Progress in Essential Oils: July 2014

The current world production of patchouli oil ex Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. (syn. P. patchouli Pellet) is ca. 1,000 metric tons produced in Indonesia. A further 75 metric tons are also produced in China and India, respectively.

An acetone extract of the dried herb of P. cablin was examined for its activity against trypanosomiasis (Chaga’s disease) by Kiuchi et al. (2004). Because the extract showed strong trypanocidal activity, it was subjected to repeated column chromatography to yield three active sesquiterpenes. Structural elucidation of the three components revealed that they were hydroperoxides (see F-1). The reason that these hydroperoxides have not been previously characterized in patchouli oil is because they will not survive steam distillation.

A collection of 18 P. cablin plants from different areas in Guangdong Province and Hainan Province that were dried and ground to a powder were subjected to pressurized liquid extraction using methanol by Hu et al. (2006).

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