Natural Standard Bottom Line Monograph, Copyright © 2013 (www.naturalstandard.com). Commercial distribution prohibited. This monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. You should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before making decisions about therapies and/or health conditions.
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.
l-perillyl alcohol, monoterpene, monoterpene perillyl alcohol, perilla, perillic acid, PO
Perillyl alcohol is isolated from the essential oils of several plants including cherries, lavender, peppermint, spearmint, celery seeds, sage, cranberries, lemongrass, ginger grass, savin juniper, Conyza newii, caraway, Perilla frutescens, and wild bergamont.
Animal studies suggest that perillyl alcohol may help slow growth of pancreatic, mammary, and liver tumors. It may also help colon, lung, and skin cancer. Perillyl alcohol is under sponsorship from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and is undergoing phase II clinical trials.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Perillyl alcohol is used to treat cancer. However, high quality scientific studies are lacking. Further information is required before recommendations can be made.
*Key to grades:A: Strong scientific evidence for this use; B: Good scientific evidence for this use; C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use; D: Fair scientific evidence against this use (it may not work); F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likely does not work).
The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.
Antimicrobial, cardiovascular disease, chemotherapy support, glioblastoma, hypercholesterolemia, infection (protozoan), weight loss.
The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.
Adults (18 years and older)
Not enough scientific evidence to recommend.
Children (under 18 years old)
Not enough scientific evidence to recommend.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.
Avoid in individuals with an allergy or hypersensitivity to perillyl alcohol. Allergic skin reaction to perillyl alcohol has been documented.
Side Effects and Warnings
The main side effects associated with perillyl alcohol in patients with various types of tumors include gastrointestinal (reflux, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea) and fatigue. Other gastrointestinal symptoms included loss of appetite, belching, abdominal bloating, constipation, and abdominal cramps.
High blood pressure, hot flashes, unpleasant taste, satiety, mucositis, elevated liver enzymes, and headaches have been reported.
Avoid use in the absence of medical supervision.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Perillyl alcohol is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.
Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.
Interactions with Drugs
Perillyl alchohol may interact with chemotherapies, cholesterol-lowering drugs, phenothiazines, and other drugs use to control nausea and vomiting. Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec™; STI571) may also interact with perillyl alchohol.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Herbs containing perillyl alcohol, including lavender, peppermint, spearmint, celery seeds, sage, lemongrass, ginger grass, savin juniper, Conyza newii, caraway, Perilla frutescens, and wild bergamont, may have additive effects.
Perillyl alchohol may also interact with herbs and supplements used to control nausea and vomiting or that lower cholesterol; use cautiously.
This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Azzoli CG, Miller VA, Ng KK, et al. A phase I trial of perillyl alcohol in patients with advanced solid tumors. Cancer Chemother.Pharmacol. 2003;51(6):493-498. View Abstract
Bailey HH, Wilding G, Tutsch KD, et al. A phase I trial of perillyl alcohol administered four times daily for 14 days out of 28 days. Cancer Chemother.Pharmacol. 2004;54(4):368-376. View Abstract
Berchtold CM, Chen KS, Miyamoto S, Gould MN. Perillyl alcohol inhibits a calcium-dependent constitutive nuclear factor-kappaB pathway. Cancer Res 9-15-2005;65(18):8558-8566. View Abstract
Chan NL, Wang H, Wang Y, et al. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced CYP1B1 activity is suppressed by perillyl alcohol in MCF-7 cells. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 11-21-2005. View Abstract
Chen Y, Hu D. Effects of POH in combination with STI571 on the proliferation and apoptosis of K562 cells. J Huazhong.Univ Sci Technolog.Med Sci 2004;24(1):41-44. View Abstract
Chung BH, Lee HY, Lee JS, Young CY. Perillyl alcohol inhibits the expression and function of the androgen receptor in human prostate cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 7-16-2005. View Abstract
Clark SS. Perillyl alcohol induces c-Myc-dependent apoptosis in Bcr/Abl-transformed leukemia cells. Oncology 2006;70(1):13-18. View Abstract
da Fonseca CO, Landeiro JA, Clark SS, et al. Recent advances in the molecular genetics of malignant gliomas disclose targets for antitumor agent perillyl alcohol. Surg Neurol 2006;65 Suppl 1:S1. View Abstract
Fernandes J, da Fonseca CO, Teixeira A, Gattass CR. Perillyl alcohol induces apoptosis in human glioblastoma multiforme cells. Oncol.Rep. 2005;13(5):943-947. View Abstract
Morgan-Meadows S, Dubey S, Gould M, et al. Phase I trial of perillyl alcohol administered four times daily continuously. Cancer Chemother.Pharmacol. 2003;52(5):361-366. View Abstract
Omolo MO, Okinyo D, Ndiege IO, et al. Fumigant toxicity of the essential oils of some African plants against Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(3):241-246. View Abstract
Samaila D, Toy BJ, Wang RC, Elegbede JA. Monoterpenes enhanced the sensitivity of head and neck cancer cells to radiation treatment in vitro. Anticancer Res 2004;24(5A):3089-3095. View Abstract
Stearns V, Coop A, Singh B, et al. A pilot surrogate end point biomarker trial of perillyl alcohol in breast neoplasia. Clin Cancer Res 11-15-2004;10(22):7583-7591. View Abstract
Xu M, Floyd HS, Greth SM, et al. Perillyl alcohol-mediated inhibition of lung cancer cell line proliferation: potential mechanisms for its chemotherapeutic effects. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 3-1-2004;195(2):232-246. View Abstract
Yuri T, Danbara N, Tsujita-Kyutoku M, et al. Perillyl alcohol inhibits human breast cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2004;84(3):251-260. View Abstract
Copyright © 2013 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.
March 22, 2017