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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 9012605, 7 pages
Research Article

Essential Oil of Ocimum basilicum L. and (−)-Linalool Blocks the Excitability of Rat Sciatic Nerve

1Physiology Department, Federal University of Sergipe, 49.100-000 São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil
2Superior Institute of Biomedical Science, State University of Ceará, Campus of Itaperi, 60.740-000 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Chemistry Department, Federal University of Sergipe, 49.100-000 São Cristóvão, SE, Brazil

Received 12 January 2016; Accepted 31 May 2016

Academic Editor: Deborah A. Kennedy

Copyright © 2016 Antonio Medeiros Venancio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The racemate linalool and its levogyrus enantiomer [(−)-LIN] are present in many essential oils and possess several pharmacological activities, such as antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory. In this work, the effects of essential oil obtained from the cultivation of the Ocimum basilicum L. (EOOb) derived from Germplasm Bank rich in (−)-LIN content in the excitability of peripheral nervous system were studied. We used rat sciatic nerve to investigate the EOOb and (−)-LIN effects on neuron excitability and the extracellular recording technique was used to register the compound action potential (CAP). EOOb and (−)-LIN blocked the CAP in a concentration-dependent way and these effects were reversible after washout. EOOb blocked positive amplitude of 1st and 2nd CAP components with IC50 of and  mg/mL, respectively. For (−)-LIN, these values were and  mg/mL. Both components reduced the conduction velocity of CAP and the 2nd component seems to be more affected than the 1st component. In conclusion EOOb and (−)-LIN inhibited the excitability of peripheral nervous system in a similar way and potency, revealing that the effects of EOOb on excitability are due to the presence of (−)-LIN in the essential oil.