Oleum Cadinum, B.P. Oil of Cade.

Botanical name: 

Related entries: Cedar Wood Oil - Oil of Juniper - Oil of Savin

Synonym.—Juniper Tar Oil.

Oil of cade, or Huile de Cade, is an empyreumatic, oily liquid obtained by the destructive distillation of the branches and wood of Juniperus Oxycedrus, Linn., and some allied species (N.O. Coniferae) in Southern France. It is also official in the U.S.P. It occurs as a dark reddish-brown or nearly black, more or less viscid, oily, liquid, with a not unpleasant, empyreumatic odour, and an aromatic and bitter, acrid taste. Specific gravity, 0.995 to 1.025 (B.P., about 0.990). Acidity, in terms of acetic acid, about 1 per cent. Shaken with warm water, cooled, and filtered, the filtrate reduces ammoniacal solution of silver nitrate in the cold, and alkaline copper solution on heating. The aqueous solution gives with ferric chloride solution (1 in 1000) a red colouration. Oil of cade is largely adulterated with, or replaced by, coal tar oil or wood tar oil. As true cade oil contains no furfurol or catechol the presence of these bodies would point to adulteration with the tars mentioned. Furfurol may be detected by adding a few drops of aniline to the aqueous filtrate of the oil; if present, an immediate bright red colouration is obtained; in the case of pure cade oil the mixture is at first colourless, and, on agitation and the addition of acid, assumes a mahogany-brown tint. Catechol is shown by the deep brown colouration it gives with potassium chromate or bichromate, whereas cade oil gives no such reaction. Wood tar may also be detected by shaking with petroleum ether, filtering, and shaking the filtrate with an equal volume of a 1 per cent. solution of copper acetate; the petroleum ether layer is coloured green if wood tar be present.

Soluble in ether or aniline; partially soluble in petroleum ether, chloroform, carbon bisulphide, or cold alcohol; almost wholly soluble in hot alcohol, scarcely soluble in water, but imparting its odour and an acid reaction to it, and forming an almost colourless solution; soluble in glacial acetic acid.

Constituents.—The oil contains a high percentage of cadinene, C15H24, the best known representative of the sesquiterpenes, which is widely distributed among the volatile oils. It forms a well-crystallised dihydrochloride, from which the sesquiterpene may be regenerated by heating with aniline or sodium acetate and glacial acetic acid. Specific gravity, 0.918 at 20°. Boiling-point, 274° to 275°. Rotation, -98.6°. On dissolving it in glacial acetic acid, and treating the solution with a little concentrated sulphuric acid, a green colouration is at first produced, soon changing through blue to red. This is a characteristic colour test.

Action and Uses.—Oil of cade is employed as a stimulant antiseptic in chronic skin diseases. Unguentum Olei Cadini is applied for psoriasis and eczema, and may be diluted with lard or soft paraffin if necessary. Sapo Olei Cadini is used as a cleansing antiseptic application in psoriasis. It is better to begin with weak preparations, 2 per cent. or less, and to increase the strength gradually if necessary. Medicated soaps are prepared containing 5 or 10 per cent. of oil of cade.


Parogenum Empyreumaticum, B.P.C.—EMPYREUMATIC PAROGEN. Syn.—Empyreumatic Vasoliment. 1 in 4.
Sapo Olei Cadini, B.P.C.—OIL OF CADE SOAP.
Oil of cade, 1; soft soap, 4; alcohol, 4. Used as a cleansing antiseptic application in psoriasis.
Unguentum Olei Cadini, B.P.C.—OIL OF CADE OINTMENT.
Oil of cade, by weight, 50; yellow beeswax, 50. Applied for psoriasis and eczema, and may be diluted with lard or soft paraffin if necessary.

The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.