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The Sedative and Anxiolytic Activities of Cedrol and Virginian Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedrol

Cedrol is a tricyclic sesquiterpene alcohol commonly occurring in the essential oils of conifer trees, especially those belonging to the Cupressus and Juniperus genera. It occurs in essential oil of Juniperus virginiana (Virginian, red or Eastern red cedarwood) (Figure 1) at proportions of approximately 24-32% (ter Heide et al, 1988; Kitchens et al, 1971). The compound presents minimal risk in terms of skin irritancy, allergenicity and toxicity (Tisserand & Young, 2014).

     Figure 1. Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Cedrol has exhibited in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria and yeast, and cytotoxic activity against human lung, liver and oral cancer cells (Su et al, 2012). The compound was also shown to contribute to the potentially beneficial effects of the methanol extract of Juniperus chinenesis on Alzheimer’s disease, specifically through inhibiting the enzymes...

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Aniseed Essential Oil for Depression and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Aniseed essential oil 

Essential oil of aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) is not usually among those that we select when  requiring an uplifting, antidepressive effect. We might think instead of essential oils such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), bergamot (Citrus bergamia) and sandalwood (Santalum spp.), all of which have shown beneficial effects in clinical trials on mood parameters such as anxiety and depression (Sánchez-Vidaña et al, 2017).

Yet a recent clinical trial conducted in Iran found that essential oil of aniseed, which as a medicinal plant has long been important in traditional Persian medicine, showed promising results in alleviating the symptoms of mild to moderate depression in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (Mosaffa-Jahrom et al, 2017).

The gut-brain axis, serotonin and IBS

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, and depending on the diagnostic criteria employed, affects about 11% of the...

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