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Volatile Constituents of Essential Oils Isolated from...

By: Pran N. Kaul, Bhaskaruni R. Rajeswara Rao,* Kamla Singh, Arun K. Bhattacharya, Gopal R. Mallavarapu and Srinivasaiyer Ramesh
Posted: May 15, 2007

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The flower oil contained beta-pinene (12.5%), 1,8-cineole (12.8%) and (E)-methyl cinnamate (12.3%) as the major constituents. The important components of the leaf sheath oil were 1,8-cineole (23.2%) and humulene epoxide I (10.6%). The stem oil had beta-pinene (11.2%) and 1,8-cineole (33.2%) as the major compounds. On the other hand, the root oil showed camphene (13.6%), 1,8-cineole (15.6%) and alpha-fenchyl acetate (37.6%) as the main constituents.

Alpinia calcarata Rosc. (family: Zingiberaceae), a medicinal plant is one of the seven species of Alpinia that occur in India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, New Guinea and the Bismark Archipelago (1,2). The rhizome extract of A. calcarata is used as an expectorant in the treatment of bronchitis and asthma; for purifying blood; stimulating digestion and improving voice (3). In addition, anti-inflammatory activity has also been reported (4). While the rhizome extract of A. calcarata has been reported to contain methyl cinnamate and 1,8-cineole as the major compounds (5), the rhizome and leaf oils contained camphene, beta-pinene, 1,8-cineole and camphor as the major constituents (6). The physico-chemical characteristics of the oil have also been studied (7). However, the compositions of flower, leaf sheath, stem and root oils were not investigated earlier.

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