From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Systematic (IUPAC) name
Clinical data
Legal status
  • Uncontrolled
Routes Oral
CAS number 487-11-6 YesY
ATC code ?
PubChem CID 10248
ChemSpider 9830 YesY
KEGG C10451 YesY
Chemical data
Formula C12H16O3 
Mol. mass 208.25 g/mol
 YesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Elemicin is a phenylpropene, a natural organic compound, and is a constituent of the essential oils of the spices nutmeg and mace, with it comprising 2.4% and 10.5% of those oils respectively.[1] Elemicin is also a constituent of the oleoresin and essential oil of Canarium luzonicum (also referred to as elemi). Elemicin is named after this tree. One study found it to comprise 2.4% of the fresh essential oil.[2]

Raw nutmeg causes anticholinergic-like effects, which are attributed to elemicin and myristicin.[3][4]

Elemicin has been used to synthesize the alkaloid mescaline.[5]

Discovery and synthesis[edit]

Elemicin was first isolated from elemi oil using fractional distillation. Specifically, the substance was collected between 162-165 °C at a reduced pressure of 10 torr.[6] Elemicin was later synthesized from syringol and allyl bromide using Williamson ether synthesis and Claisen rearrangement.[7][8] The electrophilic aromatic substitution entering the para position was made possible by secondary Cope rearrangement.[9] This is due to syringol's allyl aromatic ether being blocked by ethers in both ortho positions. When blocked the allyl group migrates to the para-position, in this case with yields above 85%.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leela, N. (2008). Chemistry of Spices. Calicut, Kerala, India: Biddles Ltd. pp. 165–188 [170]. ISBN 9781845934057. 
  2. ^ Villanueva, M. A.; Torres, R. C.; Baser, K. H. C.; Özek, T.; Kürkçüoglu, M. (1993). "The Composition of Manila Elemi Oil" (pdf). Flavour and Fragrance Journal 8: 35–37. doi:10.1002/ffj.2730080107. 
  3. ^ McKenna, A.; Nordt, S. P.; Ryan, J. (2004). "Acute Nutmeg Poisoning". European Journal of Emergency Medicine 11 (4): 240–241. doi:10.1097/01.mej.0000127649.69328.a5. PMID 15249817.  edit
  4. ^ Shulgin, A. T.; Sargent, T.; Naranjo, C. (1967). "The Chemistry and Psychopharmacology of Nutmeg and of Several Related Phenylisopropylamines" (pdf). Psychopharmacology Bulletin 4 (3): 13. PMID 5615546.  edit
  5. ^ Hahn, Georg; and Wassmuth, Heinrich (1934). "Über β-[Oxyphenyl]-äthylamine und ihre Umwandlungen, I. Mitteil.: Synthese des Mezcalins". Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft (A and B Series) 67 (4): 696–708. doi:10.1002/cber.19340670430. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Semmler, Friedrich (1908). Constituents of Essential Oils. Elemicin, a High-boiling Constituent of Elemi Oil, and the Displacement of Alkyloxygroups in the Benzene Nucleus by Hydrogen. London: Richard Clay & Sons, Limited. pp. 557–558 [558]. 
  7. ^ F. Mauthner (1918). "Die Synthese des Elemicins und Isoelemicins". Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie 414 (2): 250–255. doi:10.1002/jlac.19184140213. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Editor (1918). "Journal of the Chemical Society, Abstracts" 114. pp. i421–i461. doi:10.1039/CA9181400421. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Thomas, Laue (2005). Named Organic Reactions, 2nd Edition. Wolfsburg, Germany: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. pp. 58–60 [59]. ISBN 0470010401. 
  10. ^ Adams, Rodger (1944). Organic Reactions, Volume II. Newyork: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 2–44 [44].