac fragrance oil has been shown to reduce inflammation that is caused by internal elements. You can use this oil in a diffuser to allow the scent to spread throughout the house. Another option is to add a drop or two to a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil and apply it to your skin to enable the anti-inflammatory process to work topically. 

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Supports Good Digestion

Lilac oil can help the body avoid digestive issues and other stomach disorders you could be experiencing from the foods and drinks you ingest. Problems like diarrhea, excess gas, and dyspepsia have been found to be relieved by using Syringa extracts. This is done by applying the fragrance oil to the stomach area. The oil enhances blood flow around that area and helps relieve any stomach pain. 

Supports Stable Blood Pressure

High-stress levels can easily end to high blood pressure. Sometimes genetics and diet could also lead to the same condition. If not managed, blood pressure could lead to combinations like heart disease.

Fortunately, the lilac essential oil may help decrease heart rate, thus lowering blood pressure. To use this oil to reduce your blood pressure, pour a couple of drops into a diffuser, and inhale it as it spreads into the air. 

Helps the Body Fight Fungal and Bacterial Infections

Lilac essential oil has antifungal properties, something that makes it useful for helping the body fight fungal and bacterial infections. The 10-dione present in the oil is effective against Escherichia Coli, and Oleosidade 11-methyl ester fights against Lactobacillus pentoses. The oil works as a sterilizing agent, and its fragrant smell makes it a good option. 

Wards Off Ticks and Mites

Lilac essential oil may be used to ward off ticks, mites, and other parasites, including intestinal worms. The oil has anthelmintic properties, meaning it can help remove intestinal worms without harming your body. One can do this through inhalation or apply the oil on your skin. 

Supports Good Blood Health

Lilac oil has been found to prevent clotting in certain heart patients. It may also also reduce the risk of getting a stroke and heart attack as found in this study. Extracts of the Syringa aromatic inhibits platelet aggregation according to research. 

Helps Fight Malaria Symptoms

Lilac oil has antiviral compounds, which help inhibit the growth of the Hepatitis B virus. The oil may also help treat the symptoms of malaria. Fever, chills, tiredness, muscle aches, headache, vomiting, etc.—are the symptoms of malaria.

Odor Removal

Lilac essential oil can help eliminate odor because of its sweet and overpowering smell. You can use this oil in a diffuser and have it act as an air freshener. It also reduces stuffiness in the air, leaving your room smelling fresh. 

Can Be Used as a Cleaning Agent

You can use lilac fragrance oil for all your cleaning around the house, thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral nature. It’s better for your kids and pets compared to other cleaners full of harmful chemicals. What’s more, it’s aroma leaves the whole place smelling fresh instead of having that bleach smell.

Get a large spray bottle and put in 15 drops of essential oil and another 15 drops of a fragrant oil like lilac oil. Use tea tree, orange, or eucalyptus and mix this with lilac oil to create an all-natural cleaning agent. Remember to add equal parts vinegar and warm water, shake well, and use this solution to clean around the house. 

Acts as a Powerful Febrifuge

Lilac essential oil has febrifuge properties, meaning it acts to ease high fever. What the oil does is to promote seating to lower the core temperature. The result is that this forces the body to release toxins that cause fever. That gives your immune system time to fight off other infections and illnesses. 

Helps Ease Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Dealing with hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and painful. Lilac essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain, swelling, and itching. All you need is to apply the fragrance oil around the area with hemorrhoids.

Studies also show that consuming the extracts of lilac can help in the treatment of hemorrhoids. 

Works as a Massage Oil

Lilac oil can be used as a massage oil in combination with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil. Mix a few drops of lilac essential oil to a carrier oil and massage this mixture onto your feet or back. Apart from leaving you relaxed, the oil leaves you hydrated and smelling fresh all day.

You can also use this fragrant oil in the bath to relax sore muscles. That’s why some manufacturers add lilac oil in bath salts and soaps along with other fragrant oils like lavender to promote relaxation.

Add some drops of lilac essential oil to a running bath and enjoy this oil’s relaxing properties. The best part is that you get skin healing benefits during the process. 

Helps Deter Parasites

Lilac essential oil can help the body get rid of ingesting parasites like intestinal worms caused by certain foods. However, you cannot ingest this oil directly as it’s harmful to your health. Nevertheless, you can inhale it through a diffuser or apply it topically to experience the full effect.

