The aim of this study was to test whether a combination of plant bioactive lipid compounds (also termed ‘essential oils’) and biotin (PBLC+B) could decrease the mobilization of body reserves and ketosis incidence in postpartum dairy cows. We compared non-supplemented control (CON) cows with cows receiving monensin (MON) as a controlled-release capsule at d -21, and with cows receiving PBLC+B from day (d) -21 before calving until calving (Phase 1) and further until d 37 after calving (Phase 2), followed by PBLC+B discontinuation from d 38 to d 58 (Phase 3). The PBLC+B cows had higher body weight and higher back fat thickness than CON cows and lesser body weight change than MON and CON cows in Phase 3. Body condition score was not different among groups. Milk protein concentration tended to be higher on the first herd test day in PBLC+B vs. CON cows. Milk fat concentration tended to be highest in PBLC+B cows throughout Phases 2 and 3, with significantly higher values in PBLC+B vs. MON cows on the second herd test day. Yields of energy- corrected milk were higher in PBLC+B vs. CON and MON cows in Phase 2 and higher in PBLC+B and MON cows vs. CON cows in Phase 3. The incidence of subclinical ketosis was 83%, 61% and 50% in CON, PBLC+B and MON cows, respectively, with lower mean β-hydroxybutyrate values in MON than in PBLC+B cows in Phase 1 prepartum. The serum triglyceride concentration was higher in PBLC+B vs. CON cows on d 37. No differences were observed in serum glucose, urea, non-esterified fatty acids, cholesterol and bilirubin concentrations. Aspartate transaminase and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase but not glutamate dehydrogenase activities tended to be highest in MON and lowest in PBLC+B in Phase 2. We conclude that PBLC+B prevent body weight loss after parturition and are associated with similar ketosis incidence and partly higher yields of energy-corrected milk compared to MON supplementation of dairy cows.