Linalool is a compound found in some natural remedies, including some essential oils. Because it has sedative effects when inhaled, it has been used in traditional medicine practices for several centuries, primarily to treat stress-related issues. In fact, linalool is considered one of the oldest known sedatives, or sleeping pills, in the world.
What is linalool used for today?
Its floral aroma is believed to promote relaxation and have soothing effects on body and mind. This means that linalool benefits include fighting anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension, and inflammation.
What is linalool?
Linalool is a terpene compound found in over 200 plant species. It gives certain plants a floral aroma as well as a spicy scent. It is different from synthetic fragrances because it is found naturally in flowers, spices, and even cannabis. However, it is now possible to create it in the laboratory as well. (See below for information on how to avoid synthetic fragrances, which can be irritating.) Most often it is isolated from plants and added to creams, candles and other beauty products. It is also present in some essential oils.
Also, it is a common flavoring agent in beverages and foods and is widely used in cosmetics.
Is lavender a type of linalool?
Linalool terpine is found in plants such as:
– birch bark
– cannabis (although it does not have psychoactive effects like other compounds found in cannabis).
Lavender is one of the best and most popular plant sources of linalool, along with rosewood and neroli oil. In fact, linalool is responsible for much of lavender’s signature scent and soothing effects.
Research suggests that linalool has many health benefits and is used because of how terpenes modulate the functioning of certain parts of the brain. Linalool has been shown to impact mood, sleep, pain sensation, heart rhythms, muscles, and more.
Here is more information on what we know about the benefits of linalool:
1. Calming and reducing stress
Animal and human studies have shown that linalool has sedative effects and can help calm an overactive nervous system. The smell of linalool has been shown to act as a natural anxiolytic, i.e. it decreases symptoms of anxiety and the perception of stress. It does this by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us “rest and digest.”
How can feeling something alter your feelings so powerfully?
Smell is directly linked to the parts of the brain that control emotions and memory. Olfactory (smell) receptors signal the limbic and hypothalamic areas of the brain to release neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and endorphins, which connect the nervous system to other body systems. Certain aromas can modulate neurotransmitter levels, making us feel calmer, energized, even euphoric. More recently, terpenes have been found to directly affect brain processing by modulating the behavior of certain brain cells.
Because linalool is able to reduce stress, it can lead to many health improvements, including:
– better sleep
– normalized blood pressure
– less muscle tension
– fewer headaches
– better digestion
– enhanced immunity, and
– more energy
2. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects
This terpene has been shown to modulate the way the brain perceives pain, giving it the ability to decrease overactive responses to injury or disease. It can help with inflammation, swelling (edema), redness, irritation, and other factors contributing to pain. One study even found that lavender aromatherapy can be used to reduce the demand for opioids during postoperative periods after surgery.
3. May Help Boost Your Immune System
Plants containing linalool, including lavender, are known to help combat the negative effects of stress and improve sleep quality, two important factors in supporting a healthy immune system.
Stress can impair immune function by altering white blood cell production, increasing markers of inflammation, and even affecting the expression of certain genes. The anti-anxiety effects of linalool appear to help counteract the body’s response to stress. Linalool also appears to have some antimicrobial properties, helping to defend the body against infections. Additionally, it has antioxidant properties and possibly even anti-cancer potential.
4. Helps soothe irritated skin
Is linalool safe for the skin? It depends on how it’s used, but it’s generally good for skin health as it fights inflammation and harmful bacteria. For example, lavender oil can be applied to rashes to soothe redness, itching and other symptoms – and it helps treat issues like pimples and razor burn, diaper rash, etc. . Simply combine three drops of pure lavender oil with half a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it to the problem area three times a day to relieve rashes. Lavender oil can also be mixed with grapeseed or almond oil and gently massaged into the skin.
5. Beneficial for people with epilepsy and neurological disorders
Linalool is sometimes used to help treat neurological conditions, including epilepsy (spontaneous seizures), due to its anticonvulsant properties. Research suggests that this terpene may alter brain chemicals involved in excitability and muscle contractions, such as glutamate and acetylcholine levels, which may help stop seizures and protect the brain from damage. Recent studies also suggest that linalool may show promise in helping people with Alzheimer’s disease by combating cognitive impairments caused by inflammation, brain plaque, and other cellular abnormalities.
6. Natural Insect Repellent
The smell of linalool is known to deter mosquitoes and act as a natural insect repellent. For example, lavender essential oil and peppermint oil can be used to repel insects indoors and outdoors. Linalool-containing oils can be diffused or applied to the skin if mixed with a carrier oil to help repel mosquitoes and other insects, preventing bites and rashes.
Dosage and how to use
Pure linalool is described as having a fresh, clean, sweet and slightly floral smell with a light citrus scent. The most common ways to ingest linalool are through aromatherapy or inhaling lavender essential oil. You can benefit from the aroma of lavender oil by:
– by broadcasting it in your home
– by adding it to lotions or homemade massage oils
– by spraying it on your sheets and your pillow
– by inhaling it directly from the bottle.
The same goes for peppermint and cinnamon oils, which also contain terpenes. Only use a few drops of essential oil on your skin at a time, mixed with a carrier oil.
Risks and side effects
Is linalool toxic to humans? Linalool is “generally recognized as safe” as a direct food additive (synthetic flavoring substance) for human and animal consumption.
That said, it’s important to follow dosage guidelines when using oils or extracts that contain terpenes. If you are allergic to lavender, rosewood, cinnamon, or other related spices and herbs, avoid any product containing linalool.
Remember that essential oils are extremely powerful and should only be used in small amounts and as directed on the label. They can be used aromatically and topically (depending on directions) for best results. If you are taking medication or are pregnant, talk to your doctor about possible interactions before using essential oils.
How to avoid synthetic linalool:
When linalool is made synthetically and added to beauty products or household products, it is likely to be mixed with other chemicals that can cause problems, such as nasal sensitivity, allergies, and rashes. When “linalool” appears on a label, it’s likely a synthetic, man-made version, not the naturally occurring compounds of a more complex organic essential oil. When researching a scent, look for products that use organic essential oils. Buying products that are certified organic also means they’re less likely to contain artificial flavors (but read the labels anyway).