Volatile oils

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Volatile oils: 

Volatile oils By: Sachin Bhaskar Narkhede sachinnarkhede@yahoo.com


Introduction: The odorous, volatile principle of plant and animal source are known as Volatile oils, They are derived from terpens and their oxygenated compounds. They are made up of isoprene unites (C 6 H 8 ) and are usually mono, sesqui- and diterpenes . As they evaporate when exposed to air at ordinary temperature, they are also called as “ethereal oils. They represent essence or active constituents of plant, hence they are also known as “essential oils”


Properties: They are usually lighter than water . They possess characteristic odours, They have high refractive indices. Most of them are optically active. They are commonly found in the species of Labiatae, Rutaceae, Piperaceae, Zingiberaceae, Umbelliferae, Myrtaceae and Lauraceae. They are present in entire plant or in any part of the plant .

Extraction of Volatile Oils:: 

Extraction of Volatile Oils: Volatile oils are extracted by steam distillation, Solvent extraction or mechanical means such as ecuelle and enfleurage techniques. Hydro-distillation: - method comprising of water distillation, water and steam-distillation, and steam distillation . The fresh material is subjected to hydro-distillation in case of the of the life drug. Air-dried subterranean parts are extracted by steam distillation.

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Clevenger Apparatus

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Hydro distillation

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Enfleurage : - method is used for extraction of delicate perfumes . The fresh flowers are mechanically spread on layer of fatty material, allowed to imbibe and the exhausted petals are replaced by fresh material. The process is continued till the fatty layer saturated with volatile principles which are then extracted with lipid solvent.

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Ecuelle: - method is used for extraction of citrus oils , where in oil cells in rind are ruptured mechanically using pointed projection by twisting raw material over them in clockwise direction either mechanically or manually. Liquid carbon dioxide : - is also used as insoluble to extract essential oil. Liquefied under pressure. It acts as a solvent reserving back to gaseous nature when pressure is reduced leaving no residue of solvent.

Chemical test for Volatile Oils:: 

Chemical test for Volatile Oils: To the thin section of the drug, add alcoholic solution of Sudan III . Red colors obtained by globules indicate the presence of volatile oil.

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To the thin section of the drug, add a drop of tincture alkana . Red colour indicates the presence of volatile oil.

Types of Volatile oils:: 

Types of Volatile oils: Sr. No. Types of Volatile oil Examples 1 Alcohol Volatile Oils Menthol (Mentha), Santalol (Sandal wood), Coriandrol (Coriander), Borneol 2 Aldehyde Volatile Oils Cinnamaldehyde (Cinnamon), Citral, Benzaldehyde 3 Ester Volatile oils Lavender, Mustard 4 Hydrocarbon Volatile Oils Turpentine , l- phellandrene, Caryophyllene 5 Ketone Volatile Oils Carvone (Caraway), Camphor, Menthone, Muskone (Musk), Civetone (Civet) 6 Oxide Volatile Oils Ascaridole (Chenopodium oil), Cineol (Eucalyptus oil) 7 Phenolic ether Volatile Oils Chavicol (Anise), Anethol (Dill) 8 Phenol Volatile Oils Eugenol (Clove)

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Storage of Volatile Oils Certain volatile oils are liable to deteriorate on keeping. The deterioration is accompanied by change in colour, or increase in viscosity of the oil, or change in odour of the oil. Therefore, volatile oils should be preserved properly in well closed, well filled containers away from light and in cool place.

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Depending upon type and number of rings reported in terpenoids (except hemiterpene), they are named as 1. Acyclic terpenoids - have open-chain structure 2. Monocyclic terpenoids - have one-ring in structure 3. Bicyclic terpenoids - have two-rings in structure 4. Tricyclic terpenoids - have three-rings in structure

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General properties of Terpenoids They are normally colourless liquids or solids with pleasant smell and are insoluble in water. They are soluble in alcohol, organic solvents and fixed oils. They readily volatilise in steam. Most of them are optically active. Terpenoids normally contain one or more double bonds and form additive compounds with halogens, nitrosyl chloride, nitrosyl bromide. They get oxidized by oxidizing agents.

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Isolation of Terpenoids Volatile oils obtained in first step of distillation contain number of mono and sesqui-terpenoids. During fractional distillation of volatile oils, mono terpenoids hydrocarbons get distilled first followed by their oxygenated derivatives. Physical methods, chemical methods (treating with sodium bisulphite, phenyl hydrazine, Tilden’s reagent, Grignard’s reagent), distillation under reduced pressure and several types of chromatographic methods are used for their isolation. Proper adsorbents are used and then the chromatogram is eluted suitably.

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Uses Terpenoids by virtue of their pleasant flavour are compounds of tremendous importance in perfumery, cosmetics, soaps, incense - sticks, foods, pharmaceuticals and beverage industries.

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PEPPERMINT OIL Synonyms: Oleum mentha piperita, Colpermin, Mentha oil. Biological Source: The oil is obtained by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops of the plants known as Mentha piperita Linn. belonging to family Labiatae. If necessary, it is rectified. Mentha oil contains not less than 50% of total I-menthol. Geographical Source: wild in Europe, while it is cultivated in Japan, England, France, Italy, U.S.A., Bulgaria and U.S.S.R. In India, it is cultivated near Jammu and in Tarai region of Uttar Pradesh

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Cultivation and Collection: Soil: well drained fertile, sandy-loam soil with neutral pH is required. Rainfall: The rainfall in the range of 95 to 105 cm Temperature in between 15 to 25°C Altitude of 250 to 400 m Cultivation: vegetative propagation method by using suckers. The treatment of mercury compounds. as fungicides encourages better sprouting. The distance maintained between two rows is approximately 50 to 60 cm. The plants should be kept free of weeds by hoeing frequently. Foliar spray of urea (2 to 3%) Fertilizers like superphosphate, potash etc. are found to be advantageous. Harvesting is done when crop reaches the flowering stage. The mentha plant is very susceptible to pests. The treatment with thiodan (1: 700), endrine 20 EC (1: 700), BHC (10%), sulphur (0.5%), and malathion (5%) are found to be very effective for pest control

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Preparation of Oil: The air-dried material is charged into galvanized iron or mild-steel still. The still has a false perforated bottom. The steam under pressure, generated with the help of boiler, is then passed through the drug. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for distillation. More than 80% of the oil is distilled off during the first half of distillation. Distillation should be completed carefully, as menthol of medicinal and commercial importance comes over in the latter part of distillation. The condenser should be made up of either aluminium or stainless-steel and should be coiled, so as to increase the area of condensation. The distillate i.e. mentha oil is collected in separating can. Mentha oil is insoluble in water and also lighter than water, which keeps it floating in a separating can.

