Lavender essential oil inhalation suppresses allergic airway inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia in a murine model of asthma

Life Sci. 2014 Jul 17;108(2):109-15. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2014.05.018. Epub 2014 Jun 5.


Aims: Lavender essential oil (Lvn) has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. Bronchial asthma is characterized by bronchial allergic inflammation with airway remodeling. Therefore, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of Lvn on experimentally induced bronchial asthma in a murine model.

Main methods: BALB/c mice were sensitized by an intraperitoneal injection of ovalbumin (OVA) at days 0 and 14, and subsequently challenged with nebulized OVA on days 28-30 (Control-Asthma group). Mice in the treatment group inhaled Lvn on days 14-31 (Lvn-Asthma group). The allergic inflammatory response was determined on days 32 and 33.

Key findings: An increase in airway resistance was inhibited in the Lvn-Asthma group than in the Control-Asthma group. The Lvn-Asthma group showed lower total cell numbers and eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids and peribronchial and perivascular tissues when compared with the Control-Asthma group. The Lvn-Asthma group also had less mucin hyperplasia than the Control-Asthma group. Furthermore, the Lvn-Asthma group showed lower interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-13 cytokine levels in BAL fluids, as well as reduced IL-4 and IL-5 mRNA expression in lung tissue, compared with the Control-Asthma group and determined by FlowCytomix and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), respectively. In addition, Lvn inhalation reduced Muc5b mRNA expression in the lungs without significantly changing the expression of Muc5ac mRNA.

Significance: Lvn inhibits allergic inflammation and mucous cell hyperplasia with suppression of T-helper-2 cell cytokines and Muc5b expression in a murine model of asthma. Consequently, Lvn may be useful as an alternative medicine for bronchial asthma.

Keywords: Alternative medicine; Asthma; Cytokines; Lavender; Mucin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / pathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Interleukin-13 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-5 / metabolism
  • Lavandula
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mucin-5B / genetics
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Interleukin-13
  • Interleukin-5
  • Muc5b protein, mouse
  • Mucin-5B
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ovalbumin
  • lavender oil