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February 17, 2017 4 min read

Bornyl acetate is a very interesting essential oil component. Here I present an essential oil component spotlight: Bornyl acetate.

In this article, I outline a few key points in the notes, then share therapeutic actions of this component followed by references to research studies for you to read through.

Please note that just because this specific component has shown to be effective or promising in these uses, it does not always translate to the essential oil as a whole. This is due to the synergy that is created between all of the components that make up an essential oil.

Interesting Notes About Bornyl Acetate

  • It can also be called endo-borneol acetate, endo-bornyl ethanoate, acetic acid bornyl ester
  • This component is part of the ester family.
  • Valerian, Inula, fir needle (notably Abies siberica, and Abies sachalinensis) hemlock and black spruce oils all have significant amount of Bornyl acetate. Many of these essential oils are often used to support healthy respiratory systems.
  • Also, the Douglas-fir I offer is comprised of 30% of bornyl acetate which is quite rare for a Douglas-fir.
  • In lower amounts, it is often found in Rosemary (CT bornyl acetate), Canadian Fir needle, Silver fir, Bee balm, Douglas-fir and a few others in much smaller amounts. Tisserand and Young’s Essential Oil Safety has several of these and others listed in the section that discusses bornyl acetate. They also include the general amounts of bornyl acetate contained in those essential oils.

Safety Concerns:

This component does not have any safety concerns noted in the studies. Tisserand and Young’s Essential Oil Safety 2E does not have any listed either. This does not mean the essential oils it is found in do not have safety concerns. As many have now learned, there is always a risk for adverse reactions that can include sensitization if the essential oil being used at the time is not used with proper dilution, dose, or frequency considerations.

Essential Oil Component spotlight: Bornyl acetate

Therapeutic Actions of Bornyl acetate:

Below, each of the therapeutic actions found in various studies are listed in bullet point. Please keep in mind that some studies are based on the actual component bornyl acetate and other are carried out using various essential oils pertaining those specific studies. Also, some were conducted using mice, or invitro or envivo.

These variances and a few others allow us to see the potential applications for the therapeutic actions listed. They do not necessarily translate to the essential oils it is found in.

  • analgesic 3
  • anti-inflammatory 1, 2, 4
  • sedative 5, 6, 7
  • CNS depressant8
  • Antitumor activity9
  • Antiradical activity10


In the next section, you can find the APA reference format and below that one, the actual links to each article. Please note, if you do not have paid prescriptions to some of these journals you might only be able to see their abstracts.

  1. Tung, Y., Chua, M., Wang, S., & Chang, S. (2008). Anti-inflammation activities of essential oil and its constituents from indigenous cinnamon (Cinnamomum osmophloeum) twigs. Bioresource Technology, 99(9), 3908-3913. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2007.07.050
  2. Yang, H., Zhao, R., Chen, H., Jia, P., Bao, L., & Tang, H. (2014). Bornyl acetate has an anti-inflammatory effect in human chondrocytes via induction of IL-11. IUBMB LIFE, 66(12), 854-859. doi:10.1002/iub.1338
  3. Wu, X., Xiao, F., Zhang, Z., Li, X., & Xu, Z. (2005). [Research on the analgesic effect and mechanism of bornyl acetate in volatile oil from amomum villosum]. Zhong Yao Cai. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16209271.
  4. Ribeiro de Morais, S., Levi Silva Oliveira, T., Porfiro de Oliveira, L., Tresvenzol, L., Cardoso da Conceição, E., Rezende, M., . . . Realino de Paula, J. (2016). Essential Oil Composition, Antimicrobial and Pharmacological Activities of Lippia sidoides Cham. (Verbenaceae) From São Gonçalo do Abaeté, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Pharmacogn Mag, 262-270. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5096271/.
  5. Buchbauer, G., Jäger, W., Jirovetz, L., Meyer, F., & Dietrich, H. (1992). [Effects of valerian root oil, borneol, isoborneol, bornyl acetate and isobornyl acetate on the motility of laboratory animals (mice) after inhalation]. Pharmazi, 620-622. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1438515.
  6. Matsubara, E., Fukagawa, M., Okamoto, T., Ohnuki, K., Shimizu, K., & Kondo, R. (2011). (-)-Bornyl acetate induces autonomic relaxation and reduces arousal level after visual display terminal work without any influences of task performance in low-dose condition. Biomedical Research, 151-157. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biomedres/32/2/32_2_151/_pdf.
  7. Seo, M., Sowndhararajan, K., & Kim, S. (2016). Influence of Binasal and Uninasal Inhalations of Essential Oil of Abies koreana Twigs on Electroencephalographic Activity of Human. Behavioural Neurology, 2016, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2016/9250935
  8. Tachikawa, E., Takahashi, M., & Kashimoto, T. (2000). Effects of extract and ingredients isolated from Magnolia obovata thunberg on catecholamine secretion from bovine adrenal chromaffin cells. Biochemical Pharmacology, 60(3), 433-440. doi:10.1016/s0006-2952(00)00343-9
  9. Li, J., & Wang, S. (2016). Synergistic enhancement of the antitumor activity of 5-fluorouracil by bornyl acetate in SGC-7901 human gastric cancer cells and the determination of the underlying mechanism of action. J Buon, 108-117. Retrieved February 13, 2017, from http://www.jbuon.com/pdfs/JBUON-21-1-16.pdf.
  10. Yang, S., Jeon, S., Lee, E., Im, N., Jhee, K., Lee, S., & Lee, I. (2009). Radical Scavenging Activity of the Essential Oil of Silver Fir (Abies alba). Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 44(3), 253-259. doi:10.3164/jcbn.08-240


  1. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960852407006098
  2. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/iub.1338/full
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16209271
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5096271/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1438515
  6. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biomedres/32/2/32_2_151/_pdf
  7. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bn/2016/9250935/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10856439
  9. http://www.jbuon.com/pdfs/JBUON-21-1-16.pdf
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2675024/