Chemical examination of the essential oil ofOcimum Sanctum Linn.
The essential oil ofOcimum Sanctum Linn. orTulsi, is a pale yellow oil obtained from the leaves of the plant in an yield of 0·7 per cent. by steam distillation.
The oil has the characteristic odour of the leaves together with a strong note of cloves and is strongly phenolic in nature.
The oil was resolved into phenolic and non-phenolic constituents by aqueous sodium hydroxide, and from the phenolic portion, carvacrol and eugenol were definitely isolated and identified. From the non-phenolic portion, eugenol methyl ether was definitely identified, and the presence of caryophyllene was tentatively shown.
The essential oil ofTulsi contains over 71 per cent. of eugenol and 20 per cent. of eugenol methyl ether together with about 3 per cent. of carvacrol. As it is, the oil is an excellent source of eugenol which is used in the preparation of vanillin.