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Cultivation of Rose Scented Geranium (Pelargonium sp.) as a Cash Crop in Kashmir Valley

Author(s): A.S. Shawl | T. Kumar | Nahida Chishti | S. Shabir

Journal: Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
ISSN 1682-3974

Volume: 5;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 673;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Rose scented geranium | cultivation | Geranium spp. | geranium oil | citronellol | geraniol | linalool | citronellyl formate | kashmir

Essential oil of scented Geranium is widely used in high grade perfumery and cosmetic industries. It is also employed as a flavouring agent in many major food categories, alcoholic and soft drinks. Traditionally Geranium is used to staunch bleeding, healing of wounds, ulcers and skin disorders and also in the treatment of diarrohea, dysentry and colic. The oil has antibacterial and insecticidal properties and is profusely used in Aromatherapy. India imports 150t of geranium oil annually. Scented Geranium (Pelargonium sp.) was grown successfully in Kashmir. Experiments conducted at RRL Field Station Bonera Pulwama revealed that the morphological characters, growth behaviour, herbage and oil yield/ha were more or less similar to the hilly areas of South India. The aerial parts (Fresh flowers, stalks and leaves) on steam distillation yielded an essential oil 0.15% on fresh wt. basis. Fifty three chemical constituents representing >96% of the oil were identified by GC and GC-Mass analysis. Major constituents were citronellol (25.55%), geraniol (20.81%), citronellyl formate (8.04%) and isomenthone (7.59%). Linalool content was comparatively higher (11.94%) as compared to South Indian oil (6.7%). It is quite evident from the analysis that the oil produced under Kashmir conditions is quite competitive to best geranium oil produced in South India. Moreover the odour and evaluation studies by a leading perfumer has found that the oil is highly acceptable to the user industry.
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