Origin. The massoy barks of commerce originate from several plants. The genuine massoy bark is derived from Massoia aromatica, Beccari, (Sassafras Gcesianum, T. et B.). It is a native of New Guinea. Cinnamomum xanthoneuron, Blume, is likewise mentioned as the mother plant. It also is a native of New Guinea. Recently3) this plant has been pronounced identical with M. aromatica although this is not in accordance with the Index Kewensis. Massoy bark is also obtained from Cinnamomum Burmanni, Blume (C t\iamis, Nees). Finally certain massoy barks of commerce, which are said to come from Dutch East India, agree with the bark of Cinnamomum Culilawan, Blume.
The botanical origin of the bark from German New Guinea, from which Schimmel & Co., in 1888, distilled the first commercial massoy bark oil, is unknown. Upon comparing it with the genuine massoy bark from Massoia aromatica, Beccari, E.M.Holmes4) arrived at the conclusion that the two were not identical. Moreover, he pronounced the bark of Schimmel & Co. very similar to the Cortex Culilabani Papuanus of the Hanbury collection, the botanical origin of which is likewise unknown.
1) The oil from the leaves of the Ceylon cinnamom shrub (see p. 423) was for a time designated as NelkenzimWl.
2) Trommsdorff's Neues Journ. d. Pharm. 23, I. (1831), 7.
3) ). Wiesner, Die Rohstoffe des Pflanzenreichs. 2nd ed. Leipzig 1900, vol. I, 778.
4) Pharmaceutical Journ. III. 19 (1888), 465 and 761.
Of a contrary view is N.Wender1) who expresses himself in the following manner: "In its anatomical structure the massoy bark (namely that of Schimmel & Co.) is unquestionably one of the Lauraceae and in other respects agrees best with the bark of Sassafras Goesianum or Massoia aromatica."
According to the anatomical data of Pfister-) it is regarded as impossible that this bark belongs to Massoia aromatica.
Composition. According to Schimmel & Co.3) the oil consists principally of eugenol (70 to 75 p.c.) and safrol. In addition to these E.F.R.Woy4) isolated a fraction boiling at about 172°, in which he thought to have discovered a new terpene, the „mas-soyene". However, O. Wallach6) demonstrated that the so-called massoyene consisted of a mixture of at least three terpenes, viz., a-pinene (m.p. of pinene nitrol benzylamine 123°; of nitroso-pinene 133°), limonene (m.p. of limonene nitrolbenzylamine 93°) and dipentene (m.p. of tetrabromide 123°).