New study shows chemical compound in essential oils helps wound healing

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found in essential oils improves the healing process in mice, a finding that could lead to improved treatments for skin injuries in humans, according to a recent release by the Indiana University (IU).

IU scientists also reported that skin tissue treated with the chemical compound, named beta-carophyllene, which is found in lavender, rosemary and ylang ylang, as well as various herbs, showed increased cell growth and cell migration critical to wound healing.

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The research was published Monday 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 of the paper and 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," she said.

Koyama said further research is required to figure out how beta-carophyllene might be used to develop new treatments for skin wounds in humans.

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