There seems to be some controversy surrounding the use of Essential Oils for anything beyond relaxation for massage therapy or for making a room smell nice. Their medicinal properties go largely overlooked by mainstream medicine and mainstream media. I believe that this is, at least in part, due to the lack of financial interest in studying them for these uses. The scientific methods for studying their effects are now available and can delineate how they impact on us at the cellular level. It simply requires that more attention be given to them and larger studies performed in a more rigorous fashion.
If we look back through the history of medicine (one of my favorite subjects) there are now some very orthodox and accepted therapies that were once frowned upon and viewed as pseudoscience or even dangerous. This has been a recurring theme throughout the ages. Keep in mind that most of the therapies currently available, which you or your family may use without question or concern, have never been through any long-term human double-blind, randomized controlled trials. The true study is after the medication has been introduced into the market and we see the effects that it has on the general population (you’d be shocked by how many “FDA Approved” medications are removed from the shelves every year due to lack of safety or contributors to disease or death). Therefore, the lack of long-term, large studies should not be a deterrent when considering alternative therapeutic options that have been used for over 5,000 years with an excellent safety profile and apparent benefits.
Essential Oils have recently been publicized for their relaxation properties in the United States and Europe through massage therapy and for general purpose use in the home and are termed “Aromatherapy”. The truth is that they have been used for far longer by most of human civilization, dating back to the Egyptian Empire, for treatment of all kinds of conditions including infections, diabetes, skin rashes, nausea, etc.
There has been a general lack of understanding of how these oils work due to a paucity of the science being published in the mainstream literature. They are not simply an oil, but, rather chemical molecules that have an impact on function, that interact with other molecules in the body and effect changes in physiology. There is now a large body of science that supports their properties as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, mood enhancing, and pain relieving. There are thousands of articles on PubMed on the uses of Essential Oils for various conditions.
It seems that many have forgotten in our world of modern conventional medicine where most of our medications that are used today actually came from. They were derived from plants. Potent pharmacologic medications such as Penicillin, Digoxin, Aspirin, Cyclosporine, Ergotamine, Bio-Idential Hormones, etc. Few, if any, seem to question the benefits of marijuana (a plant) for its uses for nausea in cancer chemotherapy, and its ability to increase hunger in the chronically ill – or your average college student (this is a molecular process). Plants are, for all intents and purposes, little chemical factories that produce tens of thousands of molecules designed to protect them from their environment, from predators and to heal themselves. Each plant has its own special characteristics and molecules that it produces. We have come to accept that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that are protective to us and provide us balance in our bodies against infection, inflammation and to assist with repair. We now have the science to study exactly how they work and which molecules they impact upon in our bodies, how they effect cellular function and response. Why is it difficult to accept that Essential Oils would have a similar effect?
Lipophilic substances (fat-loving) are absorbed through the fatty layer of the cells of the skin, nasal passages and the gut lining. This is how the majority of the medications we use are absorbed. This is also how many environmental toxins are absorbed. It is basic chemistry, really. Essential Oils are Lipophilic and can therefore be absorbed through inhalation, skin application or through ingestion (quality really matters on this one). Once they have been absorbed, they enter the blood stream and do what it is that they do… just like medications, plant antioxidants, toxins, etc. These are all Molecules and work at the most basic levels of cellular function, impacting on protein formation and genetic expression.
If we can accept that there are molecules in our environment that negatively impact on our function, alter genetic expression (i.e. CYP enzymes), effect the way our cells respond – such as the case with organochlorines, organophosphates, heavy metals, phthalates, BPA, and about 85,000 more at last count – then it shouldn’t be hard to accept that there are molecules that can have a positive effect on function and expression. I do not foresee a day where there will be large, randomized control trials on humans using Essential Oils because there is not a large lobby for this at the national level and the pharmaceutical industry has no desire to test their drugs (also molecules) against essential oils as a comparison of efficacy against any specific condition.
I, personally, do not believe that Essential Oils can “cure everything”. The foundation of good health still begins with a proper diet – suited to the specific individual – exercise, stress management, sufficient sleep & relaxation, and beneficial social interactions. Pharmaceuticals have their place in alleviating symptoms and providing, at the very least, a short-term fix for very complicated physiologic dysregulation. The ultimate fix requires returning to the top of this paragraph. Essential Oils can be used alone or in a complementary fashion with pharmaceuticals in addition to the core lifestyle factors in order to address disease and dysfunction. They are not simply “Aromatherapy”, to make a room smell nice or to make a massage more relaxing.
We personally use them every day for various aspects of our lives. They are useful for cleaning counter surfaces and disinfecting. I managed to escape getting sick with a cold when working for several days in a closed space with a couple of colleagues that were coughing and sneezing throughout the day. I use them for muscle tension and headaches. They’ve been helpful for nasal congestion and coughing from allergies and smoke (from our recent forest fires). They’re great for relaxation and enhancing sleep. One extra bonus is that the house does smell pretty good.
I am attaching the Abstracts to some articles that I have found on the benefits of essential oils. This is just a small sampling of what is available on PubMed – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed – available for you to peruse at your leisure. An important point to note is that they are relatively safe and have very few side effects when used properly, as recommended. Excessive doses of any molecules can have undesirable effects.
