Several studies have investigated the antinociceptive, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of compounds found in the lavender essential oil (LEO), however to date, there is still lack of substantial data. The objective of this study was to assess the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of lavender essential oil. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical decolorization assay was used for antioxidant activity evaluation. The anti-inflammatory activity was tested using two models of acute inflammation: carrageenan-induced pleurisy and croton oil-induced ear edema. The antinociceptive activity was tested using the pain model induced by formalin. LEO has antioxidant activity, which is dose-dependent response. The inflammatory response evoked by carrageenan and by croton oil was reduced through the pre-treatment of animals with LEO. In the pleurisy model, the drug used as positive control, dexamethasone, was more efficacious. However, in the ear swelling, the antiedematogenic effect of the oil was similar to that observed for dexamethasone. In the formalin test, LEO consistently inhibited spontaneous nociception and presented a similar effect to that of tramadol. The results of this study reveal (in vivo) the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of LEO and demonstrates its important therapeutic potential.
antioxidants; inflammation; lavender; nociception