Progress in Essential Oils

Basil Oil Putievsky (1995) determined the changes in major constituents of the oil isolated from basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves based on their size. Using leaves whose length was between 0.6-9.5 cm, he found that the compositional changes were as follows:

1,8-cineole (1.8-4.4 percent) linalool (34.0-50.0 percent) β-caryophyllene (1.2-4.6 percent) methyl chavicol (22.0-48.0 percent) methyl eugenol (0.4-1.4 percent) eugenol (4.1-7.4 percent)

The largest leaves were found to be richest in methyl chavicol and poorest in linalool.

Oils obtained by steam distillation and water distillation of the same batch of O. basilicum plants that were grown in Turkey were produced in 0.21 percent and 0.43 percent yield, respectively (Özek et al. 1995). The results of the analysis of the two oils can be found in Table I. As can be seen, there were some quantitative differences in the oil compositions in addition to yield differences; however, only minor qualitative differences were found.

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