Ethno-pharmacological relevance: Lavender oil (LO) is an aromatic/essential oil extracted from Lavandula angustifolia and traditionally used as an aromatherapy massage oil due to its anti-inflammatory and wound healing property and also for providing the relief in other skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema. However, LO has not been evaluated scientifically for psoriasis like skin inflammation.
Aim of the study: This study was aimed to investigate the LO and its major components linalool (L) and linalyl acetate (LA) against psoriasis like skin inflammation.
Materials and methods: Anti-psoriatic activity was done using Imiquimod (IMQ) induced psoriasis like skin inflammation in BALB/c mice. Assessment of anti-psoriatic effect of LO, L and LA was done on the basis of change in ear thickness, psoriasis area severity index (PASI) scoring at alternative day, CosCam scoring using skin analyzer equipped with SkinSys software, biochemical, immunohistochemical and histological investigations. Level of effectiveness against psoriasis was investigated by percent reduction in PASI scores, CosCam scores and level of Th-1 and Th-17 cell expressing cytokines, as compared to the diseased mice.
Results: Topical application of LO 10% showed 73.67% recovery in PASI and 87% in Th-17 cell-specific cytokines towards normal as compared to disease group. L and LA were identified as the major components of LO and favoured ligands for selected psoriasis targets. At 2% topical dose, L and LA showed 64% and 47.61% recovery in PASI scores, respectively. Both, L and LA showed significant recovery in Th-1 specific TNF-α and IL-1β however, only L showed significant recovery of Th-17 cytokines (IL-17 and IL-22). In contrast to LA (which restored granulosis), L restored epidermal hyperplasia and parakeratosis toward the normal condition. On the other hand, L also reduced the expression of NF-κβ, ccr6 and IL-17, while LA reduced the expression of NF-κβ only. At 10% topical dose, LO was observed to be slight irritant while at 2% topical dose, L and LA were found non-irritant to the skin.
Conclusion: This study proves the effectiveness of LO and its major phytoconstituents linalool and linalyl acetate against IMQ induced psoriasis like skin inflammation and provides the scientific evidence for topical use of lavender oil.
Keywords: Imiquimod; Lavender oil; Linalool; Linalyl acetate; Psoriasis; Topical.
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