Chenopodium Oil

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Volatile Oils

Chenopodium oil is the volatile oil obtained by the distilla-tion from the fresh aerial parts of Chenopodium ambrosioides Linn, belonging to family Chenopodiaceae.


CHENOPODIUM OIL

 

 

Synonyms

 

Herba sancti mariae, Jesuit’s tea, Mexican tea.

 

Biological Source

 

Chenopodium oil is the volatile oil obtained by the distilla-tion from the fresh aerial parts of Chenopodium ambrosioides Linn, belonging to family Chenopodiaceae.

 

Geographical Source

 

It is indigenous to Mexico and South America. It is also cultivated in New England, Europe, Missouri, Austria, and in eastern United States.

 

Cultivation and Collection

 

It is grown in manured soils. The plant flower from July to September, and the fruits ripen successively through the autumn and are collected in October. The fruits contain volatile oil (1 to 4%).

 

Characteristics

 

Chenopodium ambrosioides is stout, erect, angular and grooved stem growing to a height of about 2 feet. The leaves are slightly petiolate, oblong-lanceolate, toothed. It has small, very numerous flowers with yellowish-green colour; calyx has five-cleft, lobes ovate, pointed, five stamens, ovary covered on the top with small, oblong, stalked glands and two to three styles. The fruit is completely enclosed in the calyx, and the seed are smooth, shining and brownish-black in colour. The globular fruit are not larger than the head of a pin with greenish yellow or brown colour. Fruit has strong odour resembling somewhat that of eucalyptus with pungent and bitter taste. The oil is colourless or yellowish, when freshly distilled, becoming deeper yellow and finally brownish on long storage. It has a peculiar, penetrating, somewhat camphoraceous odour, and a pungent, bitter taste. Crushed fruits yield 0.6 to 1.0% of oil.

 


  Chenopodium ambrosioides


Chemical Constituents

 

Ascaridole, a terpene peroxide, to the high percentage of 60 to 70%, an unstable substance is present in the oil. It also contains p-cymene, α-perpinene, probably dihydro-p-cymene, and possibly sylvestrene. Betzine, choline, glycol, and safrol have also been reported.

 


 

Uses

 

Chenopodium oil is used as anthelmintic especially in tapeworm, round worms, and hook worms. It is also used as active purgative, in the treatment of malaria, hysteria, and other nervous diseases. It is employed in veterinary practice in a worm mixture for dogs, in combination with oil of turpentine, oil of aniseed, castor oil, and olive oil.

 

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