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Terpenes are highly aromatic compounds that determine the unique aroma associated plants and herbs like rosemary and lavender. In some plants, terpenes attract pollinators, while in other plants, they cause a strong reaction to repel predators, such as insects or foraging animals. Some terpenes play a protective role in the plant, helping the plant to recover from damage; others act as a part of the plant’s immune system to keep away infectious germs.
Limonene is a terpene common in lemons and oranges, providing their signature citrusy scent. Limonene is associated with a wide array of health benefits, including its ability to enhance focus, quell stress and help fight depression and anxiety.
A Study in Chemico-Biological Interactions notes that limonene appears to modulate the way certain immune cells behave, which ay protect the body from a range of disorders. This study suggests that limonene has the following therapeutic properties:
Pinene is another naturally abundant terpene. Pinene provides the fresh scent associated with pine needles, rosemary, and basil. Pinene acts as a bronchodilator, allowing more air into the lungs. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that may fight against infection when inhaled. Some studies suggest that the terpene can also with pain relief, anti-anxiety and may help combat short term memory impairments associated with THC consumption.
Linalool is most abundant in the lavender plant and gives the flower its rich scent. Linalool is one of the more important compounds in aromatherapy and is responsible for the calming effect many people get when smelling lavender or its essential oil.
A study in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces notes that linalool may affect the body in a variety of ways due to a range of properties, including:
Myrcene is a common terpene found in plants like cannabis, hops, lemongrass, and thyme. Myrcene has shown to be a powerful antioxidant and could provide protection from oxidative damage to vital organs in our system. Myrcene also has powerful antibiotic, antimutagenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and sedative effects.
Humulene is a key component of the hop plant. Other plants, such as clove and ginger, also contain it.
One study in Frontiers in Pharmacology notes that terpenes, including humulene, may have potential in preventing allergic reactions and asthma. In animal models, humulene reduced allergic inflammation in the airways. This could make it a helpful compound for natural asthma treatments in the future.
This terpene has been used in Chinese medicine for generations and is a popular supplement for: