Classes of Aromatic Molecules + Their Primary Actions

Classes of Aromatic Molecules + Their Primary Actions

Classes of Aromatic Molecules & Their Primary Actions

There are 8 major classes, and while we won’t go over every single one, I will list the most common very briefly, and give some of their primary therapeutic benefits.

Monoterpenes- antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, both stimulating and sedative with an often-uplifting aroma; found in Lavender, Geranium, Tea Tree, and Peppermint.

Sesquiterpenes – varying properties including anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic found in Frankincense, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedar/Cedarwood, Carrot Seed and Spikenard.

Aldehydes – antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, sedative in low doses, known for their bright, fresh aromas; found in Citronella, Lemongrass and Lemon.

Esters – antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, calming and sedative with fruity and floral aromas; found in Roman Chamomile, Lavender and Geranium. Generally very safe, although methyl salicylate, an ester found in Wintergreen, should only be used in very low doses.

Ethers – antispasmodic, analgesic, antimicrobial – to be used in moderation, large doses can be dangerous; found in Clove, Anise, Fennel, and the Methyl Chavicol type Basil.

Ketones – Ant catarrhal, regenerative, analgesic, some are known toxins where others are completely safe. Oils such as wormwood and mugwort should not be used, but Helichrysum is exceptionally healing and safe, and Rosemary Verbenone is used for its regenerative properties.

Oxides – expectorant, stimulant. Includes 1,8-Cineol, found in Eucalyptus and Rosemary.

Phenols – Strongly antimicrobial, stimulants to the immune and nervous system, irritating to mucous membranes; found in Thyme and Oregano.


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