Compounds containing nitrogen or sulphur are frequently obtained during the distillation of such parts of plants which are rich in albuminous substances (protoplasm) or similar bodies, e. g. during the distillation of fresh herbs and seeds. The readily volatile compounds, ammonia, trimethylamine, sulphureted hydrogen and hydrocyanic acid largely escape during the process of distillation. Smaller amounts are dissolved in the aqueous distillate. Rarely do they enter into combination with constituents of the volatile oil in the preparation of which they are produced.

Ammonia is produced during the distillation of many drugs, e. g. that of cubebs, pepper, pimento, ginger, etc. Moslinger1) found ammonia in the aqueous distillate of heracleum oil.

Narcotic smelling bases were observed by Schimmel & Co. in connection with caraway oil and the oils of other umbelliferous fruits2), also in connection with patchouli oil3) and the oil of Barosma pulchellum.4)