Indiana University researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found in essential oils improves the healing process in mice when it is topically applied to a skin wound – a finding that could lead to improved treatments for skin injuries in humans.
IU scientists also reported that skin tissue treated with the chemical compound, beta-carophyllene – which is found in lavender, rosemary and ylang ylang, as well as various herbs and spices such as black pepper – showed increased cell growth and cell migration critical to wound healing. They also observed increased gene expression of hair follicle stem cells in the treated tissue. The scientists did not find any involvement of the olfactory system in the wound healing. Their research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“This is the first finding at the chemical-compound level showing improved wound healing in addition to changes in gene expression in the skin,” said Sachiko Koyama, corresponding author on the paper, who, at the time of this research, was an associate scientist at the IU School of Medicine and is currently a visiting scientist in the IU College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. “The way gene expression changed also suggests not only improved wound healing but also the possibility of less scar formation and a more full recovery.”
“This accelerated the wound healing process, she said, but the resulting change in gene expression indicates that the improved healing is not merely achieved through activation of the CB2 receptor.
“It’s possibly more complicated,” Koyama said. “Our findings suggest the involvements of some other routes in addition to CB2. I hope to clarify the mechanisms of action in the near future.”
Excerpted from Today’s Practitioner article