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Description Colour - Colourless to yellow. Odour - Characteristic and pleasant. Taste: Pungent followed by cooling sensation. Solubility: It is soluble in 70%alcohol, ether and chloroform and insoluble in water. Standards (1) It is neutral to litmus paper (2) Weight per ml is 0.9 to 0.912 g. (3) Optical rotation at 25° C is - 16° to - 30° (4) Refractive index - 1.4590 to 1 .4650 Mentha Twig ( Mentha piperita )

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Chemical Constituents: Peppermint oil contains chiefly I – menthol American peppermint oil contains 80% menthol Japanese oil contains 70 - 90%. Other important constituents of the peppermint oil are menthone, menthofuran, jasmone, menthyl isovalerate, menthyl acetate and several other terpene derivatives. The other terpenes include I-limonene, isopulegone, cineole, pinene, camphene, etc. Jasmone and esters are responsible for pleasant flavour, while menthofuran causes resinification and develops dirty smell.

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Uses carminative, stimulant, Flavouring agent. It has mild Antiseptic properties too. It is used in toothpaste, tooth powders, shaving creams, and different pharmaceutical dosage forms. It is also consumed in the preparation of chewing gums, candies, jellies, perfumes and essences. Menthol is manufactured in India by S. H. Kelkar and Co., Bhavria Chemicals, Procter and Gamble Ltd. and several others. India produces about 500 tonnes of menthol annually.

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Both mentha oil and menthol have calcium channel blocking activity causing spasmolytic and smooth muscle relaxant effects, and hence useful in irritable bowel syndrome, They show better pharmacokinetic profile when given by enteric coated capsules for release in large intestine.’ Muscle relaxant activity is reduce spasm during endoscopy of colon. Mentha oil shows digestant activity by stimulating bile flow. This is also supported by flavonoid pigments of leaf. Azulene from the leaf is believed to be a nti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer in activity. For the nasal decogestant effect, menthol is considered by U.S.F.D.A. as generally regarded as safe

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Storage Peppermint oil should be stored in well-filled and air-tight containers protected from light and in cool place. Peppermint oil darkens and becomes viscous on storage. If cooled, separation of menthol crystals occurs. Other species of Men tha such as M. longifolia , M. roundifolia and M. spicata (spearmint) also yield volatile oils for flavouring purpose.


CORIANDER Synonym: Coriander fruits Biological Source: These are the fully dried ripe fruits of the plant known as Coriandrum sativum Linn. (Family Umbelliferae). The fruits should contain not less than 0.3% of the volatile oil. Geographical Source: Cultivated throughout European countries, Russia , Hungary and Holland . It is also cultivated in India , Egypt and Morocco . In India, it is widely cultivated in Andhra Pradesh (Guntur, Anantpur), Maharashtra (Jalgaon and Satara), West Bengal (Howrah and Paragana districts), Uttar Pradesh Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir .

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Cultivation and Collection Coriander is cultivated as kharif, as well as, rabi crop. It needs light to heavy black soil. About 15 to 20 kg of fruits per hectare are required for cultivation. It is sown by drilling method. It is rotated with wheat, grain, jowar and onion. Crop is ready for harvesting after 100 days of growth. J-16, J-214, K-45 and New Pusa are few of the improved varieties of coriander. About 2 lakh hectares of land is under cultivation in India. India produces about 70% of global requirement of coriander. Rajasthan alone accounts for 70.0% of production in India.

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Macroscopic characters Colour -. Yellowish - brown to brown Odour - Aromatic Taste - Spicy and characteristic Size- Fruits are 2 to 4 mm in diameter and 4 to 30 mm in length Shape - Coriander is a sub-globular cremocarpous fruit. About 10 primary ridges and 8 secondary ridges are present. Primary ridges are wavy and inconspicuous, while secondary ridges are straight. The weight of 100 fruits is approximately 1 g.

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Microscopic Characters The epidermis of the pericarp is made up polygonal tubular cells with stomata. Several epidermal cells contain prisms of calcium oxalate. Mesocarp consist of inner and outer layer of parenchyma with a layer of sclerenchyma in between them.

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Chemical Constituents Coriander yields from 0.3 to 1% of volatile oil. The fixed oil (13%) and proteins (20%) are the other contents of the drug. Volatile oil of the drug contains 90% of D-linalool (coriandrol) and coriandryl acetate , and small quantities of L-borneol , geraniol and pinene . Coriander leaves are rich in vitamin A content. The fruit yields 5 - 7 percent ash. Coriander oil is pale yellow liquid having sp. gr of 0.863 - 0.875, refractive index 1 .462 - 1.472, and optical rotation of + 8 o to + 1 5 o .

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Uses : The fruits, as well as, volatile oil, are used as an aromatic, carminative, stimulant and flavouring agent. Coriander oil is used along with purgatives to prevent gripping. It is an ingredient of compound spirit of orange and cascara elixir. Storage : Coriander fruits are thoroughly dried and stored in well closed containers as they are highly prone to insects. Substitutes : It is substituted by Bombay coriander fruits, which contain less volatile oil and are ellipsoidal in shape.


CASSIA CINNAMON Synonyms: cassia bark, Chinese cinnamon Biological Source: This is dried stem bark of the plant Cinnamomum cassia Blume, belonging to family Lauraceae. It contains not less than 1 .0% of volatile oil. Geographical Source: The plant producing cassia bark is native of China. It is also found in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. At present, it is cultivated in southeastern province of China.