Lavender essential oil has been used as an anxiolytic drug, a mood stabilizer, a sedative, spasmolytic, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, analgesic agent as well as a wound healing accelerator. We have studied for the first time the efficacy of lavender essential oil inhalation for the treatment of migraine in a placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Forty-seven patients with definite diagnosis of migraine headache were divided into cases and controls. Cases inhaled lavender essential oil for 15 min, whereas the control group used liquid paraffin for the same time period. Patients were asked to record their headache severity and associated symptoms in 30-min intervals for a total of 2 h. We matched the two groups for key confounding factors.
The mean reduction of headache severity in cases was 3.6 ± 2.8 based on Visual Analogue Scale score. The reduction was 1.6 ± 1.6 in controls. This difference between the controls and cases was statistically significant with p < 0.0001. From 129 headache attacks in cases, 92 responded entirely or partially to lavender. In the control group, 32 out of 68 recorded headache attacks responded to placebo. The percentage of responders was significantly higher in the lavender group than the placebo group (p = 0.001).
The present study suggests that inhalation of lavender essential oil may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.
Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
There is no universally accepted and effective prophylaxis of migraine headache episodes. Thus we aimed to investigate the effects of Lippia alba (Mill.) N. E. Brown, an herb with many effects on central nervous system, on pain frequency and intensity of migraine patients.
Patients were enrolled in a prospective, phase 2, non-controlled cohort study to orally receive hydro-alcoholic extract of L. alba leaves. Headache intensity and frequency of episodes were recorded before and after 30-60 days of treatment. We also studied the chemical composition of its essential oil by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
We described for the first time a particular L. alba chemotype with geranial and carvenone as major compounds. With treatment, both frequency and intensity of pain episodes significantly decreased from baseline to first reassessment date. More than 80% of patients experienced a minimum 50% reduction on pain intensity and frequency. No side effects were reported.
Treatment with a geranial plus carvenone chemotype of L. alba hydro-alcoholic extract is a cheap, widely available, highly effective therapy to reduce both the intensity and the frequency of headache episodes of migraine patients with no side effects.
Migraine is a chronic recurring headache for which no complete treatment has been found yet. Therefore, finding new treatment approaches and medicines is important. In this review, we consider the probable mechanism of action of a traditional and ethnic formulary of chamomile extract in sesame oil as a new topical medication for migraine pain relief. Chamomile oil is prepared in Traditional Persian Medicine by boiling aqueous extract of chamomile in sesame oil. To optimize the procedure, we can use a Clevenger-type apparatus to extract the essential oil and add it to the end product. The preparation includes both essential oils(chamazulene and bisabolol oxide) and polyphenols (a flavonoid such as apigenin and its derivatives). It probably possesses pain relief effects for migraines because of the following properties: (1) chamazulene and apigenin, which inhibit iNOS expression in activated macrophages and can lead to the prohibition of NO release and synthesis; (2) chamomile flavonoids, which have a strong inhibitory effect on endogenous prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) levels in RAW 264.7 macrophages and can play the role of selective COX-2 inhibitor; (3) chamomile polyphenols, which possess anti-inflammatory effects due to the inhibition of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in THP1 macrophages and which can reduce inflammation in neurovascular units (NVU) at the site of migraine pain; (4) chamomile, which has neuroprotective effects because of reduced NO levels; (5) sesamine in sesame oil, which possesses an anti-inflammatory effect. These effects are supported by main pathophysiological theories of migraine such as neural and sensitization theories. Chamomile oil is a traditional formulation still used in Iran as an ethno-medicine. Because of the mentioned mechanisms of action, it can be hypothesized that chamomile oil is a novel medicine for the relief of migraine pain.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl., known as “Spanish sage”, has potential value in dementia for its sedative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticholinesterase properties. This work aimed to evaluate the in vitro neuroprotective activity of S. lavandulifolia essential oils, obtained from plants at different phenological stages (vegetative and flowering phases) and plants grown at different densities, against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells. The effect on cell viability and morphology, lipid peroxidation, GSH/GSSG ratio, intracellular ROS levels, antioxidant enzymes (CAT, SOD, GR, GPx, HO-1) and apoptotic enzymes was investigated. Comparing with H2O2-treated PC12 cells, pretreatments with essential oil samples attenuated morphological changes and loss of cell viability, decreased MDA levels and intracellular ROS production and increased GSH/GSSG ratio. Moreover, Spanish sage increased antioxidant status as evidenced in an increase of antioxidant enzyme activity and protein expression and inhibited caspase-3 activity. Furthermore, our results suggest that S. lavandulifolia essential oils are able to activate Nrf2 transcription factor. Collectively, the sample of essential oil obtained with the highest densities of planting and at flowering phase exerted the major neuroprotective activity. Our findings demonstrate that S. lavandulifolia essential oils may have therapeutic value for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress-induced neuronal injury.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Acori graminei Rhizoma (AGR), the dry rhizoma of Acorus gramineus Soland (Araceae), has been used as an Asian traditional herbal medicine against senile dementia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have revealed neuroprotective effects of AGR on neuronal damage and learning impairment, while mostly focused on the effect of volatile oil fraction of AGR. This study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of different extract fractions from AGR against Alzheimer disease-like symptoms induced by Amyloid Beta (Aß) 1-42 intra-hippocampal injection. On day 7 after intra-hippocampal injection of saline or Aβ1-42, spatial memory was assessed by the first Morris water maze, followed by 3-week intra-gastric administration of saline or water extract, volatile oil fraction, or defatted decoction fraction of AGR respectively. Mice were subsequently subjected to the second Morris water maze task. Levels of Aβ1-42 and expressions of doublecortin and nestin in the hippocampus were examined using immunohistochemistry. Our results suggested that treatment with these different extract fractions from AGR could ameliorate cognitive impairment and down-regulate expressions of doublecortin and nestin in the hippocampus of Aβ1-42 injected mice, in which water extract and volatile oil fractions were more effective in spatial memory than defatted decoction fraction.
Salvia lavandulifolia has been employed in folk medicine for the treatment of memory and dementia problems. This specie contains numerous bioactive terpenes which may contribute to its effectiveness.
To analyze the composition of essential oil of S. lavandulifolia and to investigate the potential in vitro cytoprotective and antioxidant activities of its major compounds, α-pinene and 1,8-cineole, against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in the U373-MG cell line.
Chemical composition was analyzed by gas chromatography; antioxidant capacity was measured using the ORAC assay, and cytoprotective activity was evaluated using the MTT assay (for cell viability) (range of concentrations: 10-400 μM), DCFH-DA assay (for intracellular ROS generation), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) method (for lipid peroxidation), and spectrofometric techniques and Western blot (for enzymatic activity and protein expression, respectively) at 10 and 25 µM.
α-Pinene (18.39%) and 1,8-cineole (19.57%) were identified as major compounds in S. lavandulifolia essential oil. Pretreatments with these monoterpenes protected U373-MG cells against H2O2-induced oxidative injury by attenuating the loss of cell viability (IC50 : 79.70 µM to α-pinene and 66.23 µM to 1,8-cineole) and cell morphology, inhibiting ROS production (the most active compound was 1,8-cineole by decreasing the ROS production over 30-45% at 10 and 25 μM) and lipid peroxidation and increasing the endogenous antioxidant status (glutathione levels and CAT, SOD, GR, GPx, and HO-1 activity and protein expression).
These findings demonstrate for the first time the effects of the monoterpenes 1,8-cineole and α-pinene identified in S. lavandulifolia essential oil as regulators of cellular redox balance in astrocytes.
The present study analyzed the possible anxiolytic, antidepressant and antioxidant proprieties of inhaled coriander volatile oil extracted from Coriandrum sativum var. microcarpum in beta-amyloid (1-42) rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. The anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects of inhaled coriander volatile oil were studied by means of in vivo (elevated plus-maze and forced swimming tests) approaches. Also, the antioxidant activity in the hippocampus was assessed using catalase specific activity and the total content of the reduced glutathione. The beta-amyloid (1-42)-treated rats exhibited the following: decrease of the locomotor activity, the percentage of the time spent and the number of entries in the open arm within elevated plus-maze test and decrease of swimming and immobility times within forced swimming test. Exposure to coriander volatile oil significantly improved these parameters, suggesting anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects. Moreover, coriander volatile oil decreased catalase activity and increased glutathione level in the hippocampus. Our results suggest that multiple exposures to coriander volatile oil can be useful as a mean to counteract anxiety, depression and oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s disease conditions.
Linalool oxide (OXL) (a monoterpene) is found in the essential oils of certain aromatic plants, or it is derived from linalool. The motivation for this work is the lack of psychopharmacological studies on this substance.
To evaluate OXL’s acute toxicity, along with its anticonvulsant and antinociceptive activities in male Swiss mice.
OXL (50, 100 and 150 mg/kg, i.p.) was investigated for acute toxicity and in the Rota-rod test. Antinociceptive activity was evaluated by the acetic acid-induced writhing test, and by formalin testing. Anticonvulsant effects were demonstrated by testing for pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizures and by Maximum Electroshock headset (MES) test. OXL was administered to the animals intraperitoneally 30 min before for pharmacological tests.
OXL showed an LD50 of ∼721 (681-765) mg/kg. In the Rota-rod test, it was observed that OXL caused no damage to the animal’s motor coordination. OXL significantly reduced (p < .001) the number of writhings. OXL also significantly decreased (p < .05, p < .01 or p < .001) paw-licking time in the two phases of the formalin test. OXL significantly reduced (p < .01 or p < .001) the duration of tonic seizures in the MES test, and at the dose 150 mg/kg, significantly increased (p < .01) the latency to first seizure in the PTZ test.
The tested doses of OXL were safe, with no motor impairment, and show clear antinociceptive and anticonvulsant potential. Future investigations with this monoterpene may lead to the development of a new molecule with even higher potency and selectivity.
