Monoterpenes: One of the many terpenes, monoterpenes (the
smallest of the terpenes, although one of the most widely occurring) are mostly
found in essential or volatile oils. Aromatherapists use monoterpenes as a mucus
membrane tonic as decongestants and to ease nasal and other mucus membrane
Monoterpenes evaporate easily and have a low boiling point.
Monoterpenes are mostly colorless and odorless, prone to oxidation. Oxidants
from monoterpenes could be irritant.
Monoterpenes are antiseptic,
antiviral and bactericidal.
Limonene: Limonene has been studied for the anti-tumour effect
noticed in mice. Herbalists often prescribe herbs with this constituent as an
antioxidant and cancer or tumour inhibitor although there is evidence that these
properties are volatile and may be lost as a result of processing of the herb.
Limonene also has antiviral properties.
Pinene: Commonly found in Oil of Turpentine extracted from Pinus
specie trees, pinene (alpha-pinene and beta-pinene) is also widely distributed
in other plants. It is used for Rheumatism as a liniment but is best known by
Aromatherapists and a tonic of the mucus membranes of the respiratory system.
Pinene is also important for its pleasant fragrance and is believed to have
diuretic properties by many.
Only small quantities of Pinene is found in Caraway oil.