A new study has found that lavender oil extract may possess neuroprotective effects against various neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, examined mice with cognitive defects in PC12 cells. The mice were placed within a water maze known as the Morris Water Maze (MMW) in order to ascertain how their impaired memory function may inhibit their ability to properly navigate the maze compared to control mice.
It was found that mice that were administered with an extract of lavender oil were able to better navigate the maze compared to those mice that weren’t. Additionally, various biochemical analyses on the mice revealed that lavender oil may assist in preventing oxidative stress within neural cells.
This isn’t the first time that a herbal oil has shown promise in potentially treating Alzheimer’s. In a clinical trial involving 28 elderly patients with dementia and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, the inhalation of various essential oils was shown to be effective in increasing cognitive abilities, according to the clinical study published in Psychogeriatrics.
Previous research into the use of lavender oil in treating Alzheimer’s is also quite extensive, according to numerous studies cited by Alzheimer’s Society UK. Previous studies have shown aromatherapy with lavender oil to be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly patients.
Nevertheless, this study demonstrates a more precise mechanism as to how lavender oil may reduce symptoms of mental decline in cognitively inhibited mice. With further research, more isolated compounds may be identified that are responsible for these observed therapeutic effects.
REFERENCE: Xu, P., Wang, K., Lu, C., Dong, L., Gao, L., Yan, M., … Liu, X. (2016). Protective effect of lavender oil on scopolamine induced cognitive deficits in mice and H2O2 induced cytotoxicity in PC12 cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2016.08.030