What is Terpineol?

Terpineol is a naturally occuring terpene in nature. It can be found in flowers such as lavender and freesia, in herbs, such as marjoram, oregano, rosemary and in lemon peel oil to name a few. Also found in our Douglas Fir essential oil! This terpene attracts a lot of interest as it has a wide range of biological applications as an antioxidant, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, antihypertensive, and antinociceptive (Kahleel et al, 2018). As with many terpenes, it also has insecticidal properties.

(Image courtesy of Khaleel et al, 2018)

There is limited inhalation data for this terpene, however a study into the safety of terpineol shows it is non-toxic across all analogues selected (Api et al, 2017). When inhaled it has a pleasant aroma often compared to lilac and sometimes described as “forest-like” due to notes of pine and herbs. When used in aromatherapy it has been reported to clear the sinuses and shorten the life of the common cold, acting as an immune system booster (Lab Effects, 2013-2021).

Taking a deeper dive into the therapeutic benefits of terpineol shows us the truly exciting nature of this terpene.

Anxiolytic: Used to reduce anxiety.
Antibacterial: Slows and combats bacterial growth.
Anti-inflammatory: Reduces systematic inflammation in the body.
Anti-proliferative: Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Anti-oxidant: Prevents oxidation damage to molecules and cells in the human body.
Sedative: Produces sensation of calmness helps combat insomnia.

In summary, Terpineol exhibits a sedative and anxiety-reducing effect when inhaled with a myriad of secondary health benefits.

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Api et al (2017). RIFM fragrance ingredient safety assessment, terpineol, CAS Registry Number 8000-41-7. Food and Chemical Toxicology 110: S392-S402.
Khaleel et al (2018). α-Terpineol, a natural monoterpene: A review of its biological properties. De Gruyter, https://doi.org/10.1515/chem-2018-0040.
Lab Effects (2013-2021). Alpha-Terpineol. Lab Effects – The Science of Mapping Terpenes. https://labeffects.com/terpene-glossary-alpha-terpineol/


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