Terpenes: Substances Useful in Human Healthcare

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). Sep-Oct 2007;55(5):315-27. doi: 10.1007/s00005-007-0039-1.

Abstract

Terpenes are naturally occurring substances produced by a wide variety of plants and animals. A broad range of the biological properties of terpenoids is described, including cancer chemopreventive effects, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, and antiparasitic activities. Terpenes are also presented as skin penetration enhancers and agents involved in the prevention and therapy of several inflammatory diseases. Moreover, a potential mechanism of their action against pathogens and their influence on skin permeability are discussed. The major conclusion is that larger-scale use of terpenoids in modern medicine should be taken into consideration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiparasitic Agents / chemistry
  • Antiparasitic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Terpenes / chemistry*
  • Terpenes / therapeutic use*

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antiparasitic Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Terpenes