DAVANA OIL: A Introduction


General description:

• Appearance : Brownish, viscous liquid of peculiar, very aromatic, somewhat balsamatic and persistent odour.
• Botanical name: Artemisia graveolens
• Botanical family: Compositae
• Extracted from : Stem & leaves
• Extraction method: Steam
• Aromatherapy : Anti-infectious
• Classification : Stimulant
• Scent: Sweet, fruity moss smell

Davana plantation

• Family: Composite
• Class: Asteraceae
• Genus: Artemisia
• Species: Artemisia pallens

The botanical name of Davana is Artemisia pallens. It is known as 'Davana' or 'Davanum' in Marathi, Tamil and Kannada.

Cultivation in India
Mostly in red soil regions in South India particularly in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Cultivation practices
Grows well in rich loamy soils does not withstand heavy rains.

Season is not an important Criterian when Davana is grown for use in garlands and bouquets. In this case, the crop is pulled out when it is about two months old.

On the other hand, season is very important when the crop is grown for production of oil. The crop is allowed to grow until it flowers, which takes about 4 months from sowing.


• Fresh herbage yields: 14 tonnes per hectare.
• Davana oil yield: 10 kgs per 14 tonnes of herbages.

Physical properties of Davana Oil

Oil of Davana is a brownish, viscous liquid of peculiar, very aromatic, some what
balasanic and persistent odour. Freshly distilled oil has sharp and herbal top notes. This
Disappears on keeping, leaving a mellow pleasant note.

• Specific gravity at 15.5Ù’. C 0.9605
• Refractive index 1.4880
• Acid No. 2.4
• Ester No. 52.9

Soluble in 10 volumes of 70% alcohol.


Colour: Clear, brownish yellow liquid
Odour: Very rich lingering fruity odour
Refractive index at 25 deg.C : 1.4794 to 1.4917
Specific gravity at 25 deg.C : 0.9394 to 0.9560
Optical rotation : +34 deg to +41 deg
Acid value : Less than 3.5
Ester value : 31.5 to 46.5
Solubility Clearly soluble in less than 1.5 volumes of 80% ethyl alcohol
Total ketone content (Hydroxylamine hydrochloride method) expressed as davanone : 6 to 56.0%
Free davanone as per GC : 25 to 52.5%

Chemical composition of Davana Oil

Davanone, a sesquiterpene ketone, is the main component of the oil of Davana. Linalool, dehydro-a-linalool, terpinen-4 oil,nordavanone (C11- terpenoid) and devanafurans have been isolated in a fraction of Davana oil. These compounds are reported to contribute for the characteristic odour of Davana oil.

Relative concentration in %
• Davanones : 55.0
• Nerol