Although essential oils are often associated with aromatherapy, new research suggests that essential oil-based drugs can also help heal skin wounds when used locally. All of this is due to a substance in certain fats that reduces inflammation.
The compound, known as beta-chlorophyll, is found in plants such as lavender, rosemary and ilanilan (perfume tree). In a study conducted at Indiana University, beta-chlorophyll extracted from these plants was applied to surface wounds in mice.
The researchers observed that doing so increases cell growth and cell migration to the wound site, allowing the wound to heal faster than untreated similar wounds. In addition, scientists point out that in treated wounds, the gene expression of hair follicle stem cells increases. This suggests that the scar will eventually be reduced. Based on previous studies, scientists have known that beta-chlorophyll activates receptors in the body, creating an anti-inflammatory reaction. This may be the key.
“There are several stages in the wound healing process, starting with the inflammatory phase, then the cell proliferation phase and remodeling phase,” said Sachiko Koyama, associate professor and lead scientist of the study. I think that if inflammation is suppressed, it may accelerate wound healing, which stimulates the early transition from the stage of inflammation to the next stage. “
Having said that, Koyama believes there may be other factors at work that could be revealed by further research. She also recommends not simply applying essential oils to the wound, as the beta-chlorophyll used in the study has a known purity and is diluted at a specific concentration.
“There are a lot of tests to test before we start clinical use, but our results are very promising and exciting,” she said. In the near future, we may be able to develop a drug and a drug delivery method using compounds in essential oils. “
The paper on the study was published this week in the journal PLOS ONE.