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Preparative Purification of Chamazulene from Chamomile Blue Oil

A recent application note from KNAUER describes the preparative purification of chamazulene by HPLC from chamomile oil, also known as “chamomile blue” for its characteristic blue colour.

Chamomile Plants

Chamomile plants are known for their medical properties, featuring anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative effects. These result from the various phenolic compounds found in the flowers after they have been distilled as part of the extraction process.

One of those compounds is matricin, which is converted to chamazulene during the distillation process. Chamazulene gives the chamomile oil, also known as “chamomile blue”, its characteristic blue colour. It has been shown that chamazulene alone has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.

Chamazulene molecule
Chamazulene blue oil

In this application a commercial sample of chamomile blue was analysed on an analytical C-18 column (250 mm length, small particle size) against a chamazulene standard to identify where the molecule is eluted. The method was then scaled up to semi-preparative, with a larger sample applied to a 20 mm i.d. C-18 column of the same length, but with a 5 – 10 µm particle size. When this proved successful, the method was further scaled up to a 50 mm i.d. C-18, 5 – 10 µm column. However, this time the column was shortened to 150 mm to reduce solvent consumption and speed up the method. After increasing the flow rate significantly, and the load volume to 10 ml, an 82% recovery of chamazulene was achieved without any detectable impurities.

For a copy of this Application Note (PDF 1MB) CLICK HERE

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