Lavender has volatile compounds, which is responsible for its pleasant scent and healing properties. Our kidneys and liver can also be protected by these compounds against oxidative stress from chemicals. In relation to this, Tunisian researchers tested essential oil of Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) for its hepaprotective and nephroprotective activity against malathion.
Malathion is a synthetic organophosphate and one of the most common insecticides, being used in both homes and agricultural areas. It remains to be a highly potent neurotoxin despite being touted to be the safest among organophosphates. This chemical was intended to kill insects, but still, it can cause damages to the liver and kidneys of humans.
Once ingested, malathion will be broken down into malaoxon, a metabolite that is even more deadly than the base chemical. It can cause oxidative stress when it reaches the liver and kidney.
Oxidative stress is known to damage the cells of those vital organs. Fortunately, it can be prevented by antioxidants, which can naturally be found in the body and increased by consumption of the right foods.
The Antioxidant Potential Of Volatile Compounds Found In Lavender
The hepaprotective and nephroprotective properties of lavender oil were evaluated by researchers from the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis (FST). In an animal study conducted, 96 young male mice were divided into eight groups that received different treatments.
The untreated group serves as the control group. Every day, 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of the organophosphate were received by the mice in the malathion group. There were three groups given with 10, 30, and 50 mg/kg of lavender essential oil and then the last three groups were given a combination of essential oil and malathion treatment.
In the evaluation, which lasted for 30 days, animals were observed for signs of body weight gain and tested for any effects.
The mice were sacrificed at the end of the process. For the purpose of determining the effects of lavender essential oils and malathion, their kidneys and liver were harvested to analyze the chemical and morphological changes induced by the oil and malathion.
Take Lavender Essential Oils To Protect Your Kidneys And Liver
According to the reports of the researchers, malathion caused adverse effects in the mice. As compared to the untreated mice, the animals did not gain as much body weight from consuming the same amounts.
The malathion-exposed mice were also found to have an increased size of livers and kidneys, thus disrupting the proper flow of blood throughout those organs. Furthermore, disruption of their metabolism was also observed. Disturbances of the proper hemodynamic and metabolic parameters caused detrimental effects on their health.
The administration of malathion causes a corresponding rise in their oxidative stress levels. It was noted that the concentration of malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide have gone up.
Meanwhile, there was a significant reduction in the sulfhydryl group content. The results further demonstrated that the activity levels of the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase went down.
The superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes were also affected. Copper-SOD, manganese-SOD, and iron-SOD levels in the kidney and liver decreased. Due to the reduction of these antioxidant enzymes, malathion was suggested to cause oxidative stressed against those organs.
Luckily, researchers found that all the adverse effects of malathion exposure were reversed by the lavender essential oil. Due to the essential oil that was given to the animals, they were able to gain weight at a normal rate. Also, the relative weight of their kidneys and liver did not balloon uncontrollably. Their hemodynamics and metabolism remained stable. Lastly, their liver and kidneys did not experience oxidative stress.
With these amazing results, it was concluded by the researchers that due to the antioxidant qualities of lavender oil, it can protect the kidneys and liver against harm.