Limonene health benefit
April 2 2017

Limonene is a terpene with an extremely strong smell of oranges. Limonene takes its name from the lemon, as the rind of the lemon, like other citrus fruits, contains considerable amounts of this chemical compound, which is responsible for much of their smell.

Limonene and linalool are common fragrance terpenes widely used in cosmetic, household and hygiene products.

 Limonene in Huajiao fruit
The two most commercially popular species of huajiao fruit are bungeanum (red huajiao) and schinifolium (green huajiao). Fresh huajiao has a very high content of essential oil, up to 11%, which is described as having fresh, spicy, floral, cooling, and green aroma notes. A comprehensive analysis of the essential oils showed a total of 120 aromatic compounds for each species. Linalyl acetate (15%), linalool (13%), and limonene (12%) are the major components of red huajiao, whereas linalool (29%), limonene (14%), and sabinene (13%) are the major components of green huajiao.

Limonene as potential use in cancer
Mechanism of the antiproliferative action of limonene on a lymphoma cell line: participation of nitric oxide. antiproliferative action of limonene on a lymphoma cell line.
Phytother Res. 2009. Manuele MG, Arcos ML, Davicino R, Anesini C. Manuele MG, Arcos ML, Davicino R, Ferraro G, Cremaschi G. IQUIMEFA-CONICET, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, UBA Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Previously limonene demonstrated antiproliferative action on a lymphoma cell line (BW5147). The objective of this study was to investigate the mechanism of the antiproliferative action of limonene on BW 5147 cells. Limonene exhibited antiproliferative action on tumoral lymphocytes exerting a decrease in cell viability that was related to apoptosis induction and to the increase in nitric oxide levels at long incubation times. At short times and depending on its concentration, limonene arrested cells in different phases of the cell cycle, related to NO production.

Chemical composition of the essential oils of two Citrus species and their biological activities.
Pharmazie. 2010; Hamdan D, El-Readi MZ, Nibret E, Sporer F, Wink M. Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, University Heidelberg, Germany.
Essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation of the fruit rinds of Citrus jambhiri Lush. (Rough lemon) and C. pyriformis Hassk (Ponderosa lemon) were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography (GLC/FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GLC/MS). A total of 94 compounds were unambiguously identified from the oils and the (hexane/ether) extracts of the rind and juices representing 98% and 97% of the total oil composition. The main component of both oils was D-limonene (92% and 75% respectively). The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitrypanosomal, antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of the essential oils were evaluated. Whereas Citrus jambhiri and C. pyriformis have antioxidant activity with IC50 +/- SD 37 mg/ml and 28 mg/ml, respectively. Ascorbic acid a known potential inhibitor for DPPH free radical an commonly used antioxidant showed an antioxidant activity. Both oils inhibited the activity of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and could be considered as interesting candidates for antiinflammatory agents. The essential oils of both species showed substantial antimicrobial activity against all tested Gram positive bacteria and yeasts. The essential oil of C. pyriformis showed higher cytotoxic activity against tested cell lines than that of C. jambhiri.