Chaulmoogra Oil

Chaulmoogra Oil: Chaulmoogra Oil is also is known as Hydnocarpus oil.

Biological Source: It is a fixed oil obtained from the seeds of the plant Taraktogenos kurzii, Hydnocarpus anthelmintica, H. pentandrus.

Family: Flacourtriceae.

Distribution: The tree is native to South-East Asia, chiefly in the Indo Malayan region, cultivated in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Uganda. In India, it grows in tropical forests along western Ghats, along the coast in Maharashtra, Kerala, Assam, and Tripura.

Description: The tree grows to a height of 12–15 m in India. The trees bear fruits in August and September. The bark is brownish, fissured; blaze pinkish. Branch lets are round, minutely velvet-hairy. Leaves are simple, alternate, usually oblong to elliptic-oblong, tip long-pointed, often falling off, base narrow. Flowers are greenish-white. Berry is woody, round, and black when young. Flowering takes place from January to April. The fruits are ovoid, 10 cm in diameter, with a thick woody rind. Internally they contain 10-16 black seeds embedded in the fruit pulp. A typical tree produces 20 kg of seeds/annum. The kernels make up 60−70% of the seed weight and contain 63% of pale yellow oil.

Extraction of Oil: Generally the oil is extracted from the ripe seed by cold expression method through a hydraulic press. Fruits are peeled by knife and seeds are washed in water and dried in sun. Seeds are decorticated by millet, hand hammers, or by decorticator. Kernels yield 43 – 48% oil in Ghani. The kernel is also crushed in expeller and rotary. The extracted oil is stored in zinc barrels and exported.

Physical Properties:

  • Colour: Yellow
  • Odour: Characteristic
  • Taste: Acrid
  • Solubility: Soluble in organic solvents like chloroform, benzene, alcohol etc.
  • State: White solid below 25°C and soft.
  • Refractive index, at 40°C: 1.472 – 1.476
  • Iodine value: 98 – 103
  • Sap value: 198 – 204
  • Acid value: Not more than 10
  • Density: 0.935 – 0.960
  • Specific rotation: +46° to +60°

Chemistry: Gas-liquid chromatography analysis has revealed the presence of the following fatty acids like hydnocarpic acid (48-50%), chaulmoogric acid (26-30%), gorlic acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, etc.

Chaulmoogra Oil Chemistry

where, n = 10 for Hydnocarpic acid, n = 12 for Chaulmoogric acid

Uses: Mainly the oil is useful against psoriasis, eczema, and other skin disorders when applied to the skin. It is useful against T.B, leprosy, rheumatism when given intravenously. The oil is used up to 15% in medicated soap.

Substitution: The original oil is sometimes substituted with the oil obtained from Hydnocarpus wightiana, H. alpine which is abundantly available in Eastern and Southern parts of India.

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