Anthopogon Oil

Botanical Name Rhododendron anthopogon D. Don
Synonyms Rhododendron hypenanthum Balf. f.
Family Ericaceae
Local Name Sunpati
English Name Anthopogon

Plant Description

Rhododendron essential oil is aromatically divine, distilled from flowers and leaves of Rhododendron anthropogon grown in the Himalayas of Nepal. This essential oil has an exotic floral aroma with lingering sweet fruity notes. When initially sampling this oil it was love at first whiff!


Anthopogon oil is extracted from the steam distillation of leaves and aerial twigs of Rhododendron anthopogon. Yield percentage of Anthopogon oil ranged from 0.26 to
0.6% on fresh weight basis.


Leaves and flowers are used as incense. The pounded leaves and flowers are used in stomach, liver and lung disorders, cold and cough, indigestion and skin diseases and for blood purification, and to promote heat. Flowers are above used in gastritis, cold, sore throat and phlegm disorders.

Anthopogon oil is reported to have antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, astringent, carminative, diuretic and sedative activities. It is used to revitalize nervous system. The oil is used as a fragrance component in cosmetics and perfumery.

Organoleptic Properties

Appearance: A liquid fluid
Colour: Pale Yellow
Aroma: Sweet herbal,Faintly balsamic

Active Constituents

Anthopogon oil contains 13-cadinene (11.4%} as major volatile component.The oilis dominated by monoterpenes such as a-pinene,13-pinene and limonene. Similarly,the oil has sesquiterpenes dominated by trans-13-caryophyllene, a-muurolene,y-cadinene and 6-cadinene.

Other components in trace amounts includes a-thujene, camphene, 13-myrcene, p-cymene, cis-ocimene, trans­ terpinene, a-copaene, a-humulene, allo-aromandrene, germacrene D, a-amorphene, trans-j3-ocimene, y-terpinene,terpinolene,linalol,a-terpineol,a-cubebene, citronellyl acetate, 13-bourbonene, 13-elemene, sesquithujene,valencene,muurola-3,5-diene,cadina-1,4- diene,naphthalene

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.8630 to 0.8804 at 15° C?>
Optical rotation [-) 10.05o to [-) 32.9o at 15o C?>
Refractive index 1.4785 to 1.4881 at 15o C?>
Acid number 1.54 to 4.06
Ester number 5.40 to 25.92
Ester number 8.23 to 45.78 (after acetylation)
Solubility Due to altitudinal and regional variation some oils are soluble in 95% alcohol and some are not

Conservation Status

Global and National status is not known. It is abundant along the Himalayan tract.