Cytotoxic Evaluation of the Essential Oils from Korean Native Plant on Human Skin and Lung Cells

  • AHN, Changhwan (Laboratory of Veterinary Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Jeju National University) ;
  • YOO, Yeong-Min (Laboratory of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • PARK, Mi-Jin (Division of Forest industrial Materials, Department of Forest Products and Industry, National Institute of Forest Science) ;
  • HAM, Youngseok (Division of Forest industrial Materials, Department of Forest Products and Industry, National Institute of Forest Science) ;
  • YANG, Jiyoon (Division of Forest industrial Materials, Department of Forest Products and Industry, National Institute of Forest Science) ;
  • JEUNG, Eui-Bae (Laboratory of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungbuk National University)
  • Received : 2021.05.18
  • Accepted : 2021.07.12
  • Published : 2021.07.25


Plant essential oils are used in products such as fragrances and cosmetics due to their individual aromatic characteristics. Currently, essential oils are not only used in cosmetics but also in pharmaceutical products with anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, insecticidal, anti-cancer, neuroprotective, psychophysiological, or anti-aging effects. Despite their pharmaceutical properties, some studies reported cytotoxic effects in high doses. Therefore, for pharmaceutical purposes, the margin of safety of essential oils needs to be examined. Herein, we evaluated the IC50 of 10 essential oil from Korean native plants: Juniperus chinensis L. var. sargentii Henry, Citrus natsudaidai Hayata, Citrus reticulata Blanco, Citrus unshiu (Yu. Tanaka ex Swingle) Marcow, Artemisia capillaris Thunb, Aster glehnii F. Schmidt, Juniperus chinensis L, Zanthoxylum schinifolium Siebold & Zucc, Zanthoxylum piperitum (L.) D, and Cinnamomum loureirii. In addition, gene regulation of the cell-cycle gene and apoptosis marker CASP3 was examined at the IC50 level. The purpose of this study was to describe the toxic concentrations of essential oils extracted from Korean native plants, thereby providing toxic concentration guidelines for inclusion in a toxicity database and in the application of plant essential oils in various fields.


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