1,8 – Cineole is a monoterpene ether that is the primary chemical constituent of Eucalyptus essential oil. It is also found in Melaleuca, Basil, Rosemary, Sage, and Peppermint essential oils. Often referred to as eucalyptol, 1,8-cineole has a camphor-like aroma and a pleasant spicy taste. It is often used as a flavoring agent in baked goods, confections, and beverages, but it has been found to be toxic at high levels. Outside of its many uses in the food industry, recent research has found that 1,8-cineole may have some intriguing benefits for your health.
Despite not being safe for consumption in large amounts, lower levels of internal usage of 1,8-cineole have been shown to provide several health-benefitting properties. As a constituent of Melaleuca essential oil and alone, 1,8-cineole may help to soothe and support healthy respiratory function.*1-4 For daily support of a healthy respiratory system, try adding a drop of Rosemary to a glass of water or tea, or add a drop to meat entrees.* Experimental research suggests that 1,8-cineole may provide antioxidant support when consumed internally.*5 For a refreshing taste and added antioxidant support, add a few drops of Basil or Rosemary to your favorite Italian dishes.
Essential oils rich in 1,8-cineole are known for their breadth of benefits when used topically, especially in regards to skin health, but there are several properties that you may not be aware of. For instance, experimental research suggests that 1,8-cineole may have surface cleansing properties.6 Adding a few drops of Melaleuca or Eucalyptus to a glass spray bottle with water is a great way to wipe down bathroom and kitchen surfaces while leaving a stimulating scent. Furthermore, experimental research suggests that 1,8-cineole may act as an insect repellent when used aromatically or applied topically.7,8 Before going for a hike, take advantage of the insect-repellant properties of 1,8-cineole by apply a few drops of Rosemary or Peppermint to your arms and legs.
Although primarily linked to Eucalyptus and respiratory benefits when experienced aromatically, 1,8-cineole is actually found in several other essential oils and has a wide spectrum of properties depending on application model. To experience these benefits, experiment with Melaleuca, Basil, Rosemary, and other 1,8-cineole containing essential oils in your cooking, cleaning, and outdoor activities.