Oleum Kuromoji. - Kuromojiol. - Essence de Kuro-moji.
Origin. Lindera sericea, Bl. (family Lauracead) is a shrub that occurs in all of the mountainous regions of Japan2). All parts contain volatile oil, small amounts being contained even in the wood, which is used universally for the manufacture of toothpicks.
The oil was introduced into European commerce by Schimmel & Co. in 1889. It is obtained from the leaves and young shoots. The distillation is conducted on a small scale by farmers who restrict their operations to the shrubs growing on their own land.
Properties. Kuro-moji leaf oil is dark yellow in color and possesses a delicately aromatic and balsamic odor, d 0,890 to 0,905; aD - 0°4'.
Composition. According to W. Kwasnik3) the oil contains two terpenes and two oxygenated constituents, viz., d-limonene (m.p. of tetrabromide 104°), dipentene (m.p. of tetrabromide 124°), terpineol (m.p. of terpinyl phenyl urethane 109,5°) and \-carvone which occurs but very rarely in volatile oils (m. p. of hydrogen sulphide compound 214°).
Kuro-Moji Oil Distilled from some other Part of the Plant than the leaves.
An oil that was likewise designated kuro-moji oil, but which differed from it in its properties and hence must be regarded as being obtained from some other part of the plant, was twice reported upon by Schimmel & Co.1).
1) Bericht von Roure-Bertrand Fils October 1910, 20.
2) As early as 1712 the shrub was described in Kampfer's Amcenitates exoticae as Kuro nohji. An illustration of the branch may be found in the Chemist and Druggist 47 (1895), 502.
3) Arch, der Pharm. 230 (1892), 265.
Properties. A pale yellow oil with a delicate aroma of coriander: d15o0,8947 and 0,8942; aD - 14°29' and - 22° 26'; E.V. 29,87 and 27,3.
Composition. This oil differs greatly in composition from the leaf oil. In addition to lasvogyrate terpenes it contains cineol (iodol compound), i-linalool (m. p. of phenyl urethane 62 to 63°; oxidation to citral; m. p. of citryl-B-naphthocinchoninic acid 196 to 197°) and geraniol (m. p. of diphenyl urethane 81,8°) which is present principally as acetate.