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Oleum Anthemidis. Br. Oil of Chamomile.

Botanical name:

Related entry: Chamomile

"Oil of Chamomile is the oil distilled from Chamomile Flowers." Br.

Oleum Chamomillae Romanae; Essence de Camomille romaine, Fr.; Römisch-Kamillenöl, G.

This oil was introduced into the British Pharmacopoeia 1885 with the direction that it should be distilled in Britain. No such restriction is found in the Pharmacopoeia of 1898 or 1914. It is seldom prepared in this country. Baume obtained thirteen drachms of the oil from eighty-two pounds of the flowers; according to Brande, the average product of 100 pounds is two pounds twelve ounces. It has the peculiar odor of chamomile, with a pungent somewhat aromatic taste.

It is " blue when freshly distilled, but gradually becoming greenish or brownish-yellow under the influence of air and light. Odor that of Chamomile Flowers; taste aromatic, characteristic. Specific gravity 0.905 to 0.915. Optical rotation -1° to +3°; refractive index at 25° C. (77° F.) about 1.445. Soluble in less than 1 part of alcohol (90 per cent.)." Br.

The oil was thoroughly investigated in Fittig's laboratory during the years 1878-1879. It was found to consist of a mixture of angelic, butyric, methacrylic, and tiglinic esters of isobutyl, iso-amyl, hexyl, and probably a higher alcohol. Angelic acid and tiglinic acid are isomeric, and have the formula C5H8O2. The relative proportions of these two acids varied in different oils. An ester of a lower homologue of angelic acid having the formula C4H6O2 was also obtained. Naudin obtained a small amount of a solid paraffin, C18H36, melting at 63° C. to 64° C. (145.4°-147.2° F.), to which the name of "anthemen" was given. (Gildemeister and Hoffmann, Aetherische Oele, p. 881.) An isomer of camphor has also been reported. It has sometimes been employed in spasm of the stomach, and as an adjunct to purgative medicines. Its chief use, however, appears to be as an ingredient of the extract of chamomile of the British Pharmacopoeia, to which it is added in order to supply the place of the oil driven off by the heat used in its preparation. This oil must not be confounded with that of Matricaria Chamomilla, employed on the continent of Europe under the name of oil of chamomile. (See Matricaria.)

Dose, one to three minims (0.06-0.2 mil).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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