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Macroscopic characters: Shape: Single quills Fracture: Short granular on outer part, occasional grayish patches of cork Taste :, Slightly sweet, aromatic Colour: Dirty brown (both surfaces) Odour: Characteristic, sweet, aromatic Size: 5 to 40 x l2 to l8 x l to 3 mm

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Microscopic Characters: The cork consists of thick walled and thin walled alternate layers of polygonal tubular- cells. Few cells of cork are lignified. Phellogen is followed by scattered sclerides in cortical tissues. Pericycle is made up of continuous band of stone cells. Lignified pericyclic fibres are embedded in the sheath of stone cells. Oil glands, mucilage cells and bast-fibres are located in the phloem parenchyma. Medullary rays are multiseriate in pericyclic region, while very narrow towards centre. Abundant starch grains and acicular crystals of calcium oxalate are also present.

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Chemical Constituents Cassia bark contains 1 - 2% of volatile oil and is known as cassia oil. It also contains mucilage, starch, calcium oxalate and tannins. Cassia oil contains .not less than 85% of cinnamic aldehyde and very small amount of eugenol. It also contains cinnamyl acetate. The volatile oil is brown in colour, with sp. gr. 1 .045 - 1 .063; optical rotation - 10 to + 10 and refractive index 1.6020 - 1 .6060. Cassia bark also contain coumarin not found in Cinnamon bark.

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Standards: F.O.M. > 1.0% Total ash > 5.0% Acid insoluble ash > 2.0% Sulfated ash > 6.0% Use: The drug is used as a carminative, stimulant, flavouring agent and an aromatic. In India, it is also use in spices.


CINNAMON Synonymes: Cinnamon bark; Kalmi-Dalchini, Ceylon cinnamon Biological Source: Cinnamon consists of The dried inner bark of the shoots of coppiced trees of Cinnamomum zeylanicurn Nees., (Syn. Cinnamomum verum J. S. Presi) belonging to family Lauraceae. It should not contain less than 1 .0% of volatile oil. Geographical Source: Cinnamon, the evergreen tree of tropical area, is considered to be native of Sri Lanka and Malabar coast of India. It is also found in Jamaica and Brazil. However, most of the world requirements are met by Sri Lanka and hence true cinnamon is known as Sri Lanka cinnamon.

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Cultivation, Collection and Preparation for the Market: Propagated by planting the cuttings and layers commercially, it is generally propagated by seed, as it is the easiest method to adopt. Soil: sandy or siliconous soils Altitude: 800 to 1000 metres Rainfall: 200 - 250 cm. The seeds are sown in well prepared nursery beds located t suitable places in June and July. The seeds are sown at a distance of 10 cm and covered with small layer bf soil and watered properly. It takes approximately 20 days for germination of seeds.

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Seedlings are provided with the shades and are allowed to grow for about 10 - 12 months. Transplantation is done in Oct./Nov. Shades are provided with the pendals of coconut Leaves. Manure with 100 g each of ammonium sulphate and superphosphate in the first year. Subsequently, it is increased, depending upon the age. Trees are coppiced to induce the formation of shoots. The trees are grow to uniform brown by formation of cork. Harvesting is done in rainy season when it is easy to peel off the bark from shoots. Longitudinal incisions are made on the shoots and transverse markings are given so as to form the rings at the nodes, which also connect the longitudinal incisions producing the strips, which are then peeled off. Strips, thus formed, are made into bundles, wrapped in coir matting and allowed to ferment for 24 hours. Fermentation results in loosening of the outer cork and cortex, which is then removed by scrapping with curved brass knives. During drying, the bark contracts and gets converted into quill. The smaller quills ire inserted into larger quills to form The quills are collected, packed into bundles of different grades and sold. Small pieces and debris produced during the handlings of the quills

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Macroscopic Characters: Colour: - The outer surface is dull yellowish-brown, while the inner surface is dark yellowish-brown. Odour: Fragrant Shape: Found in the form of compound quills. Size: About 1 m in length and 1 cm in diameter. The thickness of the bark is approximately 0.5 mm. Taste: Aromatic and sweet followed by warm sensation. Fracture: Splintery The outer surface of the bark is marked by wavy longitudinal ,triations with small holes of scars left by the branches. The inner surfaces also shows the longitudinal striations. Bark is free of cork.

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Microscopic Characters: Being an inner bark, the cork and primary cortex are absent. Rarely, patches of primary cortex may be present. Sclerenchymatous pericycle is prominent. The stelar part shows phloem, phloem fibres, biseriate medullary rays and secretory cavities containing volatile oil and mucilage. Starch grains in cortical parenchyma and medullary rays and calcium oxalate crystals in parenchymatous cells are also present.

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Standards 1. Foreign organic matter >2.0% 2. Total ash >6.0% 3. Acid insoluble ash: > 4.0% 4. Sulfated ash >6.0% Chemical Test On addition of a drop of ferric chloride solution to a drop of volatile oil, a pale green colour produced. With ferric chloride, cinnamic aldehyde gives brown colour and eugenol gives blue colour, resulting in the formation of pale green colour. In cassia oil, brown colour is obtained, as it contains only cinnamic aldehyde. Uses Bark is used as a carminative, stomachic and mild astringent. It is also used as a flavouring agent, stimulant, an aromatic, and antiseptic. Commercially, it is used as a spice and condiment, and also in the preparation of candy, dçntrifices and perfumes. Storage Keep it in well closed containers in cool place, away from light.

