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. 2004 Jun;37(3):221-9.
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2184.2004.00307.x.

Cytotoxicity of Lavender Oil and Its Major Components to Human Skin Cells

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Free PMC article

Cytotoxicity of Lavender Oil and Its Major Components to Human Skin Cells

A Prashar et al. Cell Prolif. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) oil, chiefly composed of linalyl acetate (51%) and linalool (35%), is considered to be one of the mildest of known plant essential oils and has a history in wound healing. Concerns are building about the potential for irritant or allergenic skin reactions with the use of lavender oil. This study has demonstrated that lavender oil is cytotoxic to human skin cells in vitro (endothelial cells and fibroblasts) at a concentration of 0.25% (v/v) in all cell types tested (HMEC-1, HNDF and 153BR). The major components of the oil, linalyl acetate and linalool, were also assayed under similar conditions for their cytotoxicity. The activity of linalool reflected that of the whole oil, indicating that linalool may be the active component of lavender oil. Linalyl acetate cytotoxicity was higher than that of the oil itself, suggesting suppression of its activity by an unknown factor in the oil. Membrane damage is proposed as the possible mechanism of action.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Dose‐dependent cytotoxicity of lavender oil (1‐h exposure) to HMEC‐1 endothelial cells, HNDF fibroblasts and 153BR fibroblasts as determined by the NR assay. Error bars indicate the standard deviation (n = 16–36).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Dose‐dependent cytotoxicity of linalyl acetate (1‐h exposure) to HMEC‐1 endothelial cells, HNDF fibroblasts and 153BR fibroblasts as determined by the NR assay. Error bars indicate the standard deviation (n = 17–24). (The concentrations of linalyl acetate used were proportionate to that actually present in the oil.)
Figure 3
Figure 3
Dose‐dependent cytotoxicity of linalool (1‐h exposure) to HMEC‐1 endothelial cells, HNDF fibroblasts and 153BR fibroblasts as determined by the NR assay. Error bars indicate the standard deviation (n = 16–24). (The concentrations of linalool used were proportionate to that actually present in the oil.)

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