| The Truth About the Health Benefits of Terpenes | Best Health
#Terpenes are aromatic #HydroCarbons .. oils that provide the #fragrant essence in plants, flowers and trees. The fragrant molecules are basically oils that release a therapeutic scent, says Josh Kaplan, a neuroscientist at The University of Washington.
A study published in the Journal of Toxicological Research showed that the Japanese practice of forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, in a terpene-rich environment has potential anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, and neuroprotective affects on human health.
Dr. Kaplan says there is a dual route by which terpenes can have a therapeutic benefit. “For years it was thought that people benefited from inhaling terpenes because our olfactory system, or sense of smell, is tied to emotional centres in the brain, thus having a positive effect on our mood,” says Kaplan. “However, recently it’s been identified that the terpenes also act directly on brain cells to modulate their activity.”
The terpene beta-caryophyllene found in basil, oregano, black pepper, and cannabis has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving benefits. A study by the Chongqing Medical University in China showed promising results in using this terpene to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease progression is dependent on mitigating brain inflammation, and beta-caryophyllene was either injected or administered orally in mice to dampen inflammation by activating cannabinoid, or CB2, receptors in the brain.
The neurotherapeutic potential extends to other terpenes as well. “In some lab models, high doses of linalool showed anti-seizure and anti-epileptic effects,” says Kaplan.