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Terpene Profile: Leptospermone

Leptospermone is a terpene produced by many plants in the myrtle family. Though scientists discovered leptospermone back in 1922, they were not able to successfully extract this terpene from plants until the 1960s.

After scientists began studying this terpene, they realized that it had some herbicidal properties. However, the plant was not toxic enough to make it effective for standard use. Researchers worked to optimize the compound, creating variations that were very toxic or not toxic at all. Today, there are a number of herbicides on the market that contain leptospermone.

Leptospermone is a yellow, viscous liquid without a strong odor. This terpene is known for its toxicity to other plants which may struggle to grow and thrive in the presence of a plant that produces leptospermone. 1 Other plants in the myrtle family appear resistant to the effects of leptospermone.

Natural sources of leptospermone include lemon bottlebrush, manuka, tea tree, eucalyptus, and bay trees.

Uses for Leptospermone Leptospermone

Relieves Cough Symptoms

Coughs are aggravated by the presence of histamine, a compound that the body releases in response to inflammation or injury. Antihistamines like leptospermone can be used to reduce the presence of histamine, consequently relieving cough symptoms.

In fact, researchers have also discovered that manuka essential oil, which contains leptospermone, can effectively reduce inflammation. 2

For relieving a cough, add a few drops of manuka or tea tree oil to a room diffuser and peacefully sleep cough-free through the night.

Provides Allergy Symptom Relief

Many of the plants that produce leptospermone are antimicrobials. This means that this terpene can kill bacteria and fungi that can cause allergic reactions.

Studies have found that plants in the myrtle family have strong antimicrobial properties, making them an excellent choice for allergy relief. 3

Alleviates Stress and Anxiety

Stress causes the body to produce excess cortisol which can be harmful to an individual’s health. Because of this, important for people to find easy and effective ways to manage stress.

To decrease stress levels before they result in health consequences, the effects of aromatherapy on stress and the stress response have been thoroughly studied. Essential oil blends, including Manuka, tea tree, clary sage, lavender, and rosemary have been shown to quickly and effectively relieve stress. 4

Reduces Risk of Illness

Many oils that contain leptospermone exhibit strong antiviral activity. A German study that looked at essential oil from the myrtle family found that these oils were able to fight many viruses, including ones that were drug-resistant. 5

Placing a blend of these oils into a room diffuser can help keep it clear of harmful microbes, reducing chances of getting sick.

Promotes Healing of Wounds

Manuka is well known for its wound-healing properties: the oil and the honey from manuka trees can help to heal wounds. Recent research shows that manuka stimulates dermal fibroblasts in the skin which can speed up the healing process. 6

Because leptospermone also contains antibacterial properties it can also reduce the risk of infection while speeding up the healing time of the wound.

Boosts Mood

Essential oil blends containing leptospermone have been shown to relieve negative feelings and encourage positive thoughts. Aromatherapy is frequently recommended by mental health professionals for this reason. Tea tree oil is especially popular in these kinds of oil blends because of its refreshing, energizing scent.

Improves Concentration

Many studies have shown that aromatherapy can be helpful to students who are studying by improving cognition and increasing focus. 7 Researchers have also found that using essential oils could strengthen a person's short-term memory. 8

Although oils like rosemary and lavender have been studied more extensively, oils that contain leptospermone could also be a potent study aid. For example, manuka essential oil works well in rosemary and lavender oil blends.

Prevents Skin Damage

UV rays can damage the skin, causing wrinkles and discoloration. However, manuka essential has been shown to reduce this damage and restore the vitality of the skin.

A South Korean study analyzed the effects of manuka essential oil on mice with sun-damaged skin. They found that a 10 percent concentration of the oil was highly effective at reducing the damage and improving the appearance of the skin. 9

Remember to be cautious when using essential oils topically, diluting them with a carrier oil and conducting a patch skin test before applying to larger areas of the body.

Boosts Energy

Although leptospermone can help people relax, it can also be energizing. When creating energy-boosting oil blends, it's smart to include other energizing oils, like peppermint or basil oil.


Even though leptospermone can be toxic to some plants, it has many beneficial uses for humans. Try adding in some essential oils that contain leptospermone—like manuka, eucalyptus, or tea tree oils —into your daily routine and reap the wide-ranging health benefits that this terpene provides.

These essential oils can be used topically after diluting them with a carrier oil or aromatically in a room diffuser or personal aromatherapy diffusers .

Classification: β-triketone

The chemical formula for leptospermone: C15H22O4

Molar mass: 266.34 g/mol

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