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Planta Med. 1998 Apr;64(3):251-8.

Study on the composition of the volatile fraction of Hamamelis virginiana.

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Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Phytochemie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Manster, Manster, Germany.


The volatile fractions, obtained by water distillation from the leaves and bark of Hamamelis virginiana L. were analysed in detail by GC-MS. About 175 (leaves) and 168 (bark) compounds have been identified or at least partly characterized on the basis of a computerized database (SeKoMS). The dominating substances were represented by a homologous series of alkanes, alkenes, aliphatic alcohols, related aldehydes, ketones, and fatty acid esters. Importantly, significant differences in the terpenoid and phenylpropanoid patterns of the products obtained from the bark and leaves are apparent: whereas the product of bark distillation was found to typically contain phenylpropanoids and mainly sesquiterpenoids, that obtained from the leaves included some distinct monoterpenoids detected in comparably higher amounts. The chemical composition of the volatiles, when taken together with the absence of specific accumulation sites of lipophilics, emphasizes the definition "volatile fraction" rather than "essential oil".


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