Related entries: Coriander fruit
Oil of coriander is obtained by distillation from the crushed ripe fruit of Coriandrum sativum, Linn. (N.O. Umbelliferae), a native of the Levant and Southern Europe, cultivated in many countries and in nearly all climates, the best yield being obtained from Moravian, Thuringian, and Russian coriander. It is also official in the U.S.P. It occurs as a colourless or slightly yellow liquid, having the characteristic aromatic odour of the fruit, and a warm, spicy taste. Specific gravity, 0.870 to 0.885 (0.863 to 0.878 at 25°); rotation, +8° to +14°, occasionally lower. The common adulterant is oil of orange, which may be detected by the lowering of the specific gravity, increase in rotatory power, and imperfect solubility. Other adulterants are the oils of cubebs, cedar, and turpentine.
Soluble in alcohol (2 in 1), in 70 per cent. alcohol (1 in 3), forming a clear solution (absence of turpentine and added terpenes).
Constituents.—The chief constituent of the oil is coriandrol, an alcohol, C10H17OH, identical in all respects with linalool, except in the matter of rotation; being dextrorotatory, it is regarded as the dextro modification of linalool. It is present to the extent of 45 to 65 per cent., has a specific gravity of 0.868, and boils at 194° to 1981. On oxidation it yields citral, and it may be converted by appropriate treatment into geraniol. The only other definitely known constituent is the terpene d-pinene, C10H16 (about 5 per cent.), boiling at 156° to 160°. Specific gravity, 0.861; rotation, +32° 42'. The characteristic odour of the oil is due to some body not yet identified.
Action and Uses.—Oil of coriander is aromatic, stimulant, and carminative to the gastro-intestinal tract. It is added to purgative medicines to diminish the tendency to griping.
Dose.—1/4 to 2 decimils (0.025 to 0.2 milliliters) (1/2 to 3 minims).
The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911, was published by direction of the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.