Terpene Profiles: Limonene

Limonene is known for its intense, fresh citrus scent. Limonene is abundant in lemons, limes, oranges, mandarins, and grapefruits. It is also found in peppermint, rosemary and juniper. It is thought that plants make this terpene as a natural insecticide.

Terpenes are fragrant compounds that serve special functions in plants. One reason plants produce limonene is to defend themselves against insects and pathogens. There are two isomers, different types, of limonene: D-limonene and L-limonene. D-limonene has a scent closer to sweet oranges, while L-limonene is reminiscent of pine trees with solvent cleaner.

Besides repelling bugs, limonene is used in the medical field. It has promising medicinal properties, such as anti-anxiety and anti-depression. Citrus essential oils are widely used in aromatherapy for stress relief. It is used in biodegradable solvents and as a flavoring agent for foods and medicines. Additionally, limonene is an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics. Limonene is a very common and useful terpene.

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