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Chemical Constituents Cinnamon bark contains about 0.5 to 1.0 % of volatile oil, 1 .2 % of tannins (phlobatannins), mucilage, calcium oxalate, starch and a sweet substance known as mannitol. The volatile oil is the active constituent of the drug. It is light yellow when freshly distilled) in colour and changes to red on storage. Cinnamon oil contains 60- 70% of cinnamaldehyde, 5 - 10% eugenol, benzaldehyde, cuminaldehyde and other terpens like phellandrene, me, cymene, caryophyllene, etc. Cinnamon oil is yellow to red in colour with sp. gr. 1 .00 to 1 .030; optical rotation 0 to - 2; refractive index 1.562 - 1.582

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Substitutes and Adulterants Jungle cinnamon : It is the bark obtained from wild growing trees, which is dark in colour, less aromatic than the cultivated trees, and slightly bitter. Cinnamon chips : These are pieces of untrimmed bark. They can be distinguished from genuine drug by the presence of abundant cork cells and by poor yield to 90% alcohol. - Saigon cinnamon : It consists of the bark of the trees of Cinnamomurn loureirii (Lauraceae). It is exported from the port of Saigon. ft is also grown in China and Japan. The bark is greyish-brown in colour with light patches and sweet taste. qills are 30 x4 x 0.7 cm, unpeeled and contain 2.5% of volatile oil. Java Cinnamon : It is derived from Cinnamomum burmanii (Lauraceae), is less aromatic, peeled and double quills. Histologically, medullary rays contain small tubular crystals of calcium oxalate,. It contains about 75% of cinnamaldehyde in the oil. It also gives poor yield to 90% alcohol as compared to Sri Lanka cinnamon.

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Chemical Test On addition of a drop of ferric chloride solution to a drop of volatile oil, a pale green colour produced. With ferric chloride, cinnamic aldehyde gives brown colour and eugenol gives blue colour, resulting in the formation of pale green colour. In cassia oil, brown colour is obtained, as it contains only cinnamic aldehyde. Uses: Bark is used as a carminative, stomachic and mild astringent. It is also used as a flavouring agent, stimulant, an aromatic, and antiseptic. Commercially, it is used as a spice and condiment, and also in the preparation of candy, dentifrices and perfumes. Storage: Keep it in well closed containers in cool place, away from light.


LEMON PEEL Synonym : Cortex limonis Biological Source : Lemon peel is the outer part of the pericarp of the ripe or nearly ripe fruits of Citrus limonis (L) Burm, family Rutaceae . It contains not less than 2.5% of volatile oil. Geographical Source: It is indigenous to North India, but is cultivated on a very large scale in countries like Spain, Italy, and Sicily. It is also cultivated in California, Florida, Jamaica, Australia. In India, the cultivation is carried out in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

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Colour – (i) Fresh lemon peel: Outer surfaces bright green yellow, internally white. (ii) Dried peels: The outer surface is yellow and inner surface pithy white. Odour: Strong, fragrant, aromatic and characteristic Taste: Aromatic, bitter. Size: Even though the fruits are oblong ovoid of about 5 to 12 cm in length, the Shape: Peels are irregular in shape and are found in the form of trips or pieces. The outer surface is rough due to the presence of numerous minute pits representing oil glands.

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Chemical Constituents: Lemon peel contains volatile oil from 2 to 4%. The other constituents of the peels are hesperidin , pectin , calcium oxalate and bitter substances. The volatile oil of the drug contains mainly limonene (about 90%), citral (about 4%) and other aromatic compounds like geranyl acetate and terpineol . The lemon oil has pale yellow colour and also following standards: sp. gr. 0.849 to 0.855; optical rotation + 57 to + 65°; ref. index 1.4742to1.4755.

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Uses: It s a carminative and stimulant and oil is used as perfuming and flavouring agent. It is also used for extraction of pectin and volatile oil. Adulterants: The peels which have been rejected by machines after drying are mixed with the drug. They can be identified by the presence of scarification lines on the outer surfaces of the peels.


LEMON-GRASS OIL Synonyms East Indian Lemon - Grass Oil, Indian Melissa oil. Biological Source The lemon grass oil is a volatile oil obtained by steam distillation from the leaves and aerial parts of the plants Cymbopogon flexuousus , Cymbopogon citrates , etc. belonging to family Graminae. It contains not less than 75% of aldehyde calculated as citral. Geographical Source: It is indigenous to India and found wild, as well as, cultivated throughout India. It occurs in West Africa, Guatemala and East Africa. In India, it is grown in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The West Indian lemon grass oil is derived from Cymbopogon citrates . This is mainly collected from plants grown in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab. There is stiff competition from Guatemala in the trade of oil.

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Description Colour - Yellowish-brown liquid Odour - Resembling to lemon oil Taste - Similar to lemon oil Solubility Entirely soluble in 3 parts of 70% alcohol, chloroform and in fixed oil, and insoluble I in water. It is also soluble in mineral oil and propylengIycoI. Chemical Constituents Lemon grass oil chiefly contains citral, in addition to methylheptenol, nerol, citronellal, dipentene and geraniol. Standards Weight per ml. - 0.892 to 0.909 Optical rotation - -3° to + 10 Refractive index - 1 .4808 to 1 .4868 Uses It is used as a flavouring agent and in perfumery It is employed as a source of citral from which β ionine is prepared β ionine is starting material for the synthesis of vitamin A Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceutical Co has commissioned vitamin A plant at Alleppey Storage It should be kept in well closed containers in cool place and away from light


CARAWAY Synonyms: Carum, Caraway seed Biological Source Caraway consists of the dried ripe fruits of Carum curvi Linn., family Umbelliferae. It contains not less than 3.5% (v/w) of volatile oil. , Geographical Source: It is indigenous to Holland and Central Europe. It is cultivated in Central Asia, Europe and many other countries. In India, it is found wild in north Himalayan region, and is cultivated in Kashmir, Kumaon, Garhwal and Chamba, at an altitude of 3000 to 4000 metres.

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Cultivation and Collection It is grown in dry and temperate climate. It needs humus soil. The total height of the plant is not more than a meter. For cultivation, the dried seeds are sown by broadcasting method in rows. The fruits are collected before ripening. The entire plants are dried and fruits are thrashed out. The yield is about 0.5 tone per hectare.

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Macroscopic Characters It is found in the form of a mericarp Colour - Yellowish-brown Odour - Characteristic and aromatic . Taste - Characteristic and aromatic Size - 7 x 2 mm . Shape - The mericarps are elongated, 5-sided, narrow tapering at the ends and are glabrous. It shows the presence of 5 slightly yellow primary ridges. .

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Chemical Constituents Caraway contains 2.5 to 8% volatile oil, about 1 0% of fixed oil, 1 5% of proteins and resin. Volatile oil contains 45 to 65% of carvone, limonene, dihydro- carvone and traces of carvacrol. Uses It is used as an aromatic, a stimulant, and carminative. It is used as a spice for culinary purposes Also for flavouring the bread, biscuits, cheese, and cakes.

