Oleum foiiorum Cinnamomi. Zimtblatterol. - Essence de Feuilles de Cannelle de Ceylan.
Origin. For a time the oil from the leaves of the genuine cinnamon shrub, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Nees, entered the market as cinnamon root oil. When, however, in 1892 Schimmel & Co. found that the oil distilled by them from Ceylon cinnamon leaves (yield 1,8 p. c.) corresponded in all its properties with the so-called cinnamon root oil, this erroneous designation could be upheld no longer. Two oils, correctly labelled as cinnamon leaf oil, which resembled their own distillates in every particular had previously been obtained from the Seychelles and from the Botanical Garden at Buitenzorg in Java1).
') Compare herewith Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1910, 35.
As cinnamon leaf oil there was exported at that time a viscid oil of the consistency of West Indian sandalwood oil. Since then this oil has disappeared from the market and nothing definite is known as to its origin.
Properties. Cinnamon leaf oil is light in color, rather limpid, and has an odor reminding one of cloves and cinnamon: d16o1,044 to 1,065; aD - 0°15' to + 2°20' (mostly dextrogyrate); nD 1,531 to 1,540; eugenol content 65 to 95 p. c; aldehyde content up to 25 p. c. With 1 to 3 vol. of 70 p. c. alcohol it yields a clear solution, but occasionally the solution becomes turbid upon the addition of more alcohol.
Several oils obtained from the Seychelles had the following properties: d15o1,0206 to 1,0604; aD - 1°43' to +0°27'; phenol content 78 to 94 p. c; aldehyde content (determined for an oil of 78 p.c. eugenol) about 5 p.c; soluble in 1 to 1,5 vol. or more of 70 p.c. alcohol.
Composition, j. Stenhouse-) found that cinnamon leaf oil contained large amounts (70 to 90 p.c.) of eugenol. E.Schser5) later confirmed this statement. In the above-mentioned oil distilled by themselves, Schimmel & Co. proved the presence of cinnamic aldehyde (0,1 p.c).
A more detailed investigation of two different oils was conducted by J. Weber4). The first, from the Seychelles, had d18.5o1,0552 and contained eugenol (m. p. of benzoyl eugenol 69 to 70o), cinnamic aldehyde (m. p. of phenylhydrazone 167°) and terpenes that were not identified.
The other oil, imported by Schimmel & Co. under the erroneous designation of cinnamon root oil, was also leaf oil, d19o1,041. Its composition differed somewhat from that of the previous oil. Weber found eugenol, safrol (m. p. of piperonylic acid 226 to 227°), terpenes and benzaldehyde (m. p. of phenyl hydrazone 150 to 151°). Cinnamic aldehyde could not be identified.
1) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1892, 58 and October 1892, 47. 2) Liebig's Annalen 95 (1855), 103.
3) Arch, der Pharm. 220 (1882), 492.
4) Ibidem 230 (1892), 232.
Stenhouse had found benzoic acid which was presumably combined with an alcohol. Later investigators do not mention this constituent. Whether the benzaldehyde found by Weber was contained in the original oil, or whether it resulted as an oxidation product of cinnamic aldehyde remains undetermined.
Schimmel & Co.1), found \-Iinalool in the oil (oxidation to citral; m.p. of citryl-B-naphthocinchoninic acid 198°), also safrol.