Understanding Terpenes and Its Therapeutic Effects

If you’re familiar with the smell of lavender or eucalyptus in essential oils, then you’re familiar with the compound called terpenes. To explain further, terpenes are known for the scent and aroma they can provide in plants.

Today, terpenes are being used for different purposes, such as essential oils, fragrances, medicine, and even food. In the following, we’ll be discussing the several benefits of terpenes.

4 Benefits that Terpenes can Provide

  1. Aromatherapy

There’s a reason why aromatherapy is extremely therapeutic, and it’s because we inhale a certain scent that affects our brain. Specifically, the amygdala is being affected, or the area of the brain that responds to emotions. So it gives off different aromatic scents that can alleviate stress and anxiety, improve mood, and encourage a healthy sleep pattern.

Linalool is one of the common terpenes used in aromatherapy that gives an aroma of flowers and lavender. This study shows that anti-anxiety and antidepressants are just two of the many benefits they can provide in aromatherapy. Limonene, another terpene component that smells like citrus, also gives anti-anxiety benefits.

  1. Anti-Cancer

A 1997 study claimed that terpenes could effectively treat colon, brain, prostate, bone, and gland cancer. Limonene is the one compound specifically known for its anti-cancer properties. This also goes for other compounds such as pinene, thymoquinone, and alloocimene.


While research is still ongoing for this, terpenes have been found to aid in helping individuals diagnosed with cancer. For example, monoterpenes, known as a class of terpenes containing two isoprene units, may prevent lung and liver cancer.

  1. Antibacterial

Several studies have proven that terpenes contain antibacterial and antifungal factors, which is why they can be used for food, medicinal, and therapeutic purposes. One of the most successful terpenes that have made it medicine is Paclitaxel, wherein two varieties of the drug are being used for chemotherapy.

There’s also a terpene compound found in eucalyptus called cineole, which has been proven to benefit cognitive functions and fight against diseases like Alzheimer’s.

  1. Antidiabetic

Diabetes is the most diagnosed chronic disease globally, and millions of people are fighting against it every day. However, with this said, there has been no cure found for diabetes. You can only reduce the symptoms or alleviate the risk.

A 2006 study has been conducted to show that terpenes can cure diabetes effectively because of their properties. Andrographolide is the most promising terpene compound found to help with diabetes. In addition, a study has been conducted wherein andrographolide helped fix the impaired cycle on diabetic rats.

  1. Antidepressant

Depression is the most common mental illness globally, with more than 264 million individuals suffering from all age groups. When left uncared for, depression can lead to suicide. Several studies have been made that prove that terpenes are an effective aid for mental illnesses such as depression.

Among all terpene compounds, linalool and pinene exhibit antidepressant factors as they interact most with pathway receptors for serotonin and adrenaline. In addition, pinene explicitly activates dopamine, which is another hormone responsible for making you feel good.

A study conducted on mice proves that B-Caryophyllene can aid in depression through interaction with the CB2 receptor, wherein this receptor is crucial to regulate depression. Another study showed that carveol is a promising bacterial activity fighting against E. coli, making it practical for food-induced medical conditions.

With this being said, terpenes can be used to treat diseases like food poisoning and typhoid. In addition, limonene is another terpene compound that can fight against parasites.

Wrapping Up

Terpenes provide several medical and therapeutic purposes that studies have proven over the years. Each terpene compound consists of unique factors, such as antidepressants and anti-inflammatory, which can significantly help everyone’s well-being.

Cancer, Diabetes, and Depression are just some of the illnesses that terpenes have been proven to fight against; however, further research is still ongoing.

Terpenes aren’t just known for medicine, but you can see their use in essential oils for aromatherapy.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

Understanding Terpenes and Its Therapeutic Effects

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