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Substitute: Caraway, beirng costly, is substituted by Indian dill fruits. The fruits are yellowish in colour and are found mute form of cremocarps. The fruits are 4 to 6 x 2 mm in size. Cuminum cyminu m fruit, known as jeera in the market, is another substitute of the drug. The chief constitent of this drug is cuminic aldehyd and not Carvone. Storage: Fruits are stored in well closed containers in cool place.


DILL Synonyms: Dill fruits, Anethum, European Dill. Biological Source Dill consist of dried ripe fruits of Anethum graveolens Linn. family Umbelliferae. It contains not less than 2.5% of volatile oil. Geographical Source Anethum is indigenous to South Europe and cultivated in England Germany Romanv and Mediterranean countries.

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Cultivation and Collection: The cultivation of the drug is done by sowing the fruits. It needs sandy loam soil, devoid of gravels, with slightly acidic nature. It is a cold weather crop and is grown during rabi season. Its sowing is done in October and the crop is harvested in March/April. The umbels are collected after full maturity, dried thoroughly and shaken to separate the fruits. Fruits removed and then packed into the bags are sieved, excess of foreign organic matter is removed and then packed into the bags.

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Macroscopical Characters Colour: The fruits are yellowish or pale brown with narrow wings. Odour and Taste: Aromatic and characteristic Size: The fruits are about 4 mm in length,,2 to 3 mm in width and 1 mm in thickness. Shape: Broadly ovate, strongly compressed dorsally. The fruits are found in the form of mericarps usually separated and free from pedicel. Each mericarp is yellow in colour, lateral rides of mericarp are extended as wings. Carpophore is usually adherent to the commissural surface. Endosperm is orthospermous

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Chemical Constituents Dill contains about 2.4 to 4 of volatile oil; about 20% each of fixed oil and proteins. The chief constituent of the volatile oil is aromatic liquid, known as carvone (43 to 63%). It also contains dihydrocarvone, D-limonene, phellandrene and other terpenes. Volatile oil of dill is colourless liquid with following characteristics. Sp. gr. - 0.900-0.915 Refractive Index- 1.481 - 1.-,92 Optical rotation- +70°to+80° Uses It is used as an aromatic, a stimulant, carminative and also in gastric disturbances of infants and children. The oil of dill is used in the preparation of dill water, gripe water and also as flavouring agent.

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Substitutes: It is substituted by Indian dill obtained from Anethum sowa . The volatile oil of Indian dill contains dill-apiole. Indian dill is generally used, in the veterinary practices, since the dill-apiole, is regarded as a poisonous substance. Storage Dill fruits are stored in well closed containers and in a cool place.


FENNEL Synonym: Fennel fruits, Fructus foeniculum. Biological Source Fennel consists of dried ripe fruits of the plant known as Foeniculum vulgare Miller, family Umbelliferae, obtained by cultivation. It should contain not less than 1 .4% of volatile oil. Geographical Source It is indigenous to mediterranean countries and largely cultivated in Romania, Russia, Germany, France, India and Japan. In India, it is cultivated in Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

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Cultivation and Collection Fennel is cultivated by dibbling method. Quality fruits of good germination rate seeds are sown just before the spring. Free branching of the herb and specific arrangement of leaves (in hair-like segments) on the stems require plenty of space in between two plants and rows, as well. Four to five seeds are put, at a time, in holes at a distance of 25 cm in between them. Well drained and calcareous soil in sunny situation is found to be favourable for cultivation of fennel. In India, nearly 90% of the fennel production comes from Gujarat alone. The crop is kept free of weeds and provided with suitable fertilizers. When the fruits are ripe, crop is harvested and dried in the sun. Fruits are separated by thrashing.

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Macroscopic Characters Colour - Green to yellowish-brown Odour - Sweet aromatic Taste - Strongly aromatic Shape - Straight or slightly curved Size 5 to 10 x 2 to 4mm It is five-sided fruit in the form of cremocarps with pedicels and rarely found in the form of mericarps. Fruits are glabrous with straight, prominent, yellow coloured five primary ridges and a bifid stylopod at the top. It is an orthospermous fruit. Transversely cut surface shows 2 commissural vittae and 4 dorsal vittae. The embryo is small embedded in upper end with abundant oily endosperm. Commissural surfaces of the endosperm are not grooved.

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Microscopic Characters: Anomyocytic stomata on the epidermis of pericarp and mesocarp containing lignified and reticulate parenchyma. Parquetry arrangement of cells on the inner epidermis of pericarp is another feature of the drug and common to all umbelliferous fruits. Vittae, the secretary canals, contain volatile oil and are brown in colour. Endosperm is made up of polyhedral thick-walled cells containing fixed oil and aleurone grains and minute rosette crystals of calcium oxalate. Trichomes and starch grains are absent.

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T. S. of Mericarp

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Chemical Constituents Fennel consists of 3 to 7% of volatile oil, about 20% each of proteins and fixed oil. The chief active constituent of the volatile oil is a ketone, fenchone (about 20%) and a phenolic ether anethole (about 50%). The other constituents are phellandrene, limonene, methyl chavicol, anisic aldehyde, etc. Fenchone is a colourless pungent liquid with aromatic odour. The anethole is sweet in odour and taste . Oil of fennel is pale yellow liquid with sp. gr. 0.953 to 0.973, refractive index of 1.526 - 1.538 and optical rotation of + 12° to + 24°.

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Uses It is used as a carminative, aromatic and stimulant. It is also an expectorant. Pharmaceutically, it is used as flavouring agent. Adulterants Fennel is commonly adulterated with exhausted fennel fruits which can be distinguished by the following tests. 1. The fruits from which volatile oil is removed by treating with alcohol, contain less percentage of volatile oil and have a typical odour of fusel oil. Such fruits do not contain fenchone. 2. If the fruits are exhausted by the application of steam, they look dark greenish-brown in colour and contain only traces of volatile oil and sink in water.