You can also create a mattress spray by mixing lilac oil in water. That may help prevent or kill mites that could be hiding in your bedding and mattress. The solution may also keep ticks away when diffused aromatically or used as a spray in your backyard. 

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Can Be Used to Create Scented Soaps and Candles

You can use lilac oil to create your own scented soaps and candles. Adding this fragrant oil to your soap is a great idea as it has a clean and fresh smell, something that will be relaxing to use while in the bathroom.

You can also make your fragrant candles at home with the lilac essential oil. The sweet-smelling lilac will leave your home smelling fresh, while also putting you in a relaxed mood. 

How to Make a Lilac Essential Oil Candle

To get started, you’ll need:

  • Candle mold
  • Candle wicks
  • Lilac essential oil
  • Soy wax

Below are the steps to making candles. You can start by:

  1. Measuring the wax. Soy wax works much better than paraffin wax when making essential oil candles. This type of wax gives the cable that sharp and strong smell. Get two cups of soy wax flakes or half a kilo. The measurements are adjustable, depending on the number of candles you want to make.
  2. Next, heat the wax in a microwave-safe container for close to three minutes. Ensure that you stir at intervals. Handle the container with care as the wax may get very hot. 
  3. After achieving the right consistency, you can add about ten drops of lilac essential oil to the melted wax. You can adjust the amount if you need to reduce or increase the fragrance. If you decide to mix other essential oils, ensure one is lighter. 
  4. You’ll then need to add a wick. That can be done by placing a wooden stick across the jar you’re using for the candle. Secure the wick to the stick. Allow it to go all the way down into the bottom of the mason jar. 
  5. Pour the melted wax into the jar. If you notice the wick is moving, place something sticky at the bottom of the jar to hold it in place. Note that the wick should be in the middle and straight. Don’t move the jar until the wax sets, which should be in a few minutes. 
  6. Put the candle in the fridge to harden the wax. Avoid poking the candle or testing to see if it works after some minutes. The minimum time it should set is two hours. Remove it from the fridge and cut the wick off. You now have a candle with lilac essential oil.

Best Scents to Use With Lilac Essential Oil

If you are thinking of some scents that will blend well with lilac fragrance oil, you can opt for jasmine, rose, violet, or gardenia. These are the best blends of scents you can use with your lilac essential oil.

Side Effects of Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac essential oil can have unpleasant side effects when used incorrectly. People with allergies or pre-existing conditions can also experience these side effects. That’s because the active compounds in the lilac oil are powerful.

Some of the side effects include:

Skin Irritation

Lilac essential oil, like other products, obtained from plants, can lead to skin irritation when you decide to apply it topically. People with sensitive skin should avoid using lilac oil to avoid rashes, irritation, blisters, and skin infections.

Experts recommend diluting the oil with a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, or coconut oil when applying it topically. You can also avoid skin irritation by diluting the oil with water. Add a drop or two of lilac oil with water and use it as a cleanser before applying to the skin. 

Pungent Aroma

Another point to note is the strong smell that lilac essential oil has. If you’re not used to the pungent smell, you may find it nauseating or overwhelming. A few people may experience light-headedness or dizziness.

You can avoid experiencing this side effect by using a small quantity or blend of the lilac oil with other oils to reduce the fragrant floral smell. Oils like vetiver and tea area oil counteract that aroma. Avoid using lilac oil if you are allergic to fresh lilac flowers. 


Lilac essential oil is known to be an allergenic substance, which means you may develop allergies when using it. Discontinue use if you experience a negative reaction after using this fragrant oil.

It’s best to perform a patch test first and wait for an hour to see if you’ll experience an allergic reaction. Always consult your doctor before using lilac essential oil.

Precautions When Using Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac essential oil has a high concentration of active chemicals and ingredients. That’s why you should avoid contact with this oil if you are pregnant or nursing. Moreover, it’s advisable not to consume lilac oil at all. Keep the oil far from mucous membranes like the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.

If you have medical issues, it’s recommended to consult a doctor before you start using lilac essential oil. 


While lilac essential oil isn’t pure, it has both medicinal and beauty benefits. You can use it as a skin tonic ad as an aromatherapy oil. However, you need to be aware of the side effects and handle the fragrant oil with precautions like any other essential oil. Remember not to ingest it directly as it could be harmful to your health due to the added chemicals.