Monday, February 13, 2012

Essential oils: The chemistry of essential oils - Caryophyllene

Caryophyllene is a bicyclic sesquiterprene found in clove (3.56%), rosemary (up to 8.3%), oregano (4.9%), black pepper (7.29%), and possibly cedarwood atlas. (1) ß-carophyllene is the major sesquiterpene found in pepper essential oil (2).

It may have some anaesthetic effect, as found in this study. "In this work we studied the local anaesthetic activity of β-caryophyllene, one of the main components of clove oil obtained from the dried flower-buds of Syzygium aromaticum (Myrtaceae family).  In conclusion, these data evidence the local anaesthetic activity of β-caryophyllene, which appears to be strictly dependent on its chemical structure." (3)

References:
(1) Wikipedia
(2) Chemistry of Spices.
(3) C. Ghelardini (a, *., N. Galeotti, (., L. Di Cesare Mannelli, (., G. Mazzanti, (., & A. Bartolini, (. (2001). Local anaesthetic activity of β-caryophyllene. Il Farmaco, 56387-389. doi:10.1016/S0014-827X(01)01092-8

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