Featured Terpene Borneol

Featured Terpene: Borneol

Borneol Terpenes are volatile hydrocarbon molecules commonly found all around nature. They are responsible for the powerful flavor and aroma of many plants and essential oils. For example, the Pinene terpene makes pine trees smell the way they are, uniquely peppery and a bit minty. 

The main purpose of terpenes in the wild is to give plants self-protection against predators. Additionally, they also serve as pollinator attractors. There are over 200 different kinds of terpenes, all of which have distinctive scents, and most are known to have medicinal qualities. With terpenes’ wide array of benefits, people can access them in the form of different products.

The terpenes market is expected to reach $774.3 million by the end of 2026. As the industry grows, consumers should also expand their knowledge of these aromatic compounds to understand which kind of terpene is best for their needs and preferences. 

The terpene that’s in focus today is borneol. Read on below to know more about this popular terpene. 

Borneol Terpene Profile

The perfume industry utilizes borneol quite often. It has a distinct camphor-like scent—cool and spicy. This terpene is usually compared to eucalyptol as both have similar aromas. However, upon thorough examination, most will determine that borneol has a slightly earthier smell than the other, like a cooling spice with a mix of balsam.

Borneol - Wikipedia

People have experienced borneol at least once in their lives as it’s found in multiple plants such as mugwort, ginger, sage, marjoram, cardamom, nutmeg, rosemary, and thyme. Even if they haven’t consumed borneol through food, they’ve probably received it through an aromatherapy massage. 

Benefits of Borneol

it isn’t only useful for its cosmetic benefits but also recognized for its healing capabilities. Around 659 A.D., it was first recorded that Chinese medicine used borneol in the form of moxa, a compound of mugwort leaves, to treat chronic and acute pain. Aside from its pain-fighting abilities, it has more to offer, like:


Terpenes are a natural defense of plants against pests and predators, and borneol is among those terpenes that parasites and insects hate. A Parasitology Research study suggests that it can effectively keep away mosquitoes that carry diseases like the West Nile virus. 

The scent of borneol may be toxic to insects, but there are only few-to-none adverse effects when it comes to humans. Most people even find the aroma as refreshing as walking through a forest of balsam fir trees. To use it as a natural pesticide, people can heat up essential oils with a diffuser or light a borneol-infused candle. 


it may also have antibacterial properties that help slow down bacterial growth. If a person has a cut, they can apply oil with borneol to help with the infection. Additionally, if you are sick, you can put oil in a diffuser to clean the air of viruses and help the body heal more quickly. 


Historically, borneol is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat hemorrhoids, ulcerations, injuries, and burns. It’s known to bring down swelling, which is why some people keep borneol-infused products in their medicine cabinets to help with scrapes and bruises. 


Currently, borneol’s anti-proliferative properties are being investigated as it’s found that it may inhibit cancer cell growth. Research published in the PLOS One journal showed that it reduced cancer cell growth by “triggering apoptotic cell death.”

In addition to this, a Toxicological Research study concluded that it can be used for lung cancer treatment because it “alleviated acute lung inflammation by reducing inflammatory infiltration, histopathological changes, and cytokine production.”

Anxiety relief

Like the other terpenes from the spicy-woodsy aroma family (such as linalool and alpha-pinene), borneol also helps with anxiety and stress relief. It may well have the ability to lift a person’s mood and alleviate mood swings, soothing away anxious thoughts. 

According to Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications research, borneol is widely used in Chinese medicine for anxiety, pain, and anesthesia. Researchers found that borneol can suppress anxiety-like behaviors, therefore, suggesting it to be used as a “new therapeutic in fear- and anxiety-related disorders.”

Memory retention

Many people find borneol as a useful compound for memory recall. A Neural Regeneration Research study states that terpenes like borneol helped reverse impairments in learning and memory. The study even validated its use for Alzheimer’s disease and memory deficits management. 

Individuals can experience the benefits borneol through aromatherapy while working or studying to help recall something important or retain information.

The Thousand-Year Old Terpene Medicine

From common kitchen herbs to traditional Chinese medicine, borneol is everywhere. People have been using borneol for its powerful effects since 659 A.D. Nowadays, you can use it in various methods, like pesticides, cosmetic ingredients, essential oils, and other therapeutic products. 

Because of its multiple benefits, borneol is a part of several studies investigating how it can medically help humans. According to research, it can bring down swelling, soothe sore muscles, relieve anxiety, increase memory recall, and even reduce cancer cell growth. 

With the popularity of terpenes rising, there can be numerous choices in the industry. Make sure you only purchase top-quality terpenes from a reliable provider.

If you’re in the market for some high-grade terpenes, visit Medical Terpenes today!

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