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The Aromahead Blog - Aromatherapy Education and Resources

Loving Terpinen-4-ol

by Andrea Butje on August 12, 2010

terpinen-4-ol-1Don't be scared by a name that sounds like a chemical!

Essential oil chemicals are naturally found within the plants. These chemical components give the oils their natural therapeutic effects. Terpinen-4-ol is a great example.

Oils rich in terpinen-4-ol are great for dealing with infection and supporting the immune system.

Northeastern Plai (Zingiber cassumunar), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) have significant amounts of terpinen-4-ol.


And now for the nitty gritty scientific facts about this component!

Terpinen-4-ol suppresses inflammatory mediator production by activating human monocytes. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell--part of the human body's immune system. Monocytes have two main functions in the immune system:

  • Monocytes replenish resident macrophages and dendritic cells under normal states.
  • In response to inflammation signals, monocytes can move quickly to sites of infection in the tissues, where they divide or "differentiate" into macrophages and dendritic cells to elicit an immune response.

What does this mean exactly?  Basically, terpinen-4-ol gives your body a boost when it comes to fighting infections and illnesses.  Oils rich in this component amplify blends for the flu, colds, and even digestive issues.  Keep it in your back pocket as we approach the cold and flu season!

Andrea Butje is an internationally-recognized Aromatherapist who has changed the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching essential oils and Aromatherapy Certification. Check out her book, The Heart of Aromatherapy, at Aromatics International!

Topics: aromahead institute, aromatherapy, education, Essential Oils, Plai, sweet marjoram, tea tree

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