Terpineol is a monoterpene alcohol, and a mixture of 4 different isomers (alpha, beta, gamma, terpineol), and with alpha-terpineol being its major constituent. It has been isolated from oils such as cajuput, petitgrain, and pine. Although naturally occurring, it is commonly manufactured from the more-readily available alpha-pinene terpenoid. (+)-α-Terpineol is a chemical constituent of Skullcap.
It is a colorless liquid with an agreeable odor and a sweet, lime taste. It is slightly soluble in water.1 With its pleasant smell, like lilac, it is a common ingredient used to enhance the fragrance of perfumes and cosmetics, and as a flavoring agent in foodstuffs. A-terpineol, one of the most characteristic constituents in Lapsang Souchong tea, originates from the pine smoke used in the drying process of the tea leaves. While -(+)-alpha-Terpineol has an intensely lilac odor, (S)-(-)-alpha-Terpineol has a more conifer-like pine smell.
It is a low or very-low volatile, combustible, poorly flammable substance that is hazardous to the aquatic environment. It has antibacterial and antiviral properties and is a good general tonic and immune system stimulant. Its main characteristics in essential oils are warming and uplifting.
Classification Within Terpenes: Monoterpene
- Ravensara 2
Uses in the Flavor Industry
Food uses include flavor agents for baked goods, condiments, candies, dairy products, beverages, and chewing gum. It is also used in the manufacture of cosmetics and soaps. It is produced by the distillation of pine oils, but more commonly it is synthesized by the acid hydration of turpentine or a-pinene followed by partial hydration.
One of the more recent tendencies is to produce natural a-terpineol by the biotransformation of a-pinene, limonene, or b-pinene. Valued for its pleasant fragrance, healing properties, and gentle reaction on the skin, Terpene Alcohols have been named the “Friendly Molecules”.
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Terpene alcohols are among the strongest antimicrobial constituents in essential oils but without the irritants present in other antimicrobial compounds like phenols.3
The Uses of Terpineol in Aromatherapy
The use of complementary and alternative therapies in conjunction with mainstream medicine has gained significant momentum over the past few years. Aromatherapy is one such alternative therapy that uses essential oils as a major therapeutic agent for the treatment of a vast number of different ailments. These volatile oils are extracted from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots, fruits, and bark of natural organic plants by a distillation process or other methods.
The use of essential oils became more acceptable to the mainstream medical sector after scientists discovered the skin permeability and healing properties of the constituents of these oils. Aromatherapy makes use of various tools and methods such as inhalation, topical application, and bath additives to help the oils penetrate the aura of the body and the surface of the skin.
Aromatherapy utilizes various blends and permutations to obtain relief from a wide range of ailments.
Essential oils are commonly found to be more beneficial when used as part of a holistic and comprehensive health program. Different types of essential oils are used in the therapeutic, cosmetic, psychological, physical, olfactory, medicinal, and massage treatments for ailments.
One example of an essential oil containing terpineol is Pine Oil. Pine oil contains complex mixtures of oxygenated monoterpenes like terpineol, Bornyl acetate, and borneol, and monoterpene hydrocarbons like alpha-and beta-pinene.
The Chemical Components of Pine Oil Are:
- Terpinolene (26.7%)
- A-terpineol (20.5%)
- 1-terpineol (10.8%)
- A-pinene (6.0%)
- Y-terpineol (5.3%)4
Treatment of Inflammation and Asthma
Essential oils containing monoterpenes are natural products used in the treatment of conditions that cause inflammation and allergic inflammation conditions like asthma. Allergic inflammation is the body’s response to pathogens due to leukocyte recruitment and cytokine release. Studies found that monoterpenes like terpineol are able to significantly decrease TNF-a levels and leukocyte migration, indicating that monoterpene alcohols can be used in the treatment of allergic inflammation in asthma.5
Aromatherapy lamps, candles, and diffusers can be used to breathe the fragrant aroma of essential oils like pine oil, petitgrain, cajeput, and ravensara.
Different Types of Aromatherapy
In cosmetic aromatherapy special blends of essential oils are used on the skin of the face and body, as well as the hair. These products are popular for their natural effect in cleansing, toning, moisturizing and generally keeping the skin supple and healthy. At home, a full-body bath or a foot bath is an easy and relaxing way to experience the rejuvenating and revitalizing effects of aromatherapy essential oil recipes. Just a few drops of the appropriate oils containing terpineol in a warm bath or in a foot bath is all you need to enjoy the feeling of luxury and indulgence while at the same time getting rid of stress and anxiety.
The anti-inflammatory properties of terpineol in essential oils will immediately penetrate the skin and go to work, reducing pain and tension. Essential oils should always to be mixed with a carrier oil like sweet almond, jojoba, or grapeseed oil before use as a massage medium. The healing touch of massage therapy has the ability to relax the body and the mind and reduce pain caused by inflammation.
The antiseptic healing effects of terpineol can be used to treat medically diagnosed conditions and help speed up recovery after surgery. Either massage or aromatic use will help the body to heal faster.
Olfactory aromatherapy involves the inhalation of the aroma or odor of the plant’s essence captured in essential oils. Inhalation of therapeutic aromas enhances emotional well-being, relaxation, calmness, and improves the mood. The inhalation of pleasurable scents has the effect of transporting your mind away from your worries about everyday situations and medical problems, causing your body to relax and heal naturally.
Certain states of moods or emotions can be obtained through the use of essential oils. They are ideal for use in stress, anxiety, or depression. Psycho-aromatherapy deals with the study of the effects of essential oils on the human mind and body.6
Other Information of Terpineol
The concentration of pine oil in disinfectants and cleaners varies from 0.3% to 60% and many cleaners are pine scented but contain very little or no actual pine oil.
Turpentine, which contains terpineol, is a hydrocarbon mixture of certain terpenes derived from pine oil and is often used as paint thinners instead of petroleum-derived products.
Molecular Formula: C10H18O
Molecular Weight: 154,25 g/mol
Boiling Point : 214 – 217 °C (417 – 423 °F; 487 – 490 K) (mixture of isomers)