Suppression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha-induced neutrophil adherence responses by essential oils

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Mediators Inflamm. 2003 Dec;12(6):323-8. doi: 10.1080/09629350310001633342.


BACKGROUND: In aromatherapy, essential oils are used as anti-inflammatory remedies, but experimental studies on their action mechanisms are very limited.

AIMS: To assess their anti-inflammatory activities, effects of essential oils on neutrophil activation were examined in vitro.

METHODS: Neutrophil activation was measured by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-induced adherence reaction of human peripheral neutrophils.

RESULTS: All essential oils tested at 0.1% concentration suppressed TNF-alpha-induced neutrophil adherence,and, in particular, lemongrass, geranium and spearmint oils clearly lowered the reaction even at 0.0125%. Similar inhibitory activities for the neutrophil adherence were obtained by their major constituent terpenoids: citral, geraniol, citronellol and carvone. In contrast, very popular essential oils, tea tree oil and lavender oil, did not display the inhibitory activity at the concentration.

CONCLUSION: Thus, some essential oils used as antiinflammatory remedies suppress neutrophil activation by TNF-alpha at a low concentration (0.0125-0.025 %) in vitro.

PMID:14668091 | PMC:PMC1781633 | DOI:10.1080/09629350310001633342

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