Jump to Navigation

We've moved! The new address is http://www.henriettes-herb.com - update your links and bookmarks!

Oleum Sesami (U. S. P.)—Oil of Sesamum.

Related entry: Sesamum.—Benne

"A fixed oil expressed from the seed of Sesamum indicum, Linné (Nat. Ord.—Pedaliaceae). It should be kept in well-stoppered bottles"—(U. S. P.).
SYNONYMS: Sesame oil, Teel or Til oil, Benne oil, Gingili or Jingili oil.

Preparation.—This oil is obtained by expressing the seeds, the yield being about 50 per cent by weight. When pure, it is one of the least alterable of oils (Flückiger). German sesame oil is derived from Camelina sativa, Crantz.

Description and Tests.—Oil of sesamum stands intermediate between the drying and the non-drying oils. It shares with castor oil and croton oil the property of being optically active; it is dextro-rotatory. The U. S. P. describes the oil as "a yellowish or yellow, oily liquid, inodorous or nearly so, and having a bland, nut-like taste. Specific gravity, 0.919 to 0.923 at 15° C. (59° F.). When cooled to -3° C. (26.6° F.) it becomes thick, and at -5° C. (23° F.) it congeals to a yellowish-white mass. Concentrated sulphuric acid converts it into a brownish-red jelly. If 5 Cc. of the oil be shaken with an equal volume of concentrated hydrochloric acid, the latter will usually assume a bright emerald-green color, especially if the oil has been exposed for some time to the action of air and light; and, on the subsequent addition of about 0.5 Gm. of sugar, and again shaking the mixture, a blue color, changing to violet, and finally to deep crimson, will be produced"—(U. S. P.). The latter test is that known as Baudoin's Test. It was modified by Villavecchia and Fabris (Jahresb. der Pharm., 1893, p. 693) who observed that furfurol is the active principle in Baudoin's test. They proceed as follows: Mix 0.1 Cc. of a solution of 2 Gm. furfurol (C4H3O.CHO) in 100 Cc. of alcohol with 10 Cc. of the oil, and shake with 10 Cc. of hydrochloric acid (specific gravity, 1.19) in a test-tube. As little as 1 per cent of sesame oil may be recognized by the crimson coloration produced in the aqueous layer. This test is characteristic for oil of sesame (also see Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1894, p. 99). Another color reaction with nitro-sulphuric acid, discovered by Behrens (1852), is mentioned in Pharmacographia. In this connection, see J. F. Tocher's sesamin (Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1891, p. 142, and 1893, p. 194).

Chemical Composition and Uses.—Flückiger found the oily portion to contain 76 per cent of olein, and a small quantity of a peculiar resinoid substance giving the above color test of Behrens. The solid portion of oil of sesamum consisted of palmitin, stearin, and myristin (Pharmacographia). The oil also contains small quantities of linolein, to the presence of which its partial drying qualities are due. According to Villavecchia and Fabris (see Jahresb. der Pharm., 1893, p. 693), there are present crystallizable sesamin (C11H12O3), melting at 123° C. (253.4° F.); an alcohol (C25H44O), melting at 137° C. (278.6° F.); and a non-nitrogenous oil to which the color reaction (in Baudoin's test) is due. Oil of sesamum is used for cooking purposes; in Germany, an addition of 10 per cent sesamum oil to oleomargarine is required in order to facilitate the detection of adulteration of butter. Sesamum oil is also used in soap manufacture, for illuminating purposes, and as a substitute for almond and olive oils.

Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—(See Sesamum.)

Related Oils.—OLEUM ARACHIS, Peanut oil, Ground-nut oil, Earth-nut oil, Arachis oil. This non-drying oil is obtained from the nutritious oily seeds known as peanuts, and derived from the leguminous plant Arachis hypogoea, Linné. The yield is nearly 50 per cent. It is obtained by cold expression. When the seeds are first warmed an inferior oil is obtained. It is thin, almost colorless, or pale yellow, has a faint, pleasant odor, and a bland, nutty taste. The specific gravity of the best product is about 0.918 (Pharmacographia). At 3° C. (37.4° F.) it is turbid; at -3° to -4° C. (26.6° to 24.8° F.) it concretes, and hardens at -7° C. (19.4° F.). Exposure to air slowly causes it to thicken; even in closed containers it becomes disagreeably rancid (Pharmacographia). It is composed of the glycerides of four fatty acids, chiefly oleic acid. The other acids which are present in the form of glycerides, are palmitic, stearic, arachic (C20H40O2), hypogoeic (C16H30O2), and linoleic acids. This oil is official in India where it is largely consumed as a substitute for olive oil, under the name of Katchung oil. It is extensively employed in soap-making, and the Chinese use it for illuminating purposes.

SOY OIL.—A yellowish, bland oil, furnished to the extent of 18 per cent by the edible seeds of Soja hispida, Moench (Dolichos Soja, Linné) (Nat. Ord.—Leguminosae), of Japan and southern Asia. A sauce called soy is also prepared from the seeds.

GERMAN SESAME OIL.—The seeds of Camelina sativa, Crantz, yield a slowly drying oil, sometimes feebly pungent, sometimes bland, to which the name German sesame oil is occasionally applied.

KURUNG OIL.—Derived from the gray, reniform seeds of Pongamia glabra, Ventenat (Dalbergia arborea, Roxburgh) (Nat. Ord.—Leguminosae). A tree of the East Indies. The oil is yellow and thickish, becomes turbid at about 7° C. (44.6° F.), and has a specific gravity of 0.945. The leaves and root of this tree have been used in medicine; the oil in skin diseases.

NICKER-SEED OIL.—Bonduc-nuts, the seeds of a tropical vine, the Caesalpinia Bonducella, Roxburgh (Guilandina Bonducella, Linné), yield, by expression, an oil which is used in liniments by the natives of India. There the seeds, as well as the root-bark, are employed as an antiperiodic and tonic. The seed is variously known as Semen bonducellae, Semen guilandinae, Grey nicker seeds (or Nuts), and Bonduc seeds. Flückiger obtained from them a non-alkaline, very bitter powder, sparingly soluble in water, and soluble in alcohol and ether (Pharmacographia, p. 212).

BEN OIL, BEHEN OIL.—The expressed oil of ben nuts, the seeds of Moringa pterygosperma, Gaertner (Moringa oleifera, Lamarck, and Guilandina Moringa, Linné), of the Nat. Ord.—Moringaceae, is a palatable product, more employed in the arts than in medicine. The tree furnishing the seeds is known as the Horseradish-tree, on account of the resemblance of its root-bark, both in taste and odor, to our common horseradish. Several allied species are also said to yield a portion of the oil. Oil of ben resembles olive oil, and is employed for like purposes. Its density is 0.912 to 0.917; its color, yellowish and clear; it is odorless and bland in taste. If, however, the oil be expressed by heat, it becomes acrid and bitter, and possesses cathartic powers. It does not easily become rancid. At 7° C. (44.6° F.) it begins to deposit fatty materials; at 0° C. (32° F.) it becomes solid. The liquid portion overlying the solid fats is employed in extracting from flowers their delicate odors. Ben oil is composed of the glycerides of oleic, palmitic, myristic, stearic, moringic (C15H28O2), and benic (behenic [C22H44O2]) acids. The latter acid is crystalline; moringic acid is fluid. The yield of this fixed oil is about 30 per cent, and it is expressed in Europe from Egyptian seeds.


King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.



Main menu 2