Benzoin odoriferum, Nees (Laurus Benzoin, L., Lindera Benzoin, Meissn., Ger. Benzoelorbeerstrauch) is known in North America as spicewood, spicebush, and feverbush. It contains volatile oil in all of its parts, more particularly in the bark and the berries-). Locally the bark is used as a domestic remedy.
Oil from the Bark and Twigs.
Under the name of spicewood oil it was brought into the market by Fritzsche Brothers of New York in 1885. Its odor recalls that of wintergreen, its specific gravity is 0,923, and it boils between 170 and 300°. It consists of hydrocarbons and about 9 to 10 p. c. of methyl salicylate. By treatment with caustic soda solution, 16 g. of salicylic acid were isolated from 200 g. oil.
The berries contain 4 to 5 p. c. of an oil with an aromatic, spicy and camphor-like odor. It boils between 160 and 270° and has a specific gravity of 0,850 to 0,855.
The leaves yield about 0,3 p. c. of oil. The odor of the oil is very pleasant and lavender-like. Specific gravity 0,888.
1) Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1904, 95 and April 1907, 61. -) Schimmel's Bericht October 1886, 27 and Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1890, 62.