Upon the distillation of the fresh leaves of Myrica Gale, L. (Ger. Gagelblatter, family Myricaceae), Rabenhorst3) obtained 0,65 p. c. of a brownish-yellow oil, the specific gravity of which was 0,876. It congealed partly at 17,5° and completely to a crystalline mass at 12,5°. G. Laloue4) distilled, with water,
1) Bed. Berichte 32 (1899), 3183.
2) Journ. f. prakt. Chem. II. 83 (1911), 483.
3) Repert. Pharm. 60 (1837), 214. - Gmelin, Organ. Chemie, IV. ed. vol. 7, p. 335.
4) Berichte von Roure-Bertrand Fils April 1910, 61. - Bull. Sciences pharm. 17 (1910), 253.
The oil has been investigated pharmacologically by Chevalier1). He showed that it is rather poisonous, hence the use of the leaves of Myrica Gale as emmenagogue and as abortive, to which use they are put in western France, is not without danger. In intraperitoneal injections the fatal dose for guinea-pigs was 1 cc. per kilo body weight. A dog died with symptoms of total paralysis after a dose of 12 cgr. pro kilo body weight.
An oil distilled by S. S. Pickles2) from a mixture of fresh leaves and twigs (yield 0,076 p. c.) was pale-yellow and gave the following constants: d15o0,915; aD - 5° 17'; A.V. 7,0; E.V. 24,7. Another oil obtained from partly dried material, consisting almost entirely of leaves (yield 0,203 p.c), had the following properties: d15o0,912; aD--11°26'; A. V. 4,0; E.V. 19,2; E.V. after acetylation 56,4.
The leaf oil contained about 0,75 p.c. of a paraffin C29H60, which melted at 63 to 64°, and which separated in the cold upon the addition of methyl alcohol. By means of a solution of sodium carbonate, Pickles isolated about 2,5 p. c. of fatty acids, principally palmitic acid (m. p. 62°). Other constituents are cineol (m. p. of iodol compound 112 to 114°) and dipentene (m. p. of tetrabromide 124 to 125°). Of cineol and terpenes the oil contains about 50 p.c. In addition to esters of high molecular fatty acids, the oil presumably consisted of a mixture of high boiling alcohols and sesquiterpenes, which Pickles did not examine farther for want of sufficient material.
1) Bull. Sciences pharm. 17 (1910), 258. 2) Journ. chem. Soc. 99 (1911), 1764.