Pharmacological treatment of inflammatory pain is usually done by administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs present high efficacy, although side effects are common, especially gastrointestinal lesions. One of the pharmacological strategies to minimize such effects is the combination of drugs and natural products with synergistic analgesic effect. The monoterpene terpinolene (TPL) is a chemical constituent of essential oils present in many plant species, which have pharmacological activities, such as analgesic and anti-inflammatory. The association of ineffective doses of TPL and diclofenac (DCF) (3.125 and 1.25 mg/kg po, respectively) presented antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in the acute (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 h, after treatment) and chronic (10 days) inflammatory hyperalgesia induced by Freund’s complete adjuvant (CFA) in the right hind paw of female Wistar rats (170-230 g, n=6-8). The mechanical hyperalgesia was assessed by the Randall Selitto paw pressure test, which determines the paw withdrawal thresholds. The development of edema was quantified by measuring the volume of the hind paw by plethismography. The TPL/DCF association reduced neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes in the histological analysis of the paw, following a standard staining protocol with hematoxylin and eosin and the counts were performed with the aid of optical microscopy after chronic oral administration of these drugs. Moreover, the TPL/DCF association did not induce macroscopic gastric lesions. A possible mechanism of action of the analgesic effect is the involvement of 5-HT2A serotonin receptors, because ketanserin completely reversed the antinociceptive effect of the TPL/DCF association. These results suggest that the TPL/DCF association had a synergistic anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect without causing apparent gastric injury, and that the serotonergic system may be involved in the antinociceptive effect of this association.
The antifungal effects of four essential oils viz., clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), mint (Mentha × piperita) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) were evaluated against wilt causing fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici 1322. The inhibitory effect of oils showed dose-dependent activity on the tested fungus. Most active being the clove oil, exhibiting complete inhibition of mycelial growth and spore germination at 125 ppm with IC50 value of 18.2 and 0.3 ppm, respectively. Essential oils of lemongrass, mint and eucalyptus were inhibitory at relatively higher concentrations. The Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of clove oil was 31.25 ppm by broth microdilution method. Thirty one different compounds of clove oil, constituting approximately ≥99% of the oil, were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy analysis. The major components were eugenol (75.41%), E-caryophyllene (15.11%), α-humulene (3.78%) and caryophyllene oxide (1.13%). Effect of clove oil on surface morphology of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici 1322 was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). SEM observation revealed shrivelled hyphae while AFM observation showed shrunken and disrupted spores in clove oil treated samples. In pots, 5% aqueous emulsion of clove oil controlled F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici 1322 infection on tomato plants. This study demonstrated clove oil as potent antifungal agent that could be used as biofungicide for the control of F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici in both preventive and therapeutic manner.
Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most causative organisms in the skin wound infections. Development of resistant S. aureus to current treatments in individuals with low immunity is a global concern. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of herbal formulation against skin wound infection.
The efficacy of herbal formulation containing Oliveria decumbens and Pelargonium graveolens essential oils was evaluated in comparison to mupirocin against Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA) related skin wound infection in mice animal model.
The herbal cream and mupirocin decreased the log CFU by 2.5±0.26 and 2.46±0.32, respectively, while the log CFU of S. aureus from wound skin were 5.9±0.26 and 5.65±0.23 for placebo and control groups, respectively. Moreover, the histological examinations showed that this cream improved the wound healing and increased the collagen deposition and wound contraction.
This natural new formulation with O. decumbens and P. graveolens essential oils could be recommended as a new candidate for wound healing.
This study reports on the inhibitory concentration of 59 commercial essential oils recommended for dermatological conditions, and identifies putative compounds responsible for antimicrobial activity. Essential oils were investigated for antimicrobial activity using minimum inhibitory concentration assays (MICs). Ten essential oils were identified as having superior antimicrobial activity in comparison to the other 49 oils. The essential oil compositions were determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and the data analysed with the antimicrobial activity using multivariate tools. Orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) models were created for seven of the pathogens. Eugenol was identified as the main biomarker responsible for antimicrobial activity in the majority of the essential oils. The essential oils mostly displayed noteworthy antimicrobial activity, with five oils displaying broad-spectrum activity against the 13 tested micro-organisms. The antimicrobial efficacies of the essential oils highlight their potential in treating dermatological infections and through chemometric modelling, bioactive volatiles have been identified. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The emergence of drug resistant pathogens becomes a crucial problem for infectious diseases worldwide. Among these bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of which highly resists to many currently used drugs and becomes a major concern in public health. Up till now, the search for potential antimicrobial agents has been still a challenge for researchers.
Broth microdilution assay was used to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of the essential oils and antibiotics against P. aeruginosa. Inhibition activity of the essential oils under vapor condition was examined to obtain the minimum inhibitory dose (MID). Time-kill assay included in this study was performed according to CLSI guideline. Bioautographic assay was used to detect active components of the essential oil. Synergistic effect with currently used antibiotics was further examined by checkerboard assay.
In this study, a variety of essential oils were examined for anti-multidrug resistant P. aeruginosa (MDR-PA) activity, of which cinnamon bark oil showed the strongest antimicrobial activity against all clinical-isolated MDR-PA strains with MIC of 0.0562-0.225 % v/v and MBC of 0.1125-1.8 % v/v. Bioautographic results demonstrated that the active compounds of cinnamon bark oil were cinnamaldehyde and eugenol which showed strong inhibitory effect against P. aeruginosa. Interestingly, cinnamaldehyde, a major constituent of cinnamon bark oil, possessed stronger antimicrobial effect to P. aeruginosa than eugenol. Under gaseous condition, cinnamon bark oil and cinnamaldehyde showed antibacterial activity against MDR-PA strains with MID of 0.5-1 mg/L. Moreover, combination of cinnamon bark oil or cinnamaldehyde with currently used antibiotics was further studied by checkerboard assay to examine synergistic interactions on clinically isolated MDR-PA strains. Cinnamon bark oil and cinnamaldehyde combined with colistin demonstrated synergistic rates at 16.7 and 10 %, respectively.
