Terpenes For Morning Alertness
Let’s face it: we all struggle to get up in the morning. While coffee could help get us going, some doctors have raised concerns about the long-term effects of caffeine addiction. Terpenes, however, could offer a solution to morning drowsiness without the adverse effects associated with caffeine.
Primary terpenes for caffeine substitute
Two of the major terpenes in this category include eucalyptol and alpha-pinene. Both of these earthy terpenes seem to reduce inflammation in the brain, which is correlated with enhanced cognition and focus. For instance, a study out of New Delhi’s Hamdard Institute found that eucalyptol dramatically reduced cytokines, which are proteins associated with inflammation. Researchers concluded that eucalyptol might play a crucial role in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Secondary terpenes for alertness
According to recent research out of Japan, alpha-pinene also appears to have strong neuroprotective effects. Scientists in Osaka analyzed the effects of various terpenes on the brain. They found that alpha-pinene was the best at reducing an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase, which has been linked with memory disorders. Researchers out of Northumbria University have also shown that people who smell rosemary oil perform better on cognitive tests compared with those who don’t. Pinene is one of the major terpenes in rosemary.
Considering beta-caryophyllene is found in dozens of spicy foods, it’s no wonder this peppery terpene could put a pep in your step! One of the great things about beta-caryophyllene is that it attaches directly to the CB2 receptor, which makes it extremely powerful at getting rid of morning aches. Indeed, a team of German and Swiss scientists recently tested the effect of beta-caryophyllene on a group of mice. Researchers concluded that beta-caryophyllene has tremendous potential both as an anti-inflammatory agent and an analgesic medication.
Although studies have also confirmed limonene has a strong mood-enhancing effect on the body, some argue that using the secondary terpene citral might be a better option. Citral has a less intense citrusy flavor profile compared with limonene, which makes it a more satisfying addition to stronger primary terpenes. A recent test out of Nigeria also shows that citral has a powerful antibacterial effect. This antimicrobial action might help people who struggle with morning congestion.