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LOVE Synonym: Caryophyllum; Clove flower; Clove buds. Biological Source: Clove consists of dried flower buds of Eugenia caryophyllus , family Myrtaceae. It should contain not less than 15% (v/w) of clove oil. Geographical Source It is indigenous to Amboyna and Molucca islands. It is now cultivated chiefly in Zanzibar, Pemba, Penang, Madagascar, Caribbean islands, Sri Lanka and India. In India, cloves are grown in Nilgiri, Tenkasi-hills and in Kanyakurnari district of Tamil Nadu state. It is also cultivated in Kottayam and Quilon districts of Kerala. CLOVE

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Cultivation and Collection: Deep rich loamy soil with high humus content is suitable for clove cultivation. It is also found growing favourably in open sandy loam and laterite soils of South Kerala region. Water logging of soil must be avoided. It needs warm humid climate and grows well in the vicinity of sea. The annual rainfall in the range of 150 to 250 cm It is propagated by seed germination in the nursery It takes from four to five weeks for seed germination After six months, they are transplanted to the pots where they are allowed to grow for a year. Thereafter, they are again transferred to the field and are provided with the shade in initial stages of growth. The plants are provided with suitable fertilizers like ammonium sulphate, super phosphate. and potash.

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Cloves are handpicked or collected by beating with bamboos. The cloves are dried in the sun and freed from foreign material and graded. The cloves on drying become perfectly crimson or brownish-black in colour. Macroscopic Characters: Colour- Crimson to dark brown. Odour- Slightly aromatic Taste- Pungent and aromatic followed by numbness Size- About 10 to 1 7.5 mm in length, 4 mm in width, and 2 mm thick. Shape - Hypanthium is surmounted with 4 thick acute divergent sepals surrounded by dome shaped corolla. The corolla consists of unexpanded membranous petals with several stamens and single stiff prominent style. Cloves are heavier than water

Slide 72: 

Chemical Constituents Clove contains about 1 5 to 20% of volatile oil; 10% to 13% of tannin ( gallotannic acid ), resin, chromone and eugenin. The volatile oil of the drug contains eugenol (about 70 to 90%), eugenol acetate , caryophyllenes and small quantities of esters, ketones and alcohols. Oil of clove is colourless to pale yellow in colour. It becomes thick and darker in colour on storage. It has specific gravity of 1.038 - 1 .06, refractive index of 1 .527 to 1 .535 and it boils at 250°C.

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Chemical Test: If the transverse section of clove is treated with strong potassium hydroxide solution, the needle- shaped crystals of potassium eugenate are observed. Uses: Clove is used as a dental analgesic, carminative, stimulant, flavouring agent, an aromatic and antiseptic. It is also used in the preparation of cigarattes. The oil is used in perfumery and also in the manufacture of vanillin.

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Adulterants: 1. Mother cloves : These are dark brown, ovate ripened fruits of clove tree. They are slightly aromatic and contain starch. They are Very inferior, in volatile oil content. 2. Blown cloves :These are expanded flowers of the clove tree. The stamens generally get detached. They also contain volatile oil and are similar in colour to the cloves. 3. Clove stalks: These are generally used to adulterate the powdered cloves and are detected by presence of isodiametric sclerieds and prisms of calcium oxalate. Clove stalks contain only 5% of oil. 4. Exhausted cloves : These are the cloves from which oil has been removed by distillation. They are dark in colour, more shrunken and when pressed with finger nails, do not show the presence of oil. Exhausted cloves float on water. Storage Clove and its powder should be stored in air-tight containers in cool and dry places .


NUTMEG Synonyms: Myristica, Nux Moschata Biological Source: Nutmeg consists of dried kernels of the seeds of Myristica fragrans Houtt. family Myristicaceae. The kernels are freed from their arillus and seed-coat. It contains not less than 5% (v/w) volatile oil. Geographical Source: Nutmeg is indigenous to Molucca islands and cultivated in Indonesia, Caribbean islands and other tropical countries. In India, it is cultivated in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Cultivation and Collection:: 

Cultivation and Collection: The plant is a didecious tree bearing female and male flowers separately. The drug is obtained from female plants. Climate: warm humid Attitude: 900 m. Rainfall:200 to 250 cm. Soil: sandy loam, clay loam and red lateritic The plant is cultivated by sowing the seeds. Vegetative propagation of nutmeg is also possible.

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The seedlings are raised in the nursery beds takes 2 to 3 months. They are transplanted by keeping the distance of 8 to 9 m in between. The nutmeg essentially needs shade for its protection. If sufficient rain is not available, irrigation is necessary. Fertilizers and manures are provided to the plants from time to time. The fruits are suitable for picking when the husk of the fully ripe nut splits. The red feathery aril (mace) covering the seed is detached from the seed shell by hands and flattened out 4 to 8 weeks for drying of the drug in sun or it is dried by artificial heat

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Volatile oil of nutmeg is highly fragrant yellow coloured liquid having sp. gr. 0.855-0.9241, optical rotation + 10 to + 30° and refractive index 1 .470 -1 .4880. Macroscopical Characters: Colour - Externally, the kernels are greenish-brown or brown Odour - Strongly aromatic Taste - Pungent and aromatic Size - Kernels are about 20 to 30 mm in length and 20 mm broad Shape – Ellipsoidal The kernels are externally covered with small irregular patches or lines.

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Chemical constituents: Nutmeg contains 5 to 16% of volatile oil, 30% of fat. The volatile oil contains about 4 to 8% myristicin, Nimicii and saffrole. The fatty acid constituents of the fixed oil are myristic (about 60%), palmitic, oleic, lauric and other acids. The fat of nutmeg is also known as nutmeg butter. The other constituents of the drug are protein and starch . Myristcin (methoxy saffrole) is very poisonous and the narcotic effect of the drug is said to. be due to myristicin. Geraniol, terpineol, d-camphene, etc. are the other constituents of volatile oil of nutmeg. Nutmeg butter contains trimyristin.

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Uses: It is used as an aromatic, a stimulant, and carminative. It is used as a flavouring agent, too. The fat (nutmeg butter) also known as banda soap, is used in soap industries. The fat and volatile oil of nutmeg are used in the treatment of rheumatism.

