Sedative effects of the essential oil and headspace air of Ocimum basilicum by inhalation in mice

J Nat Med. 2019 Jan;73(1):283-288. doi: 10.1007/s11418-018-1253-3. Epub 2018 Oct 20.


The sedative effects of the essential oil released by living Ocimum basilicum (basil) plants were investigated using a mouse activity monitoring system. Ocimum basilicum plants were grown in a hydroponic chamber, and either the headspace air from the hydroponic chamber or the essential oil extracted from mature plants was administered by the inhalation route to mice in an open field test. The most effective dose of O. basilicum essential oil for reducing the locomotor activity of the mice was found to be 4.0 × 10-3 mg per cage. The headspace air was administered to mice held in a glass cage via a Teflon tube connected to a hydroponic chamber containing O. basilicum plants. A significant decrease in locomotor activity was observed when the hydroponic chamber contained nine plants. The results of this study demonstrate that the headspace air of living basil plants could effectively reduce the locomotor activity of mice.

Keywords: (R)-(−)-Linalool; Eugenol; Inhalation; Ocimum basilicum; Sedative.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Ocimum basilicum / drug effects*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils