Aromatherapy: Evidence for Sedative Effects of the Essential Oil of Lavender after Inhalation

Gerhard Buchbauer 1 , Leopold Jirovetz 1  and Walter Jäger 1
  • 1 Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Vienna

The sedative properties of the essential oil of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Miller) and of its main constituents - linalool and linalyl acetate - were investigated in mice followed up in a series of experimental procedures. The significant decrease in the motility of female and male laboratory animals under standardized experimental conditions is found to be closely dependent on the exposure time to the drugs. Nevertheless after an injection of caffeine into mice a hyperactivity was observed which was reduced to nearly a normal motility only by inhalation of these fragrance drugs. In particular the correlation of the motility of the animals to linalool in serum is experimentally proven, thus furnishing evidence of the aromatherapeutical use of herbal pillows employed in folk medicine since ancient times in order to facilitate falling asleep or to minimize stressful situations of man.

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A Journal of Biosciences: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C (ZNC) is an international scientific journal for the emerging field of natural and natural-like products. ZNC publishes original research on the isolation, bio-chemical synthesis and bioactivities of natural products, their biochemistry, pharmacology, biotechnology, and biological activity and innovative developed computational methods for predicting their structure and/or function.

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