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Libyan J Med. 2014 Sep 19;9:25431. doi: 10.3402/ljm.v9.25431. eCollection 2014.

Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil as a potent anti-inflammatory and antifungal drugs.

Author information

1
Département de Biologie et Physiologie Cellulaire, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Université Blida 1, Blida, Algeria;mn.boukhatem@yahoo.fr.
2
Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Produits Bioactifs et Valorisation de la Biomasse, Département de Chimie, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Kouba, Alger, Algeria.
3
Laboratoire Eco-Physiologie Végétale, Département des Sciences Naturelles, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Kouba, Alger, Algeria.
4
Département de Biologie et Physiologie Cellulaire, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Université Blida 1, Blida, Algeria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Volatile oils obtained from lemon grass [Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf, Poaceae family] are used in traditional medicine as remedies for the treatment of various diseases.

AIMS:

In the present study, lemon grass essential oil (LGEO) was evaluated for its in vivo topical and oral anti-inflammatory effects, and for its in vitro antifungal activity using both liquid and vapor phases.

METHODS:

The chemical profile of LGEO as determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis revealed two major components: geranial (42.2%), and neral (31.5%). The antifungal activity of LGEO was evaluated against several pathogenic yeasts and filamentous fungi using disc diffusion and vapor diffusion methods.

RESULTS:

LGEO exhibited promising antifungal effect against Candida albicans, C. tropicalis, and Aspergillus niger, with different inhibition zone diameters (IZDs) (35-90 mm). IZD increased with increasing oil volume. Significantly, higher anti-Candida activity was observed in the vapor phase. For the evaluation of the anti-inflammatory effect, LGEO (10 mg/kg, administered orally) significantly reduced carrageenan-induced paw edema with a similar effect to that observed for oral diclofenac (50 mg/kg), which was used as the positive control. Oral administration of LGEO showed dose-dependent anti-inflammatory activity. In addition, topical application of LGEO in vivo resulted in a potent anti-inflammatory effect, as demonstrated by using the mouse model of croton oil-induced ear edema. To our knowledge, this is the first such report to be published. The topical application of LGEO at doses of 5 and 10 µL/ear significantly reduced acute ear edema induced by croton oil in 62.5 and 75% of the mice, respectively. In addition, histological analysis clearly confirmed that LGEO inhibits the skin inflammatory response in animal models.

CONCLUSION:

RESULTS of the present study indicate that LGEO has a noteworthy potential for the development of drugs for the treatment of fungal infections and skin inflammation that should be explored in future studies.

KEYWORDS:

anti-inflammatory effect; antifungal activity; aromatherapy; citral; essential oil; lemon grass

PMID:
25242268
PMCID:
PMC4170112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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