Isoborneol is a terpene that is an isomer of borneol, a terpene with a chemical compound that provides a woody, camphor, minty-like aroma. Borneol has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine and continues to increase in Western medicinal uses. Isoborneol is an isomer of borneol which means it is a compound of the terpene, but the two are not the same and have different atomic arrangements and properties.
Isoborneol is a white monoterpene that is often used to flavor foods and beverages, to infuse perfumes, and is used in camphor fragrances with a woody scent and insect repellants. Isoborneol is shown to provide antiviral properties, such as in this study published in 1999, which concluded that isoborneol inactivated the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) within 30 minutes of exposure. Isoborneol also shows promise for antimicrobial properties and even antitumor properties to slow the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. More research needs to be done in these areas as well as in other areas of study, such as this study published in 2007 that showed that Isoborneol is a powerful antioxidant that may be beneficial to treat neurodegenerative diseases associated with oxidative stress, such as Parkinsonâ€™s disease.