Nowadays, everyone is on the lookout for safe and natural compounds that benefit the body and mind. Skepticism of pharmaceuticals is on the rise, and rightfully so. We want products we can trust and take for the long term without worrying about adverse effects.
This interest in naturals has spotlighted terpenes in recent years, a class of compounds produced by plants with more than 30,000 unique variants. Of the many fascinating compounds to examine, linalool is a popular terpene that deserves a closer look.
Today we’re zooming in on linalool and discussing its many distinctive properties, including its beneficial effects on the brain and the body.
If you’re searching for a clean, natural alternative to over-the-counter drugs and prescription meds for anxiety, sleep, and general wellbeing, you’ll want to tune in for this one. Let’s begin.
What is Linalool?
Linalool is a pair of compounds known in the chemistry world as enantiomers. Think of these as near-identical oils with slightly different chemical compositions.
Each version has a unique fragrance and flavor, but both are known for a pleasant and slightly spicy profile. While (S)-linalool is known for sweet and floral scents, the form (R)-linalool tends to be perceived as more woody, herbal, and reminiscent of lavender.
Speaking of wood, the word linalool is derived from a type of wood called linaloe, a genus of flowering shrubs and trees native to the Americas.
Linalool offers fresh and inspiring scents, as well as several therapeutic benefits that we’ll explore later on.
Like all terpenes, linalool occurs naturally in the cells of plants and trees.
More than 200 species produce linalool, many of which are familiar. The family Lamiaceae, including culinary classics like basil, sage, oregano, thyme, and lavender, is known for high concentrations of linalool.
The compound is found in the Lauraceae family, which includes notable species like cinnamon and rosewood. Many citrus fruits and tropical birch trees contain linalool, not to mention after-hours favorites like hops and cannabis sativa.
While linalool can be extracted from these plants to great effect, synthetic linalool has been in production since 1919, allowing the terpene to make its way into several products in a wide array of industries.
As a colorless oil, linalool is highly versatile and has many uses in the modern world. If you’ve got a cabinet filled with shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and body washes, you’re probably lathering yourself in linalool regularly.
Linalool is also used in various serums, essential oils, exfoliants, and cosmetic products like lipstick, foundation, and even sunless tanning products.
You may not see linalool listed in the ingredients of your favorite household products because it is often mixed into proprietary blends, but you can be sure that it’s present in at least a few items in your home right now.
Safety and Availability
Because linalool is a natural product, it can be used on skin and can be consumed. Even if you don’t use essential oils in the home or smoke cannabis, you likely consume more than two grams of linalool through food alone.
Of course, you won’t want to sip directly from a bottle of concentrated linalool oil since this can have adverse effects – and won’t be very enjoyable, either.
Be sure to use linalool as recommended and in small but effective doses as formulated by trusted manufacturers, whether it’s part of a supplement stack or personal care product.
With so many terpenes to talk about, why does linalool deserve attention beyond its pleasant scent profile?
As more research is conducted on terpenes and their therapeutic effects, we’re finding that linalool has a range of powerful benefits worth examining. Here are a few that might spark your interest.
After a challenging workout, muscles and joints are tensed and in need of relaxation. Linalool can not only help you chill out post-workout, but it also ensures you recover properly for your next bout at the gym, on the court, or out on the trail.
Despite all the conveniences afforded by the modern world, life can be stressful, and linalool has been shown to have a minor sedative effect for anxiety relief and mental relaxation.
This isn’t a knock-you-out kind of feeling that means you have to call a cab, but it’s a safe and proven way to combat stress and be more productive from day to day.
With reduced stress, you can accomplish more, worry less, and get more enjoyment out of life no matter where you’re at.
Irritation and discomfort is a hidden killer in our world today, especially the low-level type that leads to oxidative stress.
It’s not the burn of scraped skin or a bug bite we’re concerned about – it’s the widespread irritation of cells in our organs and the brain that cause real problems.
Some studies show that linalool has a dampening effect on the overactive irritation that causes persistent redness, swelling, and discomfort that many of us experience internally and externally.
Many of us go through life in a daze due to a lack of fulfilling sleep. This impacts our work, our relationships, and our health in the long term. Sleep is essential, but nobody seems to get enough.
By adding linalool to your regimen, you can more readily slip into a relaxed state at the end of the day and get the entire 8+ hours of shuteye your body and mind need.
Linalool isn’t so “heavy” compared to compounds like melatonin or the prescription sleeping pills you’ve been warned about. It’s natural, calming, and won’t leave you feeling groggy the following day.
Get the Most from Linalool
You might be intrigued by the list of benefits that linalool has to offer, but how are you supposed to “take” linalool in the first place?
Here are some recommendations to use this compound safely and effectively:
Lavender, cinnamon, mint – these are just a few examples of light and lovely essential oils that you can use in the home for a boost of linalool whenever you desire.
Use a humidifier, an electric diffuser, or an all-natural wood diffuser to add a nice scent to your living space and get the benefits of terpenes like linalool.
There are numerous CBD products on the market, from tinctures and droppers to bath bombs and gel roll-ons. CBD, menthol, and arnica montana oil are three key ingredients that work together to soothe tension and help relieve everyday aches and pains.
You’ll need to do some digging to find CBD products with specific terpenes, but linalool is fairly well-recognized and readily available. Many cannabis strains also include linalool if you are a fan of THC.
Like many natural compounds, linalool is most effective when “stacked” with other ingredients in its class.
Complete Calm Sleep Gummies from ASYSTEM is one of the few products on the market that combines linalool with other powerful compounds, including passionflower, lion’s mane mushroom, rhodiola, and lemon balm. These gummies can help improve sleep and come to the rescue when it comes to falling asleep faster.
Linalool is worth a closer look if you are in search of a safe and natural compound to relieve stress, reduce discomfort in the body, and enjoy a more calm and collected lifestyle.
Whether you diffuse some essential oils at home, drop CBD into your nighttime tea, or take a specially formulated sleep gummy, you can get all the benefits of linalool with virtually no risk.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.