SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • organ accumulation;
  • inhalation;
  • volatile compound

Essential oils are composed of multiple components. It is thought that the effect of essential oils is due to specific component ratios, which may differ from the original ratio when the essential oil is absorbed. However, very little detailed research exists in this area. We studied the distribution of essential oil components after inhalation of single and mixed components in mice. This research was done using four main components of Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) B. L. Burtt. and R. M. Sm.: α-pinene, p-cymene, 1,8-cineole, and limonene. After inhalation of single or mixed components for 90 min, component levels in the brain and liver of mice were measured. The results indicated that the amount of α-pinene in the brain and liver was twofold greater after mixed-component inhalation than that after single-component inhalation. In a comparison of the components of the mixed inhalation, the ratio of α-pinene increased to about three times that of 1,8-cineole. It is thought that the absorption via the nasal mucus greatly influences this phenomenon. The results of this investigation of the bodily distribution of essential oil volatile components may provide clues for elucidating their action. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.