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The occurrence of valeranone and crypto-fauronol in the essential oil of Valeriana officinalis L. s.l. collected in the northern part of The Netherlands


In this paper the results are presented of an investigation of the essential oils of severalValeriana officinalis L. s.l. populations collected from 29 locations in the northern part of The Netherlands. UsingGc-ms, two chemovars could be distinguished based on the presence or absence of valeranone. Investigation in more detail by means of (TAS)Tlc showed that all plants from six locations contained valeranone, whereas the plants from another six locations were not homogeneous with respect to the presence or absence of this constituent for which pharmacological activity has been reported. The presence of crypto-fauronol could be shown in the valeranone containing plants harvested from only two locations. No direct relation could be shown between plant morphology, composition and pH of the soil and the phenomenon mentioned above. Crossing experiments have to be carried out in order to elucidate how this presence or absence of valeranone is genetically linked. No differences could be shown in the pattern of the valepotriates which are supposed to be the most important pharmacologically active substances of Valerian.

The results obtained from the present and earlier investigations make it clear that a qualitative and quantitative investigation of the essential oil of Valerian remains necessary because the differences in the composition of the essential oil concern constituents which may contribute to the sedative action of Valerian and its preparations.

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In honour of ProfessorHuizinga on the occasion of his retirement.

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Hendriks, H., Geertsma, H.J. & Malingré, T.M. The occurrence of valeranone and crypto-fauronol in the essential oil of Valeriana officinalis L. s.l. collected in the northern part of The Netherlands. Pharmaceutisch Weekblad Scientific Edition 3, 1316–1320 (1981).

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