The volatile oil of the cotyledons of Nectandra Puchury-major, Nees, and of Nectandra Puchury-minor, Nees, the pichurim beans of the drug market, was first prepared by Robes1) in 1799 and again by Bonastre2) in 1825.
The oil was investigated in 1853 by A. Muller3). Inasmuch as the beans contain starch he added sulphuric acid during the distillation in order to prevent the formation of paste. In this manner he obtained 0,7 p. c. of a volatile oil greenish-yellow in color and of the peculiar pichurim odor.
1) Berl. Jahrb. d. Pharm. 5 (1800), 60.
2) Ibidem 37 (1825), 160. - Repert. f. d. Pharm. I. 21 (1825), 201.
3) Journ. f. prakt. Chem. 58 (1853), 463.
From the oil, which distilled between 180 and 270°, Muller obtained, upon repeated fractionation, a hydrocarbon which had a well-nigh constant boiling point at 150° (pinene?). Fraction 167 to 170° had the odor of orange and appears also to have been a terpene. Between 255 and 256° an oil with a deep indigo blue color passed over. From a fraction with a still higher boiling point crystals of „pichurim fatty acid" (/auric acid) separated.
Inasmuch as the pichurim beans have a decided odor of safrol, this substance is very probably a constituent of the Pichurim bean oil.