Terpenes found in nature number about 30,000 types so far, and one of them is the eucalyptol terpene. Each has its distinct properties and benefits. And while some of these aromatic compounds are widely popular, others are lesser-known.
In this article, the featured terpene is eucalyptol, a fairly familiar terpene type because it almost sounds like its plant source, eucalyptus. Read on to know more about this medicinal terpene.
Eucalyptol Terpene Profile
Eucalyptol is commonly found in the eucalyptus tree, but it is also contained in several other plants such as rosemary, citrus, and laurel. It has a fresh, minty smell with a cooling, spicy taste.
Because of its pleasant taste and scent, it is often used in flavoring products, perfumes, and even cosmetics. But perhaps its most popular use is as a major ingredient of mouthwash.
It is also mixed with various ingredients to create food products like baked goods, meat products, and confectionery. Moreover, it is added to beverages to enhance their taste and flavor.
7 Benefits of Eucalyptol
Eucalyptol has a high potential in treating different types of ailments due to its medicinal properties. Here are some of them:
Eucalyptol terpene possesses antibacterial properties that can help destroy or slow down the growth of bacteria. Over the years, studies have been carried out to determine its potential application in the food industry as an antibacterial agent. One study found that it can inhibit the growth of certain bacteria, including S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and E. coli.
Eucalyptol can also boost the skin’s ability to absorb topical products. When applied to the skin, it temporarily disrupts the intercellular lipids, facilitating the absorption of products such as oil and lotion.
Eucalyptol is a promising compound for treating chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, colon damage, pancreatitis, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease. It suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory proteins in the body. It also helps reduce oxidative stress, minimizing cell damage.
Due to its analgesic properties, eucalyptol is used to treat colds, flu, and nosebleeds. It helps patients gain temporary pain relief by reducing inflammation. It also plays a role in changing the way the brain perceives pain, helping alleviate the discomfort. While some analgesics can be bought over the counter, higher concentrations will require a prescription.
High amounts of eucalyptol are found to be more cytotoxic than other compounds. This means that it possesses the ability to prevent cancer cell replication. A study has shown that this compound exhibits anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic properties useful for treating breast cancer, skin cancer, and gastric cancer.
Antioxidants are known to help protect the cells against free radicals—these compounds can become dangerous at high levels. As an antioxidant, eucalyptol can help prevent oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
Inhaling eucalyptol through aromatherapy can maximize its anti-anxiety properties. Its chemical compositions are found to deliver a calming effect. While it is commonly used for medical purposes, this terpene is also now being combined with other compounds for recreational purposes, thanks to its stress reduction and relaxing effects.
7. Cognitive function enhancer
Eucalyptol has been shown to improve cognitive function by suppressing aggressive and agitated emotions during aromatherapy. Its soothing properties help clear the mind and trigger emotional and physical responses that allow patients to recall positive memories more vividly.
The Value of Terpenes in the Modern World
Terpenes are used in a wide range of applications that benefit users physically, mentally, and emotionally. Indeed, these compounds play important roles in everyday life, thanks to their various properties.