Active Constituents of Camphor Laurel including compounds unique to southern hemisphere laurels

Narcotic Compounds1. BENZENE (Ref: ATORI@scu-Lismore,1998)
2. NAPHTHALENE (A Fish poison)
Cytotoxin3. CINNAMOMIN (Ref: Liu-Jing et al.2001)
Toxic alkaloid4. CINAMOLAURINE Ref: Toxic Plants of Nth America, 2001
Volatile compounds5. SABINENE
6. THUJENENE (Ref: NSW Ag. Labs)
Sesquiterpenes7.CALACORENE
8. CALAMENONE
9. GUIAENE
10. MYRCENE
11.PATCHOULEN 12. alpha-YLANGENE
13. beta-YLANGENE
Other compounds14. BICYCLOGERMACRENE ; (Ref:Kew Bot. Gdns.)
15-17. GERMACRENE A, B, AND D;
18. Hydrocyanic Acid (Breyer-Brandwijk/Africa 1968).

 

LIST TWO: Active Chemical Constituents Contained in Both NORTHERN and SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE CAMPHOR Laurel TREES, and Tree Parts Laboratory-Analysed TO-DATE:-

19. CAMPHOR ( principal, most common toxin, also a Narcotic compound)
20. BORNEOL (not present in all chemotypes)
21. SAFROLE, a moderately powerful mammalian liver pro-carcinogen
22. TERPINEOL
23. HELIOTROPIN
24. VANILLIN (also a Narcotic compound, after Overton, 1898,1901 'Studies on Narcosis')
25-26. alpha-, & beta-PINENE
27. CAMPHENE
28-29. alpha-, & beta-TERPINENE
30. LIMONENE
31. EUCALYPTOL (= 1,8 - Cineole)
32. TERPINEN-4-ol
33. TERPINEOL
34. CADINENE
35. gamma-TERPINENE
36. alpha-HUMULENE
37. CAMPHENOL
38. THUJENE
39. PHELLANDRENE
40. CAMPHORENE (A fourth cytotoxic constituent)
41-42. RETICULENE & LAUROLITSENE (toxic ALKALOIDS)
43-44. KUSUNOKIOL & SECOISOLARICIRESINOL DIMETHYL ETHER
45. 1,6 DIMETHYL-4-ISOPROPYL-7.8 DIHYDRONAPHTHALENE
(Ref:Bull.Chem.Soc.Japan, 41: 234 ; Other Refs. Kew Royal Botanic Gdns.Kew.UK, 'ATORI- Southem Cross Univ., NSW Agriculture-Wollongbar; & Indian Journal Medicinal Plants.1968.)

Typical Active Constituents Of Camphor (old list)

Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations (Wren 1988) provides a list of the volatile oils in camphor of natural origin :

1. camphor
2. safrole*
3. borneol
4. heliotropin
5. terpineol
6. vanillin and two of the lignans:
7. secoisosolariciresinol dimethyl ether
8. kusunokiol.

Other actives showing-up in an elementary GLC-screening analysis of both Chinese (double-distilled), and Australian camphor oils (Friend 1998) are:

9. limonene
10. thujenene
11. alpha pinene
12. beta pinene
13. camphene
14. sabinene
15. alpha terpinene
16. beta terpinene
17. limonene (a solvent)
18. 1,8-cineole
19. terpinen-4-ol
20. terpineol
21. "assorted sesquiterpenes"

('ATTORI', Southern Cross University, GLC analyses, March l998)
According to organic chemists the majority of the above 20 or more active constituents are moderately to highly biologically active against a range of organisms in the environment, some being known and proven capable of killing certain species/genera or a range of biota. Additionally, as first reported in 1968 in the Indian Journal of Medicinal Plants, camphor roots discharge considerable volumes of the alkaloid

22. laurolitsene*
23. reticulene*
24,25 Two new cytotoxins found by Chinese researchers (1995)
26. hydrocyanic acid

* Highly suspect wildlife toxins. Summary: Most active constituents of Camphor laurel trees are mono- or diterpenes, but lignans and alkaloids (2) have been reported, but are non-monitorable to date. The most-suspect toxins are the mammalian carcinogen Safrole,and the 2 alkaloids; Safrole % predominates as greater than Camphor % in certain chemotypes.