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Mace: The arillus of the seeds of myristica is known as mace which arises in the region of hilum, before the flowers open arid fertilization takes place. The mace is an orange coloured modification of nutmeg seed. Mace contains about 20% fixed oil and 25% volatile oil. It contains amylodextrin which gives red colour with iodine. Mace is used as a condiment, an aromatic and a carminative. It is used as a flavouring agent, specifically for biscuits, pickles, meat and fish preparations.


EUCALYPTUS OIL Synonyms: Eucalyptus, Dinkum oil Biological Source Eucalyptus oil is the volatile oil obtained by the distillation of the fresh leaves of Eucalyptus globulus and other species of Eucalyptus, belonging to family Myrtaceae. It is rectified, if necessary. It should contain not less than 65% of cineole. Geographical Source: It is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania. It is cultivated in United States (California), Spain, Portugal, and in India. E. citriodora, known as citron scented or lemon scented gum, is grown on large scale in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states

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Method of Preparation: In India the oil is commercially produced on very large scale in Nilgiris, The trees about If, years of age are preferred for the collection of leaves. About 750 to 1200 kg of leaves are collected per hectare. The leaves are dried in shade for about 3 days and subjected to steam distillation . The crude oil, thus produced, is rectified again after treatment with sodium hydroxide. The oil is filtered and filled in suitable containers.

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Description: Colour - It is a colourless or pale yellow liquid Odour - Aromatic and camphoraceous. Taste - Pungent and camphorous followed by the sensation of cold It is soluble in 90% alcohol, fixed oils, fats and in paraffin. It is insoluble in water. Standards Weight per ml - 0.897 to 0.918g Refractive index - 1 .457 to 1 .469 Optical rotation - 00 to + 100 It should be free from heavy metals and should contain only traces of phellandrene.

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Chemical Constituents: Eucalyptus oil chiefly contains cineole, also known as eucalyptol (about 80%). It also contains pinene, camphene and traces of phellandrene., citronellal, geranyl acetate. Uses: counter-irritant, an antiseptic and expectorant. It is relieve cough and in chronic bronchitis in the form of inhalations. It is an ingredient of several liniments and ointments. Solution of eucalyptus oil is used as. nasal drops. Storage: Keep in well closed container away from light and in cool place.


CARDAMOM Synonyms: Cardamom fruits, Cardamom seeds, cardamon. Biological Source: Cardamom consists of the dried ripe fruits of Elettaria cardamomum Maton var, minuscula Burkill, family Zingiberaceae, Geographical Source: It occurs wild in Sri Lanka (partly in Ratnapura and Lunugala districts) and also in Myanmar and Malaysia. In India it is cultivated scientifically in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Karnataka, it is chiefly cultivated in Mysore and Kurg districts, Wild on Malabar hills. Guatemala is the largest producer of cardamom in the world.

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Cultivation and Collection: Rainfall 150 to 600 cm Altitude: 600 to 1600 m Temperature range: 50° to 100° F. It grows on variety of soils, but the soil should be full of moisture and also well-drained. Mulching is necessary in case of cardamom cultivation. The seeds of cardamom are very hard and take four months to germinate. They are either sown by broadcasting method or selected seeds are sown in prepared seed-beds. The seedlings are transplanted into nursery beds, and finally in the fields. The germination of the seeds is poor (30- 40%). 5655

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In Tamilnadu About 3 to 4 months old seedlings are transplanted into nursery bed by keeping the distance of 15 to 40 cm in between. The seedlings, being delicate, are provided with sheds in the beginning. When they are about 130 cm in height or bear about 8 to 10 leaves and are 1 to 1.5 year old, they are transplanted in the forest fields cardamom plants start bearing from third year of their planting. The flowering commences in May and continues up to August. The fruits are picked up just before their ripening. Dried artificially so green colour of fruit is maintain

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Macroscopic Characters: Colour - Natural colour of cardamom is green or pale buff. If treated with sulphur dioxide, it changes to white. Odour - Aromatic, agreeable and pleasant. Taste – Strong aromatic Size - The cardamom fruits, i.e. capsules are about 2 cm in length. The seeds are 3 to 4 mm in size Shape - They are ovoid or oblong, plump, 3-sided, sharply beaked at the top, with smooth or longitudinally striated surface. Each capsule of the fruit contains three chambers. Each chamber consists of two rows of seeds, about 5 to 10 in number., very hard to touch, reddish-brown in colour, and are covered by membranous arid. Seeds are derived from anatropous ovules. They are irregularly triangular in shape, covered with transverse wrinkles, known as rugae.

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Uses: Cardamom is used as an aromatic, a carminative and stimulant. It is also a good flavouring agent. It is used in the form of compound tincture. Storage: Cardamom fruits should be stored in well-closed, well filled container in cool places. As and when needed, the seeds should be removed from the fruits and used. It has been observed that if the seeds are stored after dehusking, about 30% volatile oil is lost within 1 8 months of storage.

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Substitutes and Aduterants Cardamom fruits are often adulterated with orange seeds and unroasted coffee grains . The adulterants of the seeds are even small pebbles and other aromatic seeds very common adulterants of cardamom are mentioned below. 1. Long wild native cardamom : The long native cardamom (big cardamom) is substitute to the genuine drug. It is obtained from Elettaria cardamom Var. major widely grown in Shri Lanka. The fruits of this drug are about 4 cm in length, 1 cm in diameter, dark brown in colour and coarsely striated. The seeds of this drug are less aromatic, bitter in taste and with inferior aroma. The oil of the seeds has different composition. 2. Korarima Cardamom These are 4 x 2 cm in size, red-brown in colour. Seeds do not show the presence of rugae, which is a characteristic of the genuine drug. 3. The loose seeds of cardamom or fully ripe seeds are also mixed. Due to the long exposure or due to ripening, they contain less volatile oil as compared to authentic drug. 4. Cardamom husk is also used to adulterate the genuine drug and can be distinguished by its ash content. (Genuine drug should not have more than 6% of total ash and 3.5% acid-insoluble ash.


