Reasearchers at NSW Charles Sturt University found that Lemon Myrtle has very good antibacterial activity and excellent antifungal activity. In fact, studies suggest that Backhousia oil has better antibacteriial and antifungal properties than the better known tea tree (Melaleuca alternanthera)
Lemon Myrtle oil has strong germicidal powers. In standard tests, Atkinson & Brice were able to demonstrate the antibacterial properties of the Lemon Scented Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora). Tests carried out by researchers on the Germicidal powers indicate that B. citriodora oil had double the rating on Eucalyptus citrodora in controlling Salmonella typhii, the test organism.
Even though the Rideal-Walker test has now been superseded by the Sykes Kesley test, it still remains a valid test. Backhousia has a co-efficient rating of 16 where Eucalyptus citriodora only scores 8. Germicidal properties of Lemon Myrtle have also been proven to be 19.5 times the power of the disinfectant Phenol using the Rideal-Walker test.