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PhytoChemia Acta

Tag: Essential oils

About Canadian wintergreen

3 July 2018

By Benoit Roger, Ph. D. Always looking for a deeper knowledge of our surrounding plants, we recently distilled eastern teaberry or American wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) freshly harvested in our local boreal forest (Saguenay, QC, Canada). Leafs of wintergreen and beginning of the distillation   The crushed leaves of eastern teaberry has an odor that is […]

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Beyond mosquitoes : Essential oils toxicity and repellency against insect pests: an overview

5 June 2018

Sylvain Mercier, M. Sc., chimiste If you have already been interested in the anti-mosquito action of essential oils, you probably already know the potential effectiveness of citronella as a repellent against these insects that disturb our beautiful summer evenings. Different insects can be vectors of serious diseases such as Aedes sp. which carries dengue or […]

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Oil profiles: Cardamom

16 January 2018

Sarah-Eve Tremblay, M. Sc. A., chimiste Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is part of the Zingiberaceae family, just like ginger, curcuma and plai. It is a perennial shrub that can reach a height of 2,5 meters with thick lateral roots on which the seeds grow. The cardamom seeds are harvested from a pod, from which they are […]

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Oil profiles: Balsam fir

20 December 2017

Sarah-Eve Tremblay, M. Sc. A., chimiste The fir is directly associated to the holidays frenzy. It is decorated with lights, garlands and, of course, a star on top. Often a small village is built at its foot. Its scent gives the house a festive and comforting smell. That is why, in this holiday season, we will […]

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Oil profiles: Ginger

7 December 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D., Alexis St-Gelais, Chemist Some aromatic plants are particularly associated with Christmas time. This week, we would like to talk about one of them which is used in mulled wine, in candied form and which even has given its name to a spiced bread we specially cook for Christmas: ginger (Zingiber officinale). […]

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Toluene in essential oils

1 November 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste A while ago, I mentionned in an article about Boswellia serrata essential oil that it almost always contained toluene. This compound tends to trigger unrest for some essential oils reseller and consumers, as toluene is indeed a relatively common petroleum-derived industrial solvent. The assumption thus becomes that the oil has […]

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Orange blossom water

29 August 2017

Benoit Roger, Ph. D. If you have the chance to visit Morocco or Tunisia during spring, get away from urban centers and follow your nose, it will probably lead you near one of the many plantations of bigarade orange or bitter orange spread in all Maghreb. From march to april, these little trees dress up […]

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Oil Profiles: Mandarin (Expressed)

20 June 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, M. Sc., chimiste Mandarin fruit (Citrus nobilis) essential oil is an aromatic delicacy. By experience, we observe that it regularly is either adulterated or confused with other citruses. Chemically, there are a few good keypoints to look for that will tell if a mandarin oil is genuine. We also provide an annotated typical […]

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Synthetic Methyl Salicylate and You

12 June 2017

Alexis St-Gelais, chimiste Essential oils are worth quite a lot of money. It so happens that, in order to boost profits, unscrupulous people alter oils in various ways. This “Adulterants and you” series is there to introduce you to some of the adulterations we encounter. This is because not all of them are necessarily obvious, […]

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How Much Agarwood in your Agarwood?

5 June 2017

Hubert Marceau, Chimiste, B. Sc. Agarwood is an oil with a very specific odor profile. Almost no two oils will have the same exact smell: sometimes it is leathery, other time smoky, some even have fruity notes and other lots can smell a bit cheesy. The reason for that come from how it is produced. Agarwood is […]

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