The medicinal properties of essential oils from aromatic plants are known since antiquity. Currently, the technological innovation enabled the reinvention of the ancient plant knowledge leading to the identification and extraction of organic compounds present in essential oils. These organic compounds belong mainly to the terpene group and are accountable for the wide range of bioactive properties attributed to essential oils. Linalool (C10H18O), so-called 3,7-dimethyl-1,6-octadien-3-ol, is a monoterpene alcohol broadly present as a major constituent of plant essential oils, particularly lavender and coriander. Linalool per se is non-toxic and, according to recent in vitro and in vivo scientific studies, it has demonstrated to have a comprehensive range of bioactive properties, which can be exploited for pharmaceutic and cosmetic applications. The present review focuses on the anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-hyperlipidemic, antimicrobial, antinoceptive, analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressive and neuroprotective properties of linalool. The advantages of the loading in nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems, with the purpose of enhancing its bioactive properties are also discussed.
Keywords: Drug delivery systems; Essential oils; Linalool; Monoterpenes.
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