OIL OF SANDAL WOOD Synonym: East Indian sandal wood oil. Biological Source: It is obtained by distillation from the heart-wood of Santalum album Linn., family Santalaceae . Geographical Source: The plants are found in India and Malaysia Sandalwood tree is an evergreen plant of 10 12 m height found widely distributed in India.

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Cultivation and Collection: The systematic cultivation of these plants is undertaken mainly in South Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The leaves and other parts of the tree are free of volatile oil. The plant bears very beautiful flowers and fruits. Trees more than 25 years of age are normally selected for the collection of the oil. All parts of the wood contain volatile oil.

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Description: Colour - Pale yellow to colourless viscid liquid Odour Characteristic, persistent Taste Unpleasant. Solubility: It is very slightly soluble in water and soluble in alcohol and chloroform Standards: Specific gravity - 0.973 to 0.985 Optical rotations - 1 50 to _200 Refractive index 1 .500 to 1 .510 Esters - not less than 2% w/w as santolyl acetate Alcohols - not less than 90% w/w as santalol

Slide 95: 

Chemical Constituents: Oil of sandal contains about 95% of two isomeric sesquiterpene alcohols, a - santalol (b.p. 300 - 301°C) and β - santalol (b.p. 170 - 171°C). Additionally, the oil contains an aldehyde santalol C 16 H 22 0, santene, santenone, teresantol, santalone and santalene. The oil is present in elements of wood. It is not present in or secreted by any special types of cells or glands.

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Uses: Sandal wood oil is used for symptomatic treatment of dysuria (difficulty in urinating) and in diminishing the frequency of micturition (expel urine) marked in the tuberculosis of the bladder. It is mainly used as a perfume in preparation of cosmetics and incense sticks. Substitutes: The volatile oil obtained from wood of plant Eucarya spicata , found in Western Australia known as Australian sandal wood oil is a substitute for the- oil. It contains sesquiterpene alcohols known as fusanols.


VALERIAN Synonyms: Indian valerian or Valerian jatamansi. Biological Source: it consists of dried rhizomes, stolons and roots of Va!eriana wallichii DC, family Valerianaceae. Geographical Source: It is found, abundant in the Western Himalayas and is reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indian valerian is collected in Kashmir, Garhwal and other places in North-West Himalaya in India.

Slide 98: 

Macroscopic Characters: Colour – Rhizomes - Dull yellowish-brown Stolons - Yellowish-grey Roots - Yellowish-brown Odour- Characteristic, penetrating and resembling isovaleric acid. Taste- Bitter and camphoraceous Size- Rhizomes - About 4 to 8 cm long and 4 to 20 mm in thickness Stolons - About 5 rni in length and 2 to 4 mm in thickness Roots - About 3 to 5 cm in length and 1 mm in diameter. Shape – Rhizomes are sub-cylindrical and flattened, dorsiventrally curved and unbranched. Rhizomes : The presence of leaf scars on the upper surface, and small circular root scars on the lower surface. Stolons presence of nodes, internodes and root. Fracture is short and horny.

Slide 99: 

Chemical Constituents: Valerian contains pale brown to amber coloured oil about 1%, and alkaloids chatinine and valerine. Volatile oil contains borneol formate, borneol acetate, camphene, borneol isovalerianate, sesquiterpenes, etc. Valepotriates or valtrate, responsible for the therapeutic activity of the drug European valerian consists of thick dried rhizomes and roots of Valeriana officinalis , collected in autumn. It is obtained from wild and cultivated plants in England, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France aid Japan. It yields 0.5 - 1% of volatile oil. This contains esters (bornyl acetate, bornyl formate, bornyl cwaIerianate), terpenes, alcohols and a sesquiterpene alcohol (valerianol).]

Slide 100: 

Uses: Valerian roots have antispasmodic and depressant action on the central nervous system. It can be used as stimulant and carminative. The oil is used as a tonic and stimulant in pharmaceutical preparations and also in perfumery. Valerian roots are used in preparation of tinctures, extracts, infusions, medicinal tea and extraction of volatile oil. Steam distilled volatile oil, as well as, solvent extracted absolute of valerian are used for flavouring of tobacco and beer. Freeze dried preparations of valepotriates are manufactured. Valepotriates possess tranquillising activity in animals.


CHENOPODIUM OIL Synonyms: American Wormseed oil, Chenopodiol; Chenoposan Biological Source: Chenopodium oil is a volatile oil obtained by steam distillation from the fresh flowering and fruiting plants (except roots) of Chenopodium ambrosioldes var anthelminticum Linn., family Chenopodiaceae . It contains not less than 65% of ascaridole. Geographical Source The plant Chenopodium is very common in Eastern and Central U.S.A. It is indigenous to Caribbean islands. It is extensively cultivated in Europe, Maryland, Mexico and Canada. In India, the other species are found in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam and in Karnataka.

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Description: Colour- Colourless to light yellow coloured liquid. Odour: Unpleasant and characteristic. Taste- - Bitter and burning. Solubility- It is soluble in 8 volumes of alcohol (70%) and insoluble in water. Standards: Weight per ml - 0.955 to 0.975 g Refractive index - 1 .474 to 1 .480 * Optical rotation - —3° to —8° Chemical Constituents: The herb contains 0.5 to 1.0% volatile oil, while fruits contain 1 to 4% of oil. The oil contains chiefly ascaridole which is an unsaturated terpene peroxide (70 to 80%), about 20% p-cymene, myrcene, 1 -limonene and camphor.

Slide 103: 

Chemical Test: Heat one ml Chenopodium oil in a test tube with a piece of porcelain. A deep golden yellow liquid is produced (Caution Perform the test very carefully as the oil explodes when heated). Uses: Use as anthelmintic , specifically for round-worms (Ascaris). Used to expel hook-worms and dwarf tape-worms. It has no action on large tape-worms. Used against intestinal amoebae and in veterinary practice. It is contraindicated in pregnancy and in patients with impaired kidney or liver. Substitutes: In India, the plant chenopodium is substituted by Chenopodium ambrosoides Linn. and Chnopodium album Linn. Storage: Chenopodium oil is stored in closed containers, in cool places away from light.