sandarac tree

It grows wild in the mountainous regions of Northwest Africa, cultivated in Algeria and other places. Close species are found in Australia.

A small, strongly branched tree, small twigs are covered with criss-crossed scale-like flattened small leaves; cones are small, spherical.

In the bark there are long resinous receptacles; the resin protrudes from natural cracks or cuts in the form of droplets that dry quickly in air. The collected resin has the appearance of transparent oblong “tears” of pale yellow color; it is fragile, fragrant, bitter in taste.

Sandarac resin consists mainly of resin acids (pimaric acid); there is little essential oil in dry resin.

It is used for fumigation, for plasters, in Arabic medicine – in the treatment of dysentery. Widely used in the production of varnishes.

The plant contains resin.



Like essential oils, resins are complex mixtures of various organic compounds. In plants, they are often present simultaneously with essential oils, but may be accompanied by substances from other groups of natural compounds – gums, tannins, sterols, sometimes rubber.

According to the primary composition, there are three main groups of natural resins:

– resins (actually) – Rsina;

– oil-resin, or balms, – Olea-resina, or Balsama. These are liquid resins, which are natural solutions of resins in their own essential oil;

– gum resins – Gummi-resina. These are liquid (in living plants) mixtures of gums and resins dissolved in essential oil (more precisely, Cummi-olea-resina).

The resins themselves, freed from accompanying substances, like the components of essential oils, are also terpenoids, but more complex, belonging mainly to the class of diterpenes (C 20 H 32 ).

Resin hydrocarbons (for example, pimaradiene), their oxygen derivatives, resinol or resin acids (for example, abietic and pimaric acids) and resinol or resin alcohols (for example, cafestol) are distinguished among resin diterpenes.


Among the resinols, rezitannols or tannols, which have the properties of tannins, are distinguished into a special group. Resinols can form esters.

The constituent substances of resins can be triterpene acids and alcohols – derivatives of a- and b-amirin (for example, mastic tree), lignans (for example, guaiac resin), etc.

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