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Progress in Essential Oils

By: Brian M. Lawrence
Posted: March 21, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of P&F magazine.

Erigeron, or Fleabane, Oil

At one time commercial quantities of Erigeron oil were produced in the United States. Occasionally oils are still produced in extremely limited quantities primarily aimed at the aromatherapy industry. As a result, it is perhaps of interest to examine what is known about its oil composition. This oil is produced from Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. (syn. Erigeron canadensis L.), a plant that is known as horseweed in the United States and railwayweed in Japan. Ogg et al. (1975) noted that the weed could occasionally be found in mint fields. When distilled by mint oil producers that did not keep their mint fields free of weeds, Erigeron could contaminate the resultant oil. Ogg et al. further determined that the oil contaminants were α-thujene, β-pinene, myrcene, limonene, an ocimene isomer, a hexenyl acetate isomer, menthol, a menthone isomer, carvone, menthyl acetate, an α-farnesene isomer, a farnesol isomer, ar-curcumene, α-muurolol and a matricaria methyl ester. Hrutifiord et al. (1988) analyzed an oil of C. canadensis produced from plants harvested in Washington State (United States) and found that it contained the following constituents:

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