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Oleum Rosmarini. U. S., Br. Oil of Rosemary.

Botanical name:

Ol. Rosmar. [Rosemary Oil]

Related entry: Rosemary

"A volatile oil distilled from the fresh flowering tops of Rosmarinus officinalis Linné (Fam. Labiatae), yielding not less than 2.5 per cent. of ester, calculated as bornyl acetate [C10H17C2H3O2 = 196.16], and not less than 10 per cent. of total borneol [C10H17OH = 154.14]. Preserve it in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles, in a cool place, protected from light." U. S. "Oil of Rosemary is the oil distilled from the flowering tops of Rosmarinus officinalis, Linn." Br.

Oleum Rosmarini, Oleum Anthos; Huile volatile de Romarin, Fr. Cod.; Essence de Romarin, Fr.; Oleum Rosmarini, P. G.; Rosmarinöl, G.; Essenza di rosmarino, It.; Esencia de romero, Sp.

The fresh leaves of rosemary yield, according to Baume, 0.26 per cent. of volatile oil, but the percentage is rated much higher by others. Schimmel & Co. obtained by distillation from, dry French rosemary flowers 1.4 per cent. of oil.

This oil is colorless, with an odor similar to that of the plant, though less agreeable. Its sp. gr. is said to be 0.911, but reduced to 0.8886 by rectification (0.894 to 0.912, U. S.). Buignet gives the sp. gr. of the rectified oil at 0.896, and states that it is moderately dextrogyrate. Its reaction is neutral. It is soluble in all proportions in alcohol of 0.830, but requires for solution at 17.7° C. (64° F.) forty parts of alcohol of 0.887. (Berzelius.) It is officially described as "a colorless or pale yellow liquid, having the characteristic odor of rosemary, and a camphoraceous taste. It is soluble in 10 volumes of 80 per cent. alcohol. Specific gravity: 0.894 to 0.912 at 25° C. (77° F.)." U.S.

"Colorless or pale yellow. Odor that of rosemary; taste warm, camphoraceous. Specific gravity 0.895 to 0.920; optical rotation -2° to 4-15°; refractive index at 25° C. (77° F.) 1.463 to 1.473. Soluble in 1 part of alcohol (90 per cent.), and in 5 to 10 parts of a mixture of equal volumes of alcohol (90 per cent.) and alcohol (70 per cent.). Contains not less than 10 per cent. of total alcohols, calculated as borneol, C10H18O, and not less than 1.8 per cent. of esters, calculated as bornyl acetate, C10H17C2H3O2." Br.

Kane gives its sp. gr. at 0.897, its boiling point at 185° C. (365° F.). Kept in bottles imperfectly stoppered, it deposits a stearopten, sometimes amounting, according to Proust, to one-tenth of the oil. Both Gladstone and Fluckiger find that most of the oil consists of a hydrocarbon of the composition C10H16, boiling at 165° C. (329° F.), and Schimmel & Co. (Schim. Rep; Oct., 1889) identified this hydrocarbon as pinene, but there is a smaller fraction boiling at from 200° to 210° C. (392°-410° F.), which at low temperatures deposits a camphor, C10H18O, identified as borneol. Weber examined oil of rosemary in Wallaces laboratory (Ann. Ch. Ph., ccxxxviii, 89), and found that the fraction boiling between 176° and 182° C. (348.8°-359.6° F.) contains cineol, C10H18O. The oil is therefore recognized at present as containing d-pinene, camphene, cineol, borneol (10-15 per cent.), and camphor. According to Fluckiger (A. J. P., 1885, 132), from 20,000 to 25,000 kilogrammes of oil of rosemary were produced in Grasse every year. It is said to be sometimes adulterated with oil of turpentine, which may be detected by mixing the suspected liquid with an equal volume of pure alcohol, the oil of rosemary is dissolved, and that of turpentine left. This oil is stimulant, but is employed chiefly as an ingredient in rubefacient liniments. For a case of fatal poisoning, see A. J. P., xxiii, 286.

Dose, three to six minims (0.2-0.4 mil).

Off. Prep.—Spiritus Rosmarini, Br.; Tinctura Lavandulae Composita, U. S., Br.; Spiritus Odoratus, N. F.


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



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