Upon the distillation of rasamala1), a wood obtained from the Dutch East Indies, Schimmel & Co.-) obtained 0,17 p. c. of volatile oil.
At ordinary temperature rasamala wood oil forms a light brown, crystalline mass which melts between 30 and 40°. Its odor reminds one of that of cinnamon and rhubarb.
The principal constituent is a crystalline substance that melts at 54 to 55°. Presumably it is a ketone, since with hydroxylamine it forms a compound that melts at 106 to 107°. The second constituent of the oil is liquid.
According to a communication by Professor Dr. van Romburgh, the name rasamala is applied not only to the genuine but rare rasamala tree, Altingia excelsa, Nor. (Liquidambar Altingia, Bl.), family Hamamelidaceae, but also to several Indian drugs. Among these are the liquid storax from Liquidambar orientate (Getah Rasamala) and other balsams with a similar odor, also the fragrant wood of Canarium microcarpum, Willd. Kaju Rasamala).
Whether the wood distilled by Schimmel & Co. was derived from one of the above-named species, and if so from which remains uncertain. Possibly it was from the so-called aloe wood (Ger. Aloeholz) or eagle wood from Aquilaria Agallocha, Roxb., which is sold in Indian markets as kaju lakka and the characteristic rhubarb-like odor of which3) corresponds with that of the wood distilled by Schimmel & Co.