In addition to sedative and analgesic properties, aqueous extract of lavender is effective in the treatment of diabetes and rheumatism with antioxidant properties. However, the effects of extract have not yet been studied on the liver. In this study, effects of aqueous extract of lavender were studied on the liver tissue and blood fat in Balb/C adult female mice.
Materials and methods: Following prepamiceion of aqueous extract, several doses of 500 (A), 300 (B), and 100 (C) mg/kg.bw were determined and injected intraperitoneally to 72 mice during 15 days. The mice were randomly divided into six groups, namely control (normal diet: 6 mice), control (fatty feed: 6 mice), sham (fatty feed and saline injection: 6 mice), and three experimental groups (each group with fatty feed and extract injection: 18 mice). Blood serum was obtained to measure triglyceride, cholesterol, HDL, and LDL levels. After dissection, the livers were removed and processed for sectioning. Data were analyzed using SPSS 21 software and also by Dunnett, Duncan, and Tukey tests providing P < 0.05.
Findings: According to the results, significant (P < 0.05) accumulations of fat were observed in the livers of normal, sham, and Group C compared with the control group. A marked reduction (P < 0.05) was also detected in the aggregation of fat liver in Group B. Group A displayed no accumulation of fat compared with the other groups but it showed significant drops (P < 0.05) in triglyceride, LDL, and cholesterol levels.
Conclusion: In general, it can be concluded that high doses of lavender plant extract prevent accumulation of fat in the liver cells, hence, it could be used as a medicine for lowering blood and liver fats in the future.
Hyperlipidemia or blood fat elevation is caused by metabolic problems arisen from multiple factors. Although lipid lowering agents are available, the disease is still one of the most important factors in aggravation of cardiovascular disease and also the first cause of death in industrialized countries. Factors such as patients’ dissatisfaction of taking common lipid-lowering drugs, side effects from long-term use of these medications, and the costs imposed on patients have caused increased tendency to alternative and traditional treatments (1, 2, and 3). Fortunately, extensive research has been conducted over the past 30 years on the effectiveness of medicinal plants used in traditional medicine in order to prove their effectiveness/ineffectiveness. Recent studies on dietary supplements, medicinal plants, and their compounds including dietary fibers, vitamins, flavonoids, sterols, and other antioxidant compounds have proven those compounds to be possibly effective in the treatment of many diseases through influencing the immune system and improving metabolism disorders of the body (5, 4).
Lavender has cumiceive properties of analgesic, anti-Alzheimer’s (memory booster), antiarrhythmic, anti-microbial, anti-convulsive, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-virus, anti-anxiety, carminative, anti-depressants, diuretic, menstrual stimulant, hypoglycemic, somniferous, digestive, sedative, and bile-inducing (6-12). It has also been studied in this examination because of the ease in collection and prepamiceion of the extract. Lavender or Lavendula is a genus consisting of 30 different species from the family Lamiaceae (Labiatea) (13). The sedative effects of this plant have been confirmed in studies conducted by Woronuk et al. (2011) and Vanderploeg et al. (2010) (15, 14). Benbelaid et al. (2012) introduced the plant as a disinfectant (16) that can be used to disinfect wounds, burns, and insect bites. In veterinary medicine, it is used to kill lice and other parasites (17). Salehi Surmaghi (1999) stated that lavender tea could cause menstrual cycle in women due to an active ingredient called linalol (18). Issa Ala (2011) reported lavender to be effective in the control of diabetes. Lavender grows as a wildling in most parts of the world. Active ingredients of lavender are divided into different categories according to chemical structures, including essential oils, alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, tannins, etc. (13). Among the most important ingredients of the essential oils are linalool (C10H18O), Asetat-linalyl (C12H20O2), and Cineole 1 & 8 (C10H18O) (Fig. 1).
Since the past to the present, this medicinal plant has been used to reduce blood fat. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of lavender plant extract on fat accumulations in the liver and blood lipid metabolites (LDL, HDL, cholesterol, and triglyceride) in the mice of Balb/C strain.
The results of our observations suggest that high-dose aqueous extract of lavender had significant impacts on reducing blood LDL and cholesterol levels whereas it showed little impacts on decreasing triglycerides and HDL concentmiceions. It was also found that low doses of the extract, though not significantly, reduced both cholesterol and LDL. After all, high doses of the aqueous extract of lavender are more effective for reducing blood cholesterol but necessary precautions must be taken for the use of high doses of the extract to avoid resultant allergies.
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