Part 4: Terpene Hydrocarbons




Other varieties of terpenes form when additional isoprene units attach to a monoterpene. Sesquiterpenes are very similar to monoterpenes except for the one additional isoprene unit added to their structure for a total of 15 carbons. Because of their higher molecular weights, sesquiterpenes are less volatile than monoterpenes, and are therefore less prevalent in essential oils overall; however, they have unique properties that distinguish them from monoterpenes and make them important contributors to the synergistic functionality of essential oils. Common sesquiterpenes found in essential oils are cedrene, zingiberene, himachlene, and caryophyllene.

Main Health Effects:

  • Cleansing1
  • Digestive health2*
  • Aides in healthy circulation3*
  • Improves the appearance of skin4
  • Promotes grounding and balance of emotions5

Essential OilMain Sesquiterpene Constituent(s)Amount
Cedarwood4,5cedrene, thujopseneApproximately 70%
Patchouli4,5bulnesene, guaieneApproximately 65%
Vetiver5vatirenene, seychellane, cubebeneApproximately 65%
Ginger2*,5zingiberene, sesquiphellandrene, curcumeneApproximately 55%
Ylang Ylang5germacrene, caryophyllene, farneseneApproximately 55%
Myrrh1,2*,4,5myrrh sesquiterpenoid, elemeneApproximately 55%
Helichrysum4himachalene, curcumeneApproximately 40%
Melissa5germacrene, caryophylleneApproximately 40%
Black Pepper3*caryophylleneApproximately 25%

*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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