Terpene Glossary | Healing Potential of α-Bisabolol

α-Bisabolol, a natural monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol, has been widely used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries due to its diverse biological activities. This monograph aims to provide a comprehensive review of scientific studies related to the healing potential of α-bisabolol, covering its sources, chemical properties, pharmacological activities, and therapeutic potential in various disorders.


α-Bisabolol, also known as levomenol, is a monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol with a characteristic floral aroma. It has been recognized for its potential healing properties, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities. This review discusses the scientific knowledge of α-bisabolol and its potential therapeutic applications.

  1. Sources and Chemical Properties

α-Bisabolol is primarily found in the essential oil of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and the Brazilian candeia tree (Eremanthus erythropappus). Its chemical structure features a hydroxyl group, a double bond, and a single ring structure, making it distinct from other terpenes.

Pharmacological Activities

A. Anti-Inflammatory Activity

α-Bisabolol has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. In vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated its ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines and prostaglandins, and suppress the activation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) (Maurya et al., 2014).

B. Antimicrobial Activity

The antimicrobial properties of α-bisabolol have been shown against many bacteria and fungi, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Candida albicans (Carson et al., 2006). Its mechanism of action is believed to involve the disruption of microbial cell membranes, leading to cell death.

C. Antioxidant Activity

α-Bisabolol has exhibited antioxidant activity by scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Its antioxidant potential has been attributed to its ability to donate hydrogen atoms and chelate metal ions (Villaverde et al., 2014).

D. Anticancer Activity

α-Bisabolol has shown potential anticancer activity in various in vitro and in vivo studies. Its anticancer mechanisms are thought to involve the induction of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis (Alvarez et al., 2013).

Therapeutic Potential in Various Disorders

A. Skin Disorders

The anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties of α-bisabolol make it an attractive candidate for treating skin disorders such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Its soothing and regenerative effects on skin tissue have also been reported to aid wound healing (Barbosa et al., 2011).

B. Gastrointestinal Disorders

α-Bisabolol has demonstrated gastroprotective effects in animal models of gastric ulcers. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities are believed to contribute to the healing of gastric mucosal lesions (Santos et al., 2008).

C. Neurological Disorders

The potential neuroprotective effects of α-bisabolol have been explored in models of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may play a role in mitigating the progression of these disorders (Avallone et al., 2017).