Benefits of α-Pinene Adaptogen

in Adaptogens Research

What is α-Pinene?

α-Pinene is an organic compound that belongs to the terpene family. It is found in the essential oils of some trees, such as Satureja myrtifolla called Zoufa, in some regions and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Alpha pinene is one of the isomers of Pinene. It has a smell of pine and a fresh forest scent.

Origin of Alpha-Pinene

Alpha-Pinene is a monoterpene that produces a sweet scent in pine trees. Alpha-Pinene originates from coniferous plants and is a chemical constituent of Cypress, wild orange, Rosemary, Juniper berry, Frankincense, and Helichrysum essential oils. Alpha pinene is a clear and colorless liquid that is insoluble in water because of its density. Alpha-Pinene can also be received from fresh herbs such as parsley, dill, eucalyptus, basil, cedar, and citrus varieties like lemon and lime peel. It is also found in turpentine used in producing paint solvent and detergent for thousands of years.

Uses of Alpha-pinene

1. Alpha-Pinene is used in the manufacturing of deodorants and perfumes.

2. Alpha-Pinene is used to produce paint solvents and detergents.

3. Alpha-Pinene is used for flavoring in oils and diffusers.

4. Alpha-Pinene is used in the health sector for memory boosting. 

Health Benefits of Alpha-Pinene

1. Alpha-Pinene helps to modulate antibiotic resistance

Bacterial pathogens possess a huge ability to resist antibiotics. In Europe, a report showed that closely 25,000 people die every year because of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. A multidrug-resistant bacterium known as Campylobacter jejuni can cause a disease called Gastroenteritis. This disease was declared to be a threat to public health in the United States. However, α-pinene is used as an antibiotic resistance modulator for Campylobacter jejuni; it modulates antibacterial resistance and prevents antimicrobial efflux.

Alpha-Pinene, according to researchers, has been proven to possess the ability to bacterial pathogens.

2. Alpha-Pinene has cytogenetic and oxidative effects on human blood cells

Türkez and Aydin (2013) investigated the cytogenetic and oxidative activities of α-pinene on human blood cells. The sampled human blood cells were supplemented with varying doses of alpha-pinene (0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L) for 1-2 days. They discovered that MTT assays and Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) showed that 200 mg/L of α-pinene helped reduce cell viability. Although they recorded no significant changes in the genotoxicity endpoints rates, the total oxidative stress (TOS) and the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels revealed the changes that occurred through dependence on the doses. TOS levels became reduced when 200 mg/L alpha-pinene was administered on human lymphocytes, while TAC levels enhanced post-administration of 25 and 50 mg/L of α-pinene.

Alpha-Pinene helps in the reduction of cell viability due to its oxidative effects on human blood cells.

3. Alpha-Pinene can act as an anticoagulative agent

In traditional Chinese, Angelica Sinensis is one of the most important herbs for anti-inflammatory and healing any disease related to menstruation. A study conducted by Yang et al. observed A.sinensisans and its constituents as an anticoagulative agent. They administered leaves, and New Zealand white rabbits were used as model organisms for that study. Two α-pinene derivatives were extracted from the parts of the A. Sinensis, which were underground. This study assessed the plant’s anticoagulative properties, platelet aggregation assays  (turbidimetric method), and thrombin time (TT). The results obtained discovered that α-pinene derivatives prolonged the time of thrombin and prevented platelet aggregation. The α-pinene derivatives were also discovered to be potent anticoagulative agents because they were able to prevent thromboxane A2 production or platelet Ca2+ promotion.

Alpha-Pinene is very potent in preventing coagulation and platelet aggregation in human blood.

4. Alpha-Pinene can act as an anti-tumor agent

A tumor occurs when there is a disorderliness in the growth and development of cells, also known as abnormal cell multiplication. Tumors are of two types: malignant and benign. Lung tumor happens to be the most diagnosed form among all types of malignant tumor, and it causes the death of close to 1.38 million people per year. α-pinene is important. Studies suggested that the use of α-pinene is effective in the treatment of antitumor. Yang et al. measured the inhibitory properties of α-pinene on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell propagation. They found cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, which seemed to be associated with down-regulation of miR-221 expression and up-regulation of CDKN1B/P27 and CDKN1C/P57 expression. An investigation conducted by some researchers helped determine the effect of α-pinene on cell cycle regulation in HepG2 cells. The investigation produced a promising chemotherapeutic drug. Further research was carried out by some other researchers which prove that Alpha-Pinene can act as an antitumor agent.

Alpha-Pinene is capable of preventing the growth and development of tumors.

5. Alpha-Pinene helps to prevent neurodegenerative diseases

Due to oxidative imbalance in the body, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are triggered. However, the essential oils of many plants are capable of reducing ROS formation. Excessive production of ROS led to injuries in the functioning of the brain. However, for the proper functioning of the brain, there must be a strong defense against ROS-stimulated injuries and the development of neurodegenerative disorders. Based on this understanding above, Porres-Martínez et al., therefore, investigated the action of α-pinene on H2O2-sensitized oxidative stress by using mice pheochromocytoma cells (PC12) as the model. 

Then, the researchers assessed the antioxidant and protective effects of α-pinene for H2O2-sensitized oxidative stress in PC12 cells. The result showed that the cell morphology of the mice changed after pre-treatment with alpha-pinene and cell viability was lsed and intracellular ROS production was prevented by α-pinene. However, there was an increase in the production of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, hemeoxygenase 1, superoxide dismutase and glutathione reductase. α-pinene Importantly helped in the reduction of apoptosis, and so it was concluded that these alpha-pinene and other terpenes are capable of defending the nervous system.

Alpha-Pinene is potent and employed in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

6. Alpha-Pinene helps to prevent Leishmania activity in the body

A study was carried out by Rodrigues et al. To determine the anti-Leishmania effects of Syzygium cumini leaves essential oil and its principal constituents which is α-pinene in Swiss rats. MTT methods were used to assess the  anti-Leishmania effects and macrophage cytotoxicity was determined. From the results obtained, research discovered that α-pinene had cytotoxic effects at different death percentage degrees, which were 58.4%, 83.2%, and 93.7%, and correlated with the different doses 25, 50, and 100 mg/ml respectively, which were all administered against promastigotes of Leishmania amazonensis.

Alpha-Pinene is capable of preventing Leishmania activity in the body.


Alpha-Pinene is another terpene with many health benefits. It also produces sweet-smelling scents, which is why it is used in flavoring and perfumery products.



Alpha-Pinene | dōTERRA Essential Oils.

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) The Bacterial Challenge: Time to React. European Center for Disease Prevention and Control EMA; Solna, Sweden: 2009. [(accessed on 14 November 2019)]. Available online:

Turkez H., Aydin E. In vitro assessment of cytogenetic and oxidative effects of alpha-pinene.

Alberg A.J., Brock M.V., Samet J.M. Epidemiology of lung cancer: Looking to the future. J. Clin. Oncol. Off. J. Am. Soc. Clin. Oncol. 2005.

Rodrigues K.A., Amorim L.V., Dias C.N., Moraes D.F., Carneiro S.M., Carvalho F.A. Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels essential oil and its major constituent alpha-pinene exhibit anti-Leishmania activity through immunomodulation in vitro. J. Ethnopharmacol. 2015;

Porres-Martinez M., Gonzalez-Burgos E., Carretero M.E., Gomez-Serranillos M.P. In vitro neuroprotective potential of the monoterpenes alpha-pinene and 1,8-cineole against H2O2-induced oxidative stress in PC12 cells. Z. Nat. C. 2016