Progress in Essential Oils

Cyperus rotundus Oil and Extract
The roots, or tubers, of purple nutsedge, a pantropical, troublesome weed (Cyperus rotundus L.), have been used both for culinary and an oild produced from them for perfume uses since ancient times (Negbi, 1992). The oil, which is produced both in India and China, is obtained by steam distillation of the dried tubers.

Examination of the early literature reveals that oils of Asian origin were reported by Gildemeister and Hoffman (1956) to contain a-pinene, a-cyperone (30–50%), cyperene, cyperol and a trace of 1,8-cineole.

Motl et al. and Trivedi et al. (1963 and 1964) used fractional distillation, alumina column chromatography, UV, IR and 1H-NMR to characterize camphene, b-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, cyperene, b-selinene, a-cyperone, b-cyperone and patchoulenone in a lab-distilled oil of C. rotundus. Although the authors did not present any quantitative data they were able to show that the oil was rich in oxygenated sesquiterpenes with a-cyperone being the major component. In addition, the oil was found to contain numerous other non-characterized sesquiterpenoids.

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