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Progress in Essential Oils

By: Brian M. Lawrence
Posted: May 14, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of P&F magazine.

Clary Sage Oil

The oils of the inflorescences of a Sicilian spontaneous biotype of clary sage that was grown in the vicinity of Sparacia (Sicily, Italy) were analyzed using GC-FID and GC/MS by Carrubba et al. (2002). As expected, the inflorescence oils that were obtained by hydrodistillation were found to be rich in linalool and linalyl acetate as shown in T-1. The authors also showed that the leaf oils produced from flowering plants were determined to possess the following range in composition:

delta-elemene (0.39–0.40%)

alpha-cubebene (< 0.01%)

alpha-copaene (5.3–5.8%)

beta-bourbonene (< 0.01–0.07%)

beta-cubebene (0.33–0.45%)

beta-elemene (2.00–2.14%)

beta-caryophyllene (5.65–5.90%)

beta-gurjunene (0.20–0.22%)

aromadendrene (0.03–0.07%)

allo-aromadendrene (0.23–0.76%) g

amma-gurjunene (0.05%)

gamma-muurolene (0.31–0.87%)

germacrene D (67.72–68.85%)

viridiflorene (< 0.01–0.10%)

bicyclogermacrene (6.41–7.95%)

alpha-muurolene (< 0.01–0.10%)

beta-bisabolene (0.10–0.17%)

delta-cadinene (1.50–1.56%)

cadina-1,4-diene (< 0.01–0.06%)

alpha-cadinene (< 0.01–0.05%)

spathulenol (0.76–0.93%)

alpha-muurolol (< 0.01–0.04%)

alpha-eudesmol (0.07–0.08%)

alpha-cadinol (0.39–0.45%)

valeranone (0.54–0.60%)

sclareol (0.31–0.57%)

An oil of clary sage was compared with a volatile concentrate of the same batch of plant material using co-distillation with superheated pentane vapor (Mastelic and Jerkovic 2003). The results of this comparison are presented in T-2. As can be seen, the hydrolysis and rearrangement of linalyl acetate during water distillation did not occur during the volatile concentrate isolation, thereby making this a useful method for isolating oils that are susceptible to rearrangement during isolation.

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