Terpenes are natural oils responsible for the aromatic qualities in botanicals. For decades, people have been using them as a major ingredient in food, cosmetics, fragrance, and pharmaceutical industries. They are also the largest class of phytonutrients, with over 30,000 types identified in nature.
Terpenes in Nature
The terpenes’ very distinct aroma serves as a defense mechanism to prevent animals from eating certain plants in the wild. Extraordinarily, their scent can attract carnivores to help drive herbivores away. Additionally, they can attract insects through their sweet aroma, which encourages pollination.
The chemical make-up of terpenes is so identifiable that their smells and tastes are something most people are familiar with. You may not be aware of it, but you have been interacting with terpenes for all your life. When you walk through a garden, sit by the ocean, or interact with nature in general, you usually feel a sense of calm. This feeling involves different kinds of terpenes, from myrcene to alpha-pinene.
Various types of terpenes have a wide range of benefits. For your body, terpenes can give your immune system a boost and provide you with congestion relief. For your brain, they can make you feel less anxious, promote relaxation, and stabilize your mood.
When you immerse yourself in nature, terpenes are all around you. They can all work in harmony and provide you their different benefits at once. Just breathe in some fresh air to get them into your system.
Terpenes in Food
Alternatively, you can get a hold of products or food with terpenes if you can’t go outdoors in nature. Terpenes are responsible for the basil leaves’ herbaceous flavor and antibacterial properties as well as for lemons’ zest and mentally uplifting abilities.
Aside from inhaling terpenes from the air, you can take terpenes with your meals as they also add taste to certain foods. You can find high amounts of terpenes in mangoes, apples, citrus fruits, herbs and spices, and beer. The most common kinds of terpenes found in food are myrcene and limonene.
There are many ways you can take terpenes such as by inhaling, ingesting sublingually, and applying topically. When applied topically, your skin absorbs terpenes, providing relief in the area. When consumed sublingually, it goes through your bloodstream, and you can feel its effects in minutes. When inhaled, terpenes go through your respiratory system and stimulate your mind and body.
With numerous kinds of terpenes present in nature, which ones can influence your life the most, and what exactly do they do? Find out how various terpenes can affect your brain functionality from the infographic below.