Kaempferia Galanga, L, is cultivated by the natives of Java for medicinal and culinary purposes. Its rhizome contains a volatile oil which has been examined by P. van Romburgh5). Upon distillation of the root, which is known as Kentjoer or Tjekoer, with water vapor, there was obtained at first an oil which floated on the aqueous distillate, whereas the later distillate sank, and in fact, solidified to a crystalline mass. Re-crystallized from alcohol, large, transparent, glossy crystals, m.p. 50", were obtained, which consisted of the ethyl ester of p-methoxycinnamic acid.
1) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1894, 59.
2) Pharm. Rundsch. (New York) 11 (1893), 287.
3) Verslag van 's Lands Plantentuin, Buitenzorg 1893, 55.
*) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1894, 58.
5) On the crystallized constituent of the essential oil of Kaempferia Ga/anga.L. Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschapen te Amsterdam. Reprinted from: Proceedings of the Meeting of Saturday May 26th, 1900.
In fraction 155 to 165° (30 mm.) of the liquid oil, van Romburgh1) found cinnamic acid ethyl ester. This substance, which constitutes about one-fourth of the oil, was separated only with difficulty from another substance of almost the same boiling point. The separation was finally accomplished by means of 80 p. c. alcohol in which the bulk of the ester was soluble. The remaining portion was purified by boiling with potassium hydroxide, treating with bromine-in-chloroform solution, and shaking with concentrated sulphuric acid. In this manner an inactive, colorless and odorless liquid was obtained (b. p. 267,5° under 738 mm. pressure; d26o 0,766) which upon cooling congealed completely. By means of elementary analysis and molecular weight determination, the formula C15H32 was established. The only known hydrocarbon of this formula is the pentadecane described by Krafft. The properties of the two substances are in such close agreement that their identity cannot be doubted. More than one half of the liquid kaempferia oil consists of this paraffin.
Another oil from Java had d25o l,0174; aD25o - 16°; nD25o 1,54284. It was soluble in 1 vol. of 80 p. c. alcohol, the addition of more solvent producing a decided opalescence.