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Progress in Essential Oils

By: Brian M. Lawrence
Posted: April 23, 2007, from the May 2007 issue of P&F magazine.

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  • May 2007 issue, pg 50 (11 pages)
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Madagascan Helichrysum Oil

Oil produced from Helichrysum faradifani Scott-Elliot, an endemic plant of Madagascar, can be found commercially available in limited quantities. The composition of this oil was the subject of analysis by Cavalli et al. (2001). The authors determined that it possessed the following composition:

alpha-pinene (2.2%)

camphene (0.4%)

beta-pinene (0.5%)

myrcene (1.5%)

p-cymene (0.8%)

limonene (4.6%)

1,8-cineole (2.9%)

(Z)-beta-ocimene (0.3%)

(E)-beta-ocimene (0.6%)

terpinolene (0.3%)

linalool (16.1%)

borneol (0.6%)

alpha-terpineol (1.9%)

alpha-copaene (0.6%)

beta-caryophyllene (34.6%)

aromadendrene (0.4%)

allo-aromadendrene (0.6%)

alpha-humulene (5.4%)

gamma-muurolene (0.5%)

ar-curcumene (1.3%)

germacrene D (0.8%)

gamma-cadinene (1.2%)

calamenene* (0.3%)

delta-cadinene (1.5%)

caryophyllene oxide (4.3%)

humulene epoxide II (0.5%)

T-cadinol (1.3%)

beta-eudesmol (0.7%)

*correct isomer not identified

Ralijerson et al. (2005) compared the composition of oils produced by steam distillation from fresh and dried plants of H. faradifani using GC and GC/MS. The results of this comparative study are presented in T-1. The analyses listed in T-1 relate to oils produced over a full year from plants in various stages of growth. It is of interest to note the high level of α-fenchene found in the fresh plant oil as this is (to this reviewer’s memory) the highest level found in an essential oil. Also, it is surprising that Ralijerson et al. characterized β-himachalene as the major component of the oils because in the other study β-himachalene was not detected.

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