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The Essential Oil Composition of Dictamnus albus from Turkey

Authors:
  • Medicinal Plant, Drug and Scientific Research and Application Center (AUBIBAM), Eskisehir, Turkey

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Semi-dried, flowering leafy branches were subjected to water distillation: three days after collection (A), and after fully drying for one year (B). The oils were separately analysed by gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) techniques. Twenty-one components were identified making up 97.87 % (A) and 94.70% (B) of both oils (Table 1). The main components in the oils were identified as dictagymnin [1-allyl-4-(3-methyl-3-butenyloxy)-benzene] (1), feniculin [l-(3-methyl-2-butenyloxy)-4-propylbenzene] (2), methylchavi-col (= estragole) (3), and frans-anethol (4). The amounts of dictagymnin and feniculin in oil from dried plant material analysed one year after collection were greater than in oil from semi-dried plant material, while the percentage amounts of methylchavicol and £ra/zs-anethol were lower. Dictagymnin was previously isolated only from the essential oil of the aerial parts of Caucasian D. gymnostylis Stev. with a 0.24% yield (6). Feniculin was previously characterized from Foeniculum vulgare Mill, (fennel) (7) and was identified in the oil of Illicium verum Hooker f. (star anis) (8). Dictagymnin and feniculin are prenyl ethers of chavicol and anol, respectively. Since authentic samples of dictagymnin and feniculin were not available for comparison, their identities were proven by a simple chemical experiment. The essential oil was sealed in a glass ampoule and left to stand at 260 °C for 1/2 hour. The subsequent GC/MS analysis of the oil revealed, as expected , the complete conversion of dictagymnin and feni-culin to chavicol (p-allylphenol) and anol (p-propenyl-phenol), respectively, due to cleavage of the prenyl side chain in both compounds.
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