Chioca LR, Antunes VD, Ferro MM, Losso EM, Andreatini R
Life Sciences, 2013
The inhalation of Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil has anxiolytic-like effects in animal models and humans, but its mechanism of action is still not fully understood. The inhalation of essential oils can induce anxiolytic effects through the central nervous system (e.g., lung absorption and bloodstream transport) or stimulation of the olfactory system and secondary activation of brain regions. Thus, the main objective of the present study was to evaluate whether the perception of lavender essential oil aroma, when inhaled, is necessary to obtain its anxiolytic-like effects in mice tested in the marble-burying test.
Anosmia was induced by irrigating the nasal cavity with zinc gluconate + zinc acetate so that the mice could not detect odors in the olfactory discrimination test. The marble-burying test was used to evaluate the anxiolytic-like effects of inhaled lavender essential oil.
Anosmia did not interfere with the anxiolytic-like effect of lavender essential oil inhalation in the marble-burying test at concentrations of 2.5% (number of marbles buried: vehicle, 4.7 ± 1.0; zinc, 6.2 ± 2.2; p > 0.10) and 5% (number of marbles buried: vehicle, 3.4 ± 0.8; zinc, 4.3 ± 0.9; p > 0.10). Lavender essential oil at a concentration of 0.5% was ineffective.
These results suggest that olfactory system activation is unlikely to participate in the anxiolytic-like effect of lavender essential oil inhalation.
Chioca LR, Antunes VD, Ferro MM, Et Al. Anosmia does not impair the anxiolytic-like effect of lavender essential oil inhalation in mice. Life Sci. 2013;92(20-21):971-975.