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Fenchol is a compound that belongs to a group of compounds called terpenes, or specifically monoterpenes. Found in basil, aster flowers, and certain cannabis strains, fenchol is shown to have antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
Because of its pleasing and unique aroma, you’ll often find fenchol used as a fragrance in products like laundry detergent and fabric softener or as an ingredient in perfume. But having a lovely scent isn’t the only benefit that fenchol can offer.
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Health Benefits of Fenchol
You may experience bacteria protection from fenchol, and monoterpenes are likely to act as antibacterials. A study involving 21 monoterpenes found that fenchol, in particular, showed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. This study highlights the potential of fenchol to protect against a wide variety of bacterial infections. Further research into fenchol alone will be useful to determine the effectiveness of this terpene as an anti-bacterial.
Antioxidants can help protect your cells from damaging molecules, and it seems that fenchol may hold some antioxidant properties.
Free radicals are a type of molecule lacking an electron. In their search for their missing electron pair, they can do a lot of damage to the health and quality of your cells. The oxidative stress caused by free radicals may play a role in developing diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and Parkinson’s Disease. The good news is that antioxidant compounds can provide the missing electron to free radicals, neutralizing them and the damage that they might cause.
Essential oil from the Rattan Pepper shrub was analyzed for its potential antioxidant activity in one study. Fenchol was a main component of the oil, and the researchers in the study found that it demonstrated significant antioxidant effects. The study concluded that the essential oil of Rattan Pepper shrub and its compounds could be used in the future as an antioxidant resource.
The same study that investigated the antioxidant effects of Rattan Pepper shrub essential oil also highlighted that fenchol, in particular, demonstrated potent antimicrobial properties. The essential oil compounds were isolated and observed under bioautography to determine if any contain anti-bacterial properties. Two antimicrobial compounds out of the essential oil were identified: the terpenes fenchol and linalool.
Another way that fenchol may be able to help you is by improving your pain levels.
A 2014 study found that fenchol (also referred to as fenchyl alcohol) can block the effects of the TRPA1 receptor. This is important as the TRPA1 receptor plays an important role in how our bodies signal that we’re in pain. Specifically, TRPA1 is involved in the signaling of inflammatory pain. This study tells us that we could see new pain therapies being developed from fenchol/fenchyl alcohol with further research.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Because of the relatively unknown nature of fenchol, we don’t know of any specific side effects from fenchol consumption.
It’s important to note that just because we haven’t identified any side effects yet, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. If you’re worried about how fenchol might affect you or interact with your medicines, it’s best to speak to your doctor before ingesting the terpene.
We know that fenchol does not (at this stage) demonstrate any sedative or stimulant qualities, like some terpenes. So you can feel relatively confident about avoiding these side effects.
Cannabis Strains High in Fenchol
Fenchol can be found in basil, aster flowers, eucalyptus leaves, wild celery, and nutmeg, but you can also find it in certain cannabis strains. Cannabis strains that contain high amounts of fenchol include:
- OG Kush
- Banana Kush
Other strains also contain fenchol, but in lower quantities, such as:
- Apple Fritter
- Atomic Sour Grapefruit
Frequently Asked Questions
What is fenchol good for?
Fenchol is probably most well known for its fragrance and is often used as a scent in perfumes and laundry products. But fenchol may also help you fight off bacterial infection, pain, and microbes and help to protect your body from oxidative damage.
What does fenchol smell like?
Fenchol has an earthy, herbal-like scent with pine, camphor, and citrus notes.
What herbs contain fenchol?
Fenchol is present in various herbs, including basil, nutmeg, and fennel.
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