Part 5: Oxygenated Compounds



Phenols are a specialised variety of essential oil constituents that feature an alcohol group attached to an aromatic benzene ring. An aromatic benzene ring is a six-carbon ring structure with three double bonds. The electrons in this ring system are arranged in such a way that they are "shared" between all of the carbon atoms, giving benzene the unique characteristic of acting like it has an electron excess and resulting in its unique properties. This structure contributes to the powerful antioxidant properties of phenols as well as many other beneficial properties. Phenol constituents are very potent, which may cause irritation to the skin. Oils with high phenol content should be diluted before topical application. Common phenols found in essential oils are thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, and antheole.

Main Health Effects:

  • Protects against environmental threats1
  • Antioxidant2*
  • Repels insects3

Essential OilMain Phenol Constituent(s)Amount
Oregano1,2*thymol, carvacrolApproximately 90%
Clove2*,3eugenolApproximately 80%
Thyme1,3thymol, carvacrolApproximately 50%

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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