Monoterpenols are a family of chemicals with 10 carbon molecules that have a functional oxygen-hydrogen group attached. (I know, chemistry -- or, yay! chemistry!) The -ol- suffix indicates that monoterpenols are alcohols. Most of the chemicals in this family have the -ol- suffix: i.e. Geraniol, Linalool, Citronellol, and Menthol. Consider the effects that small to moderate amounts of alcohol have on the body -- try to list some. See how many of yours match mine.
Relaxing, disinfecting, sedative, calming, antispasmodic, antianxiety, cooling
All of these are therapeutic properties found in monoterpenols. It gets better though, because monoterpenols have even more benefits. The majority tend to be anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, deodorizing, most are skin-friendly, some are neuroprotective, and many stimulate the immune system.
While most monoterpenol-rich essential oils are safe, those high in geraniol may be mild skin sensitizers, so the recommended maximum level for dermal application is 5.3%.
There is one monoterpenol that is very popular, but comes with precautions -- Menthol. We find a high level of menthol in Cornmint and Peppermint essential oils. Rather than being sedating, menthol is stimulating - it'll wake you up and help you focus. Applied topically, its cooling sensation makes a good analgesic, but it can be harsh on skin and mucous membrane cells, so it's best used in smaller dilutions. More significantly, it needs to be kept away from the faces of children from newborn to age 5 as it can cause breathing problems. People with G6PD deficiency need to avoid menthol because their bodies cannot metabolize it.
The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.