Origin. Bengal cardamoms derived from Amomum aromati-cum, Roxb.4), yield upon distillation 1,12 p.c. of volatile oil.
Properties. The oil5) of Bengal cardamoms is light yellow in color, possesses a decided odor of cineol, and has a specific gravity of 0,920 at 15°; aD - 12° 41'. It is soluble in one or several vol. of 80 p.c. alcohol.
1) Fluckiger and Hanbury, Pharmacographia, IInd ed., p. 653.
2) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1897, 10.
3) Fluckiger (loc. cit.) records as sp. gr. 0,825. Presumably this is a printer's error.
4) According to E. M. Holmes, Bengal cardamoms are derived from Amomum aromaticum, Roxb., and not, as Fluckiger states in his Pharmaco-graphia, from Amomum subulatum, Roxb.
5) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1897, 43.
The bulk of the oil distils over below 220°, a comparatively large residue remaining in the flask.
Composition. Cineol is the only known constituent of this oil. Its presence was established by the preparation of its hydrogen bromide addition product, isolation of the pure cineol (b. p. 175 to 176°; sp.gr. 0,924), and the oxidation of the latter to cineolic acid (m. p. 197°).
Inasmuch as Bengal cardamom oil is devoid of the characteristic cardamom odor, it cannot be substituted for Ceylon cardamom oil and is therefore without practical importance.