New Resources of Essential Oils in China

China's enormous land area extends over a great variety of land types which includes tropical, subtropical and temperate zones. Favorable conditions, therefore, exist for the growth of a wide range of aromatic plants. There are more than 600 species of the aromatic plants found, which belong to 77 plant families and 192 genera.

The domestic essential oils and perfumery industry has expanded immensely during the past 30-40 years, so that about 100 different kinds of essential oils are now being produced, and many of them exported, e.g., cassia oil, cedarwood oil, star anise oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil, litsea cubeba oil, sassafras oil, etc.

I recently found aromatic plant, Micrometum integerrimum, which belongs to Rutacea family which grows in the Southern part of Yunnan Province, The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of flowers and fruits with 0.11-0.20% yield. The main components in the fresh ftower oil are: γ-muurolene (53.54%), γ-elemene (10.61%), β-elemene (9.55%) and benzyl salicylate (5.04%), The fruit oil contains: decanal (47.51%), lauric aIdehyde (35.94%),  γ-muurolene (6.41%), decanol (1.95%), γ-elemene (1.30%), β-elemene (0.70%) and δ-cadinene (0.27%).

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