Herb World News Online

Herb Research Foundation

 Top News  |  World  |  Science  |  Research Reviews  |  Politics  |  Industry  |  Features
 Herb Research Foundation News Archive

Effects of essential oils on skeletal and smooth muscle in vitro.

  Plant essential oils often are applied to the skin, added to bath water or inhaled, accounting for some absorption of these components into the bloodstream. Because there have been many claims as to the relaxing properties of some of these oils, the effects of nine essential oils on smooth and skeletal muscle were studied in vitro. Angelica, dill, fennel, frankincense and nutmeg produced spasmogenic effects on smooth muscle. In the case of clary sage, this effect was followed by a reduction in field-stimulated contractions. Thyme and lavender had only a spasmolytic effect on smooth muscle, and camphor produced an increase
in twitch size for smooth and skeletal muscle. Four different effects on skeletal muscle were observed overall, wheras only contracture was observed in smooth muscle. Researchers concluded that essential oils have selective actions on biological tissues and that their bioactivity is not due to non-specific toxic actions on cell membranes.
  Lis-Balchin M, Hart S. "A preliminary study of the effect of essential oils on skeletal and smooth muscle in vitro." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 1997; 58:183-187.  
Back to the HRF News Archive Table of Contents
 Top News  |  World  |  Science  |  Research Reviews  |  Politics  |  Industry  |  Features

© 1999 by Herb Research Foundation, Boulder, CO, USA.

Main Page