Germacrene-D


Germacrene D is a major constituent present in the essential oil of Clary sage, Ylang Ylang, Tulsi (Holy basil), Juniperus Communis L, Red deadnettle, Clausena anisata, fresh Michelia Alba flowers and leaves of Juniperus oxycedrus macrocarpa.

It is also found in Cananga oil, Palo Santo oil extracted from Palo santo (Bursera graveolens), Mastic essential oil from the Mastic tree (Pistacia lentisus), Ravensera oil from Ravensera aromatica, etc.

Germacrene-D is an organic compound belonging to the class sesquiterpenoid germacrane. The sesquiterpene hydrocarbon Germacrene has five isomers- Germacrene-A, B, C, D and E.

It is also considered to be one of the most important molecules of Germacrene. The molecular formula of Germacrene-D is C15H24. It is also known with other alternative names like d-germacrene, (+-) – Germacrene D and so on.

Therapeutic attributes of Germacrene D:

The most significant remedial properties of Germacrene D are:

Antibacterial property:

Germacrene D possesses antibacterial property. In the study ‘Biological activities of the essential oils and methanol extract of Origanum vulgaressp.Vulgarein the Eastern Anatolia regionof Turkey’, it was stated that germacrene D and caryophyllene found in the species Origanum vulgare have significant antibacterial and antifungal activities.

According to the study “Chemical Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oil of Cosmos bipinnatus Cav. Leaves from South Africa” Germacrene D and (E)- beta-Ocimene which are the main constituents of the essential oil of Cosmos bipinnatus contribute to the significant antibacterial activity of the oil against both gram-positive and gram negative bacteria.

Cytotoxicity:

In the study ‘Essential oil constituents, anticancer and antimicrobial activity of Ficus mucoso and Casuarina equisetifolia leaves’ it was stated that Germacrene D showed cytotoxic effect against Hs578T cells and PC-3 cell lines.

A study titled “Chemical composition and cytotoxic activity of the essential oil from the leaves of Casearia lasiophylla” was conducted to examine the chemical composition and cytotoxicity of the essential oil from the leaves of Casearia lasiophylla.

It was found that the essential oil exhibited highest antiproliferative effect against melanoma and leukemia human cancer cells. It was found that Germacrene D and caryophyllene, which are the major constituents of the essential is responsible for the cytotoxicity of the oil.

Olfactory receptor neuron activation in Heliothine moths:

According to the study “The Plant Sesquiterpene Germacrene D Specifically Activates a Major Type of Antennal Receptor Neuron of the Tobacco Budworm Moth Heliothis virescens” , it was found that there is a plant odour receptor neuron type present in the antenna of female Heliothine moths and this receptor neuron type respond to the germacrene D with high sensitivity and selectivity.

Reference Links:

  1. Germacrene by Wikipedia
  2. Germacrene-D, a characteristic component of the Essential Oils from the Leaves of Juniperus oxycedrus ssp. Macrocarpa (S. et Sm.) BalI Growing in El Kala, Algeria
  3. Chemical composition and cytotoxic activity of the essential oil from the leaves of Casearia lasiophylla
  4. Essential oil constituents, anticancer and antimicrobial activity of Ficus mucoso and Casuarina equisetifolia leaves
  5. The Plant Sesquiterpene Germacrene D Specifically Activates a Major Type of Antennal Receptor Neuron of the Tobacco Budworm Moth Heliothis virescens