The volatile oil from the roots of Geum urbanum, L. (Ger. Nelkenwurzel, family Rosaceae) was examined as early as 1818 by Trommsdorff4) and again in 1844 by Buchner5). However, they did not determine with any degree of certainty whether the oil, which had a clove-like odor, was identical with the eugenol from clove oil or not.
l) Liebig's Annalen 110 (1859), 129.
2) Berl. Berichte 27 (1894), 344 and 33 (1900), 2140.
3) Apotheker Ztg. 19 (1904), 854.
4) Trommsdorff's Neues Journ. der Pharm. 2 (1818), I. 53.
5) Buchner's Repert. f. d. Pharm. 35 (1844), 169.
E. Bourquelot and H. Herissey1) distilled the comminuted fresh root after previous maceration for 12 hours. Thus they obtained 0,1 p.c. of an oil the bulk of which consisted of eugenol (benzoyl eugenol).
They ascertained that the root contains a glucoside which is hydrolyzed by an enzyme, likewise present, with formation of eugenol. Inasmuch as repeated experiments to produce the eugenol odor in the extract with other enzymes such as emulsin, invertin, the enzyme from Aspergillus niger, v. Tgh. also from other plant powders, were unsuccessful, it may be assumed that the enzyme of the water-avens root is a specific enzyme which has thus far been found only in the root of the closely related species Geum rivale, L. Gein is the name suggested for the new glucoside, gease that for the enzyme.
Upon distillation of the dry root (Radix caryophyllata) H. Haensel2) obtained 0,022 p.c. of a reddish-brown oil with an aromatic odor and a burning, bitter taste, d13,5o1,037; soluble in 90 p.c. alcohol.