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Phytomedicine. 2012 Apr 15;19(6):529-34. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Effects of lavender oil inhalation on improving scopolamine-induced spatial memory impairment in laboratory rats.

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Department of Biology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Bd. Carol I, No. 11, Iasi 700506, Romania.


Lavender is reported to be an effective medical plant in treating inflammation, depression, stress and mild anxiety in Europe and the USA. The present study investigated the effects of two different lavender essential oils from Lavandula angustifolia ssp. angustifolia Mill. (Lamiaceae) and Lavandula hybrida Rev. (Lamiaceae) on neurological capacity of male Wistar rats subjected to scopolamine (0.7mg/kg)-induced dementia rat model. Chronic exposures to lavender essential oils (daily, for 7 continuous days) significantly reduced anxiety-like behavior and inhibited depression in elevated plus-maze and forced swimming tests, suggesting anxiolytic and antidepressant activity. Also, spatial memory performance in Y-maze and radial arm-maze tasks was improved, suggesting positive effects on memory formation. Taken together, multiple exposures to lavender essential oils could effectively reverse spatial memory deficits induced by dysfunction of the cholinergic system in the rat brain and might provide an opportunity for management neurological abnormalities in dementia conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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