What are Terpenes?

For a lot of individuals, the word terpene is a completely new term. At Kakariki Fine Foods our goal is to educate and inform New Zealanders on the natural benefits and healing properties of terpenes and how they can improve your day to day life.

To put it simply, terpenes are the medicinal molecules extracted from essential oils and occur naturally in all plants. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give plants their distinct smells. Many plants contain terpenes, and you can generally tell by smelling the plant. For example, mint, rosemary, citrus and lavender plants all contain terpenes. You may have already experienced the benefits of terpenes without even knowing. Which is why so many individuals enjoy the effects of aromatherapy oils. Terpenes on their own can have powerful effects, Inhaling the scent of certain terpenes has also been associated with a boost in emotional wellbeing.

What are the health benefits of terpenes?

There are many benefits of using terpenes in your everyday life. There are a range of terpene strains which all have different benefits and uses.

Beta-Caryophyllene – Found in black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon. Strong spicy and woody aroma. Only terpene known to directly activate cannabinoid receptors. Can reduce inflammation and can aid in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Eucalyptol – This terpene is present in eucalyptus and produces minty tones. Eucalyptol is extensively used in cosmetics. Eucalyptol is known for its respiratory medicinal properties and is often used in medicines.

Bisabolol – Commonly produced by the chamomile flower and known for its light, sweet and floral aroma. The medicinal benefits of Bisabolol includes skin repair, anti inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Geraniol – Usually used in aromatic bath products and body lotions, Geraniol can be found in lemons, cannabis plants and lemongrass. Its aroma resembles roses, peaches, and plums. Geraniol demonstrates anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Camphene – Displays various medicinal properties and has been used to treat bacterial and fungal infections. Camphene is an effective natural remedy for eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.

Guaiol – Conveys an aroma of pine with undertones of wood and rose. Guaiol is rich in health benefits and has been used throughout history to treat ailments such as arthritis, sore throat, and gout.

Humulene – A common terpene that can be found in nature. Humulene is responsible for the scents and flavours of many well-known herbs. The unmistakable taste of beer is a result of humulene. Humulene has shown promise in treating inflammatory conditions

Limonene – Produces a citrus scent, all citrus fruits contain large amounts of this compound. Limonene is used in cosmetics and cleaning products. Limonene is a mood booster and helps relieve stress. Research also suggests that Limonene has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

Linalool – Has a lovely floral scent and is one of the main ingredients in essential oils sich as lavender. Linalool products sedation and relaxation as well as providing relief from arthritis and insomnia.

Myrcene – Has an earthy, musky scent. Myrcene can be found in citrus fruits, bay leaves, eucalyptus, and many other plants, it can help with sedation and is claimed to be useful in reducing inflammation and chronic pain.

Ocimene – Known for its citrus and woody undertones, Ocimene can be found in basil, lavender, pepper and more. This terpene appears to have many potential health benefits such as mood elevation, increasing energy levels and helping with inflammation.

Pinene – The most common terpene in the natural world. Pinene is useful for anxiety, pain, and inflammation. This terpene smells strongly of pine and fir trees.

Terpinolene – Can be described as having a woody and herbal scent with an aftertaste of citrus and pine. Terpinolene is a common additive in soaps and cleaning products. Has been investigated for its sedative, antifungal and antibacterial uses.

Valencene – With a sweet and citrusy scent and flavour, Valencene is also used as an insect repellent as well as offering anti-inflammatory, skin protectant and anti-allergic benefits.

The information in this blog post is for educational and information purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a health professional about any questions you have regarding a medical condition or health objectives.