Bursera graveolens (Kunth) Triana & Planch - syn. Elaphrium graveolens Kunth; Terebinthus graveolens (Kunth) Rose - Burseraceae
palo santo (span.)
Tree, up to 10m high, native from Mexico to Peru; wood fragrant, emits a pleasant odor when burnt in form of shavings, also distilled for essential oil.
Another tree of South America, Bulnesia sarmientoi, is also called palo santo.
Main components of the ether extract (5.2%) and SDE of B.graveolens wood were limonene (3.4%/9.1% resp.), α-terpineol (2.0%/8.1%), β-bisabolene (5.2%/5.7%), dihydro-α-agarofuran (1.2%/1.3%), carvone (0.8%/4.8%), trans-carveol (1.2%/3.5%), cis-carveol (0.3%/1.5%), juneol (3.8%/4.8%), 10-epi-γ-eudesmol (3.7%/4.4%), epi-bisabololoxide B (3.8%/3.2%), jinkoh-eremol (2.7%/2.2%), 8-epi-α-bisabolol (7.5%/4.9%), kusunol (4.9%/2.7%), 4α-hydroxy-dihydroagarofuran (2.2%/1.7%), mintlactone (6.9%/1.7%), isomintlactone (1.8%/0.2%), and 3-hydroxymintlactone (2.6%/0%).
„The main odour-potent odorants detected by GC-O in the diethyl ether extracts were monoterpenoids, such as α-terpineol, carvone, mintlactone, isomintlactone, and sesquiterpenoids such as 6,10-epoxy-7(14)-isodaucan, juneol, 10-epi-γ-eudesmol, and kusunol. These compounds contribute to the woody, herbal and minty characteristic odour of extracts from B.graveolens.“
In the roast aroma extract (dry distillation of wood), compounds with strong smoky-phenolic odour like furfural, guaiacol, phenol, p-cresol and 4-vinylguaiacol were detected together with the sweet smelling compounds cyclotene (caramel-like), 3,3-dimethyl-2(3H)-benzofuranone (sugar-like), and vanillin. „The mintlactones, such as 2,3-didehydromintlactone, mintlactone, and isomintlactone, have a herbaceous minty characteristic odour.“
[Chemical composition of three extracts of Bursera graveolens., Yukawa, C., Imayoshi, Y., Iwabuchi, H., Komemushi, S., Sawabe, A., Flavour and fragrance journal, 21(2), 2006, 234-238]
Steam-distilled essential oil consisted of monoterpenes (78.2%) and sesquiterpenes (9.6%). Major constituents were limonene (58.6%), α-terpineol (10.9%), menthofuran (6.6%), carvone (2.0%), pulegone (1.1%), γ-muurolene (1.2%), germacrene D (1.7%), and trans-carveol (1.1%).
[Essential oil of Bursera graveolens (Kunth) triana et planch from Ecuador., Young, D.G., Chao, S., Casablanca, H., Bertrand, M.C., Minga, D., Journal of Essential Oil Research, 19(6), 2007, 525-526]
Images also at Tropicos - Bursera graveolens