These results indicated that cinnamon bark oil and cinnamaldehyde might be active natural compounds which could be further examined as alternative treatment for multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa infection.
Clinical application of cyclophosphamide (CP) as an anticancer drug is often limited due to its toxicity. CP is metabolized mainly in the liver by cytochrome P450 system into acrolein which is the proximate toxic metabolite. Many different natural antioxidants were found to alleviate the toxic effects of various toxic agents via different mechanisms. Therefore, the present study aimed at investigating the role of essential oils extracted from fennel, cumin and clove as natural antioxidants in the alleviation of hepatotoxicity induced by CP through assessment of hepatotoxicity biomarkers (AST, ALT, ALP), histopathology of liver tissues as well as other biochemical parameters involved in the metabolism of CP. The data of the present study showed that treatment of male mice with cyclophosphamide (2.5 mg/Kg BW) as repeated dose for 28 consecutive days was found to induce hepatotoxicity through the elevation in the activities of AST, ALT, and ALP. Combined administration of any of these oils with CP to mice partially normalized the altered hepatic biochemical markers caused by CP, whereas administration of fennel, clove or cumin essential oils alone couldn’t change liver function indices. Moreover, CP caused histological changes in livers of mice including swelling and dilation in sinusoidal space, inflammation in portal tract and hepatocytes, as well as, hyperplasia in Kuppfer cells. However, co-administration of any of the essential oils with CP alleviated to some extent the changes caused by CP but not as the normal liver. CP was also found to induce free radical levels (measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) and inhibited the activities of superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and catalase as well as activities and protein expressions of both glutathione S-transferase (GSTπ) and glutathione peroxidase. Essential oils restored changes in activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, GR, GST, and GPx) caused by CP to their normal levels compared to control group. In addition, treatment of mice with CP was found to induce the protein expression of CYP 3A4, 2B1/2, 2C6, 2C23. Moreover, the present study showed that essential oils reduced the expression of CYPs 2E1, 3A4 but could not restore the expression of CYP 2C6 and 2C23 compared to CP-treated mice. Interestingly, pretreatment of mice with essential oil of clove was found to restore activities of DMN-dI, AHH, and ECOD which were induced by CP to their normal control levels. It is concluded that EOs showed a marked hepatoprotective effect against hepatotoxicity induced by CP. In addition, co-administration of CP with any of these oils might be used as a new strategy for cancer treatment to alleviate the hepatotoxicity induced by CP.
The genus Rhododendron is distributed entirely in the world with the exception of South and Central America and Africa, growing in a large diversity of climatic conditions. This genus is a rich source of phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids, essential oils, chromones, terpenoids, and steroids. It has many biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective and hepatoprotective among others due to their polyphenolic constituents. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the antioxidant properties and cytotoxic activity of dimethyl sulfoxide extract of flowers of Rhododendron luteum (DEFR) for the first time.
The total polyphenolic contents (TPC), total flavonoid contents (TFC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) of the extract were evaluated using spectrophotometric procedures. The cytotoxic activity of the extract on three cancers (human breast, colon and liver carcinoma) and human foreskin fibroblast cells was determined using the MTT assay.
TPC and FRAP values were found 54.2±0.38 mg gallic acid equivalents and 164.2±1.77 mg trolox equivalents per to g sample, respectively. R.luteum extract exhibited selective cytotoxicity against colon and liver cancer cells compared to normal fibroblast cells, while this selective cytotoxicity was not observed in breast cancer cells.
Our results demonstrate that the Rhododendron luteum may be a great source of antioxidant and antitumor natural agents due to their capability of decreasing cancer cells proliferation.
Centipeda minima is a Chinese herbal medicine used in the treatment of various diseases including cancer. An ethanol extract of the herb, its four fractions with different polarities, and two volatile oils prepared by steam distillation (SD) and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) were investigated for their anti-angiogenic activity in a wild-type zebrafish model using a quantitative endogenous alkaline phosphatase (EAP) assay. The SFE oil displayed potent anti-angiogenic activity. Fifteen sesquiterpene lactones (SLs; compounds 1-15) isolated from the SFE oil were evaluated for their anti-angiogenic effect. Results revealed that pseudoguaianolide type SLs (1-8) inhibited vessel formation in the zebrafish embryos while guaianolide type SLs (9-15) showed little effect. Among the active ones, 6-O-angeloylenolin (1), a major component of SFE oil, possessed the strongest effect by reducing vessel formation in zebrafish embryos to 40% of the control value at 29.7 µM. Further study using the Tg (fli1a:EGFP) y1-type zebrafish model revealed that it blocked both intersegmental blood vessels (ISVs) and subintestinal vessels plexus (SIVs) formation in zebrafish embryos. Real-time polymerase chain reaction assay on the wild-type zebrafish embryos suggested that 6-O-angeloylenolin affected multiple molecular targets related to angiogenesis including VEGF receptor, angiopoietin, and its receptors. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that C. minima possesses anti-angiogenic activity, and 6-O-angeloylenolin is a promising candidate for the development of an anti-angiogenic agent.
Mosla dianthera as an aromatic herb is used in folk medicine for the treatment of cough, colds, fever, bronchitis, nasal congestion and headache.
To characterize chemical compositions and to evaluate the anti-influenza effects of essential oils of M. dianthera (MDEO) in influenza virus A (IVA) infected mice.
MDEO was obtained by hydrodistillation and analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). ICR mice were treated with MDEO for 5 consecutive days at doses of 90-360 mg/kg after post-infected. Levels of Serum IL-4 and IFN-γ were assayed by ELISA. Levels of MOD, SOD, TAOC and GSH-Px in lung tissue were determined by colorimetric method.
GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of 29 components that account for 97.74% of phenolic sesquiterpenes and aromatic compounds. The major compounds were elemicin (16.51%), thymol (14.77%), β-caryophyllene (14.49%), iso-elemicin (9.22%), asarone (6.09%) and α-caryophyllene (5.26%). It had significant effects on decreasing lung viral titers, inhibiting pneumonia, reducing levels of serum IFN-γ and IL-4, and enhancing antioxidant activity in the lung tissue of IVA infected mice.
MPE could exhibit therapeutical effects in IVA infected mice as a suppressor of IVA replication and inflammatory mediators and a promoter of antioxidant potentials. Therefore, MDEO could provide a safe and effective therapeutic candidate for treatment of influenza and its subsequent viral pneumonia.
Influenza is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The recent pandemic of a novel H1N1 influenza virus has stressed the importance of the search for effective treatments for this disease. Essential oils from aromatic plants have been used for a wide variety of applications, such as personal hygiene, therapeutic massage and even medical practice. In this paper, we investigate the potential role of an essential oil in antiviral activity.
We studied a commercial essential oil blend, On Guard™, and evaluated its ability in modulating influenza virus, A/PR8/34 (PR8), infection in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Influenza virus was first incubated with the essential oil and infectivity in MDCK cells was quantified by fluorescent focus assay (FFA). In order to determine the mechanism of effects of essential oil in viral infection inhibition, we measured hemagglutination (HA) activity, binding and internalization of untreated and oil-treated virus in MDCK cells by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, the effect of oil treatment on viral transcription and translation were assayed by relative end-point RT-PCR and western blot analysis.
Influenza virus infectivity was suppressed by essential oil treatment in a dose-dependent manner; the number of nascent viral particles released from MDCK cells was reduced by 90% and by 40% when virus was treated with 1:4,000 and 1:6,000 dilutions of the oil, respectively. Oil treatment of the virus also decreased direct infection of the cells as the number of infected MDCK cells decreased by 90% and 45% when virus was treated with 1:2,000 and 1:3,000 dilutions of the oil, respectively. This was not due to a decrease in HA activity, as HA was preserved despite oil treatment. In addition, oil treatment did not affect virus binding or internalization in MDCK cells. These effects did not appear to be due to cytotoxicity of the oil as MDCK cell viability was only seen with concentrations of oil that were 2 to 6 times greater than the doses that inhibited viral infectivity. RT-PCR and western blotting demonstrated that oil treatment of the virus inhibited viral NP and NS1 protein, but not mRNA expression.
An essential oil blend significantly attenuates influenza virus PR8 infectivity in vitro without affecting viral binding or cellular internalization in MDCK cells. Oil treated virus continued to express viral mRNAs but had minimal expression of viral proteins, suggesting that the antiviral effect may be due to inhibition of viral protein translation.
To observe the effect of volatile oil of Schizonepetae Herba (VOSH), and its essential components-menthone and pulegone against anti-influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) in vivo and in vitro, as well as the signaling mechanism of its toll-like receptor/interferon (TLR/IFN).
The lung-adapted PR-8 virus model was prepared in mice. They were administered with preventive and therapeutic drugs, and the hemagglutination titer of model animals was determined to evaluate in vivo effect against H1N1. ELISA test was conducted to observe the effect on IFN-alpha, IFN-beta, IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-alpha in serum, as well as IFN-beta secretion in H1N1 infected MDCK supernatant. Real-time RT-PCR was employed to observe the expression levels of IRAK4 and TLR3 mRNA.
The in vivo experiment shows that the hemagglutination titer was significantly decreased when the mice were treated with VOSH (0.266 mg x kg(-1)), menthone(0.5 mg x kg(-1)) and pulegone (0.19 mg x kg(-1)) in therapeutic way; VOSH (0.226 mg x kg(-1)) had a significant effect on increasing serum levels of IFN-alpha, IL-2; Methone (0.5 mg x kg(-1)) had a significant effect on increasing serum levels of IFN-beta; Methone (0.5 mg x kg(-1)) and pulegone (0.19 mg x kg(-1)) had a significant effect on decreasing serum levels of IL-6; VOSH (0.452, 0.226 mg x kg(-1)) and pulegone (0.19 mg x kg(-1)) had a significant effect on decreasing serum levels TNF-alpha. The in vitro experiment showed that the expression levels of IRAK4 mRNA and IFN-beta were significantly increased in VOHS (0.1 g x L(-1)) and pulegone (0.1 g x L(-1)) groups; and the menthone (0.25 g x L(-1)) group showed a significant rise in the expression levels of IRAK4 mRNA, but a notable decline in TLR3 mRNA.
The administration with VOSH, methone and pulegone in therapeutic way can significantly decrease the hemagglutination titer, which demonstrates the anti-virus effect of the administration in therapeutic way, but no notable efficacy of the administration in preventive way. The in vivo anti-virus mechanism is related to regulation of IFN-alpha, IFN-beta and IL-2.
Multidrug resistance (MDR) represents a clinical obstacle to cancer chemotherapy since it causes cancer recurrence and metastasis. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), an active ingredient derived from the plant Boswellia serrata, has been found to inhibit the growth of a wide variety of tumor cells, including glioma, colorectal cancer, leukemia, human melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and prostate cancer cells. However, the actions of AKBA in multidrug-resistant cancer cells have not been fully elucidated. The current study examined the reversal of MDR by AKBA in a human ileocecal adenocarcinoma cell line with vincristine-induced resistance, HCT-8/VCR. A 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay indicated that cytotoxicity increased drastically and the IC50 of VCR in HCT-8/VCR cells decreased in the presence of AKBA. AKBA had a maximum “fold reversal” of MDR (FR) of 9.19-fold. In addition, HCT-8/VCR cells treated with AKBA and VCR exhibited a higher percentage of apoptotic tumor cells according to flow cytometry. The reversal of MDR by AKBA was evident in an intracellular increase in Rhodamine (Rh123), indicating that the activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) was blocked. Furthermore, AKBA inhibited the expression of P-gp and decreased levels of expression of multidrug resistance gene 1 in HCT-8/VCR cells. The current results indicated that AKBA might be a potential agent to reverse MDR in human ileocecal adenocarcinoma.
Increasing research on traditional herbal medicines and their phytoconstituents has recognized their usefulness in complementary as adjuvant to chemotherapy in various types of cancers. The oleo-gum resin of Boswelliaserrata tree is one such folk medicine, which has been traditionally used for religious, cosmetic as well as medical purposes since ages. The oleo-gum resin of the plant has been used in traditional medicine to treat variety of conditions including inflammatory diseases like arthritis, asthma, chronic pain, bowel conditions and many other diseases. This review presents an overview of scientific studies on cytotoxic and antitumor properties of B. serrata and its constituents.
Literature search was carried out for activities of B. serrata and various isolated boswellic acids such as β-boswellic acid, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid and acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid reported in various cancer types in vitro as well as in vivo.
The triterpenoidal fraction of B. serrata (containing boswellic acids) is responsible for the cytotoxic and antitumor properties. Among the screened compounds, 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid has been found to be most promising cytotoxic molecule. The cytotoxic and antitumor effects are mainly due to induction of apoptosis through caspase activation, increased Bax expression, NF-κB down regulation and induction of poly (ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage.
Boswellic acids appear to be promising candidates for anticancer drug development in future. However, further in vivo studies are needed. Studies in combination with clinically used anticancer drugs and QSAR studies on individual boswellic acid also need to be carried out.
Breast fibroadenoma is a common finding in young women and actually accounts for the majority of benign breast lumps. Fibroadenoma does not require any treatment unless clinical symptoms (mostly mastalgia) or histological markers of cancer risk (atypia) impose specific medical or surgical intervention. In symptomatic fibroadenoma, anti-estrogenic treatments provided evidence of success. Yet, these therapies are often associated with relevant side effects that lead to drug treatment discontinuation. Additionally, in such cases, relapse is a frequent issue. Therefore, an optimal strategy is still warranted. Boswellia, betaine and myo-inositol have already been proved to modulate different pathways – inflammatory, metabolic, oxidative and endocrine processes – in a wide array of human tissues. Based on that background, we hypothesized that these substances can effectively synergize in inducing the regression of fibroadenoma.
We included 64 patients ≤ 30 years of age with fibroadenoma. The patients were randomized into two groups. The experimental group was treated with an association of Boswellia, betaine, myo-inositol, B-group vitamins and N-acetylcysteine for 6 months; otherwise, the placebo group was treated only with B-group vitamins and N-acetylcysteine. Patients were monitored at the enrollment and the end of the study for evaluating the clinical response.
A significant clinical improvement was observed in the experimental arm. Fibroadenoma median volume reduction averaged 17.86% in the experimental group and 5.96% in the placebo group. Moreover, 14 out of 36 (38.88%) patients showed a reduction of fibroadenoma volume compared to 5/28 (17.85%) observed in the placebo group (p = 0.005).
A supplementation with Boswellia, betaine and myo-inositol reduces fibroadenoma dimension in young women. No relevant side effects have been recorded.
The recent scientific literature on plant-derived agents with potential or effective use in the control of the arthropod vectors of human tropical diseases is reviewed. Arthropod-borne tropical diseases include: amebiasis, Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis), cholera, cryptosporidiosis, dengue (hemorrhagic fever), epidemic typhus (Brill-Zinsser disease), filariasis (elephantiasis), giardia (giardiasis), human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), isosporiasis, leishmaniasis, Lyme disease (lyme borreliosis), malaria, onchocerciasis, plague, recurrent fever, sarcocystosis, scabies (mites as causal agents), spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, West Nile fever, and yellow fever. Thus, coverage was given to work describing plant-derived extracts, essential oils (EOs), and isolated chemicals with toxic or noxious effects on filth bugs (mechanical vectors), such as common houseflies (Musca domestica Linnaeus), American and German cockroaches (Periplaneta americana Linnaeus, Blatella germanica Linnaeus), and oriental latrine/blowflies (Chrysomya megacephala Fabricius) as well as biting, blood-sucking arthropods such as blackflies (Simulium Latreille spp.), fleas (Xenopsylla cheopis Rothschild), kissing bugs (Rhodnius Stål spp., Triatoma infestans Klug), body and head lice (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus, P. humanus capitis De Geer), mosquitoes (Aedes Meigen, Anopheles Meigen, Culex L., and Ochlerotatus Lynch Arribálzaga spp.), sandflies (Lutzomyia longipalpis Lutz & Neiva, Phlebotomus Loew spp.), scabies mites (Sarcoptes scabiei De Geer, S. scabiei var hominis, S. scabiei var canis, S. scabiei var suis), and ticks (Ixodes Latreille, Amblyomma Koch, Dermacentor Koch, and Rhipicephalus Koch spp.). Examples of plant extracts, EOs, and isolated chemicals exhibiting noxious or toxic activity comparable or superior to the synthetic control agents of choice (pyrethroids, organophosphorous compounds, etc.) are provided in the text for many arthropod vectors of tropical diseases.
We compared the application of IC2, a minimal-risk (25B) botanical compound containing 10% rosemary oil, with bifenthrin, a commonly used synthetic compound, and with water for the control of Ixodes scapularis Say (= Ixodes dammini Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin), on tick-infested grids in Maine, in an area where Lyme disease is established and other tick-borne diseases are emerging. High-pressure sprays of IC2, bifenthrin, and water were applied during the peak nymphal (July) and adult (October) seasons of the vector tick. No ticks could be dragged on the IC2 grids within 2 wk of the July spray, and few adult ticks were found in October or the following April. Similarly, no adult ticks could be dragged 1.5 wk after the October IC2 spray, and few the following April. No ticks were found on the bifenthrin grids after either spray through the following April, whereas substantial numbers of ticks remained throughout on the grids sprayed with water. Thus, IC2 appears to be an effective, minimum-risk acaricide to control the vector tick of Lyme disease.
Peppermint oil (PO) has shown promise as an IBS therapy, but previous trials have demonstrated variable efficacy and tolerability results.
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of a novel formulation of PO designed for sustained release in the small intestine in patients with IBS-M and IBS-D.
This is a 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of PO or identical placebo 3 times daily in patients fulfilling Rome III criteria for IBS-M or IBS-D. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in the Total IBS Symptom Score (TISS) after 4 weeks of treatment.
Seventy-two patients (mean age 40.7 years, 75 % female, 77.8 % white) were randomized to PO (n = 35) or placebo (n = 37). At 4 weeks, PO was associated with a 40 % reduction in the TISS from baseline (mean change -1.16, SD ± 0.807), superior to the 24.3 % decrease (mean change -0.70, SD ± 0.737) observed with placebo (P = 0.0246). The decrease in the TISS of 19.6 % (mean change -0.55, SD ± 0.613) in the PO group at 24 h was also significantly larger than placebo (-10.3 %, mean change -0.27, SD ± 0.342) (P = 0.0092). At trial completion, patients in the PO group experienced greater improvement in multiple individual gastrointestinal symptoms as well as in severe or unbearable symptoms, compared to placebo. PO was well tolerated with few adverse events.
A novel PO formulation designed for sustained release in the small intestine is a safe, effective treatment capable of providing rapid relief of IBS symptoms.
Tension-type headache is the most frequent form of headache. The local topical treatment with peppermint oil (oleum menthae piperitae) has proven to be significantly more effective than placebo in controlled studies. Peppermint oil targets headache pathophysiology in multiple ways. The efficacy is comparable to that of acetylsalicylic acid or paracetamol. Solutions of 10 % peppermint oil in ethanol are licensed for the treatment of tension-type headache in adults and children above 6 years. It is included in treatment recommendations and guidelines by the respective professional societies and is regarded as a standard treatment for the acute therapy of tension-type headaches.
Mentha piperita is a plant popularly known in Brazil as “hortelã-pimenta” whose essential oil is used in folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant actions and anti-congestive. Here, it was investigated the effect of Mentha piperita essential oil (peppermint oil) in rat tracheal rings along with its mechanism of action.
Tracheal tissue from male Wistar rats (250-300 g) were used. Peppermint oil was added in cumulative concentrations [1-300 microg/ml] to the tissue basal tonus or pre-contracted by carbachol [10 microM] at 10 min intervals, incubated or not with indomethacin [10 microM], L-N-metyl-nitro-arginine [100 microM], hexamethonium [500 microM], or tetraethylammonium [5 mM].
Peppermint oil [100 and 300 microg/ml] inhibited the contractions induced by carbachol, which was reversed by indomethacin, L-N-metyl-nitro-arginine and hexamethonium, but not by tetraethylammonium. These data suggest the participation of prostaglandin E(2), nitric oxide and autonomic ganglions in the peppermint oil relaxant effect and may be correlated with its popular use in respiratory diseases.
Peppermint oil exhibited antispasmodic activity on rat trachea involving prostaglandins and nitric oxide synthase.