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Germacrone is a sesquiterpene and key bioactive constituent of many essential oils.  It was first detected in essential oil of Geranium macrorrhizum (bigroot geranium) in 1927.  More recently and famously, it has played a major role in essential oils extracted from Curcuma L., which is a genus in the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family spanning over 100 species including turmeric (C.longa) and other rhizomatous herbs.  Plants with essential oils high in germacrone are found in many countries around the world. 
Germacrone is associated with a wide range of potential beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial, cough-suppressant, vasodilator, and hepatoprotective activities, among others.  For instance, germacrone is largely credited for the anti-inflammatory properties of C. xanthorrhiza, or Java ginger, a popular Indonesian medicine. The same goes for the antifungal effects of Myrica gale (sweetgale) essential oil and the broad-spectrum antibacterial activity of Asarum caulescene (wild ginger) essential oil. An extracted oil from fruits of Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry) exhibited 27.5% content of germacrone that is believed to largely fuel cytotoxic effects against human prostate, liver, and breast tumor cells. 
In mice, germacrone has been shown to prolong or provoke sleep alongside hexobarbital, possibly due to depressant effects on the central nervous system. 
Germacrone was found to protect mice against lethal infection from influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and B by inhibiting the “attachment/entry step and the early stages of the viral replication cycle” in a dose-dependent fashion.  In addition, when working in combination with oseltamivir, it “exhibited an additive effect on the inhibition of influenza virus infection, both in vitro and in vivo.” 
On a somewhat different note, germacrone has also displayed the ability to improve the skin penetration of minoxidil, a hair growth promoter, and also acted as an “anti-androgen, thereby introducing a more effective topical treatment strategy for androgenic alopecia.”  Androgenic alopecia is another way of saying male or female pattern baldness. Co-application was more effective than either treatment alone due to the ability of germacrone to enhance the absorption of minoxidil. 
The efficacy of germacrone’s abilities are exceeded only by their diversity, and we’re curious to see future studies that explore potential synergistic interactions with cannabinoids.
- Barrero AF, et al. Germacrone: Occurrence, synthesis, chemical transformations and biological properties. Natural Product Communications. 2008;3(4):567 – 576. Journal Impact Factor = 0.468; Times Cited = 3
- Li S, et al. Chemical composition and product quality control of turmeric (Curcuma longa). Pharmaceutical Crops. 2011;2:28-54. https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/agriculture_facultypubs/1. Journal Impact Factor = n/a; Times Cited = 188
- Liao Q, et al. Germacrone inhibits early stages of influenza virus infection. Antiviral Research. 2013;100(3): 578-588. Journal Impact Factor = 4.101; Times Cited = 22
- Srivilai J, et al. Germacrone and sesquiterpene-enriched extracts from Curcuma aeruginosa increase skin penetration of minoxidil, a hair growth promoter. Drug Delivery and Translational Research. 2017. Journal Impact Factor =3.041; Times Cited = 7
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