Commiphora wildii Merxm. Essential Oil: Natural Heptane Source and Co-Product Valorization

Molecules. 2023 Jan 16;28(2):891. doi: 10.3390/molecules28020891.


As an alternative to fossil volatile hydrocarbon solvents used nowadays in perfumery, investigation on essential oil of Commiphora wildii Merxm. oleo gum resin as a source of heptane is reported here. Heptane, representing up to 30 wt-% of this oleo gum resin, was successfully isolated from the C. wildii essential oil, using an innovative double distillation process. Isolated heptane was then used as a solvent in order to extract some noble plants of perfumery. It was found that extracts obtained with this solvent were more promising in terms of sensory analysis than those obtained from fossil-based heptane. In addition, in order to valorize the essential oil depleted from heptane, chemical composition of this oil was found to obtain, and potential biological activity properties were studied. A total of 172 different compounds were identified by GC-MS in the remaining oil. In vitro tests-including hyaluronidase, tyrosinase, antioxidant, elastase and lipoxygenase, as well as inhibitory tests against two yeasts and 21 bacterial strains commonly found on the skin-were carried out. Overall, bioassays results suggest this heptane-depleted essential oil is a promising active ingredient for cosmetic applications.

Keywords: C. albicans; C. glabrata; Commiphora wildii; co-product valorization; essential oil; heptane.

MeSH terms

  • Commiphora / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile* / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Resins, Plant
  • Skin


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Extracts
  • Resins, Plant

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.