Formula: C10H18Â O
Molecular Mass: 154.24932 g/mol
Boiling Point: 176°C / 348.8° Fahrenheit
LD50 (Lethal Dose): 2480mg/kg (Compare to Nicotine: for rats – 50 mg/kg, for humans – 0.5-1 mg/kg)
Eucalyptol, also commonly called cineole, is the primary terpene found in eucalyptus, which is how this terpene got its name. Eucalyptol can comprise over 80% of the total in the essential oils from eucalyptus trees, it is also found in high concentrations in tea trees, mugwort, bay leaves, and cannabis.
Eucalyptol has been shown to help with more conditions than most other commonly found terpenes, making it a subject of much research and of great therapeutic value. Cineole can be topically applied to the skin, gums, or other areas. It can also be taken orally by being inhaled, drank as a tincture, or eaten. When taken orally or applied topically it isÂ important to dilute the strength of the essential oil. In high enough doses, like with all chemicals, eucalyptol is toxic and can cause death; unlike the other terpenes and cannabinoids I have covered, at least two people have died from cineole overdose.
Fun fact, Eucalyptol has been shown to be anti-fungal, something that prevents or hinders the growth of fungus. Despite that fact, a fungus was recently discovered that produces eucalyptol in large amounts which has potential for use in future biofuels.
Analgesic: Relieves pain.
Antibacterial: Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Fungal: Inhibits the growth of fungus.
Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces inflammation systemically.
Anti-Proliferative: Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antioxidant: Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.
Halent 2011 – Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Chart
Currently Being Studied For
Alzheimer’s: Though Alzheimer’s is a disease that destroys the memory, the cause of it is neuro-inflammation. A 2014 study showed that the inflammatory effects of eucalyptol were powerful enough to be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s.
Anti-Bacterial: This 2013 study was the first to profile the anti-bacterial potential of cineole. It was shown to have “good antibacterial activity”, giving it potential to be used as a natural remedy for infection.
Anti-Inflammatory: The anti-inflammatory effects of eucalyptol have been known since this 2000 study found cineole to be an anti-inflammatory. Since then it has been shown to help with various types of inflammations all over the body. Rhinosinusitis is an inflammation of one, or both, of the paranasal sinuses; it is usually acute and caused by some sort of infection. This 2004Â double blind, placebo controlled study, found conclusive evidence that cineole helps treat rhinosinusitus. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and can be acute (temporary) or chronic (lasting). Eucalyptol was shown in 2013 to help mitigate the inflammatory effects of acute pancreatitis in mice. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the name for a group of conditions, including Crohnâ€™s Disease, which are typified by an inflammation of part, or all, of the digestive tract and ulcerative colitis. As with all other types of inflammation, eucalyptol was shown to help mitigate both of these harms, making it a promising treatment for IBD.
Antioxidant: Eucalyptol was shown to display antioxidant properties in this 2012 study, which means it mitigates the damage of oxidation to cells and could be useful in slowing the effects of aging. Recent research has possibly debunked the theory that antioxidants increase your lifespan (but some terpenes may).
Asthma: Asthma is a chronic and persistent inflammation of the airways in the throat and lungs that affects roughly 1/6 Americans. Eucalyptol has been known to be a very potent treatment for asthma for years, but a 1998 study proved this folk knowledge to be fact. In 2003, a double-blind placebo-controlled study confirmed that eucalyptol was a potential treatment for asthma and other upper-airway inflammations. This 2004 study suggests a different mechanism as the source of eucalyptol’ anti-inflammatory properties and recommends cineole as a treatment for asthma as well as sinusitus. Most recently, 2012 a follow-up double-blind placebo-controlled study found that “therapy using cineole can lead to notable improvement in lung function and health condition“.
Cancer: This 2002 study on eucalyptol’s effects on cancer found that it induced apoptosis, cell-death, in two different types of leukemia but not in the one type of stomach cancer studied. That study was the first time eucalyptol was shown to help combat the growth of a type of cancer in humans, not mice or other animals. Last year, researchers looking at colon cancer found that treatment with eucalyptol was “an effective strategy to treat colorectal cancer“. Last May, eucalyptol was shown to be not only an anti-proliferative but also anti-cholesterogenic, the authors of the report say their findings suggest these effects work in unison to combat cancer. Linalool was also shown to display these synergistic effects.
Tuberculosis: This 2014 study looked at the effects of all the terpenes contained in Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil, not just eucalyptol, and found it to be weakly effective at mitigating the effects of tuberculosis. While this is not a cure in itself it does mean eucalyptus essential oil could be useful in combination with other treatments for tuberculosis.
Insecticide: Aside from helping with a wide range of health issues, eucalyptol can also be used to ward off potential health issues, such as West Nile virus from mosquitoes. Eucalyptol has long been used as a bug repellent but two 2014 studies show it has even more uses than previously known, such mosquito abatement.
Anti-Fungal: Not only useful against bugs, cineole has been shown to display anti-fungal effects on a wide variety of common fungus, but the researchers themselves recognize that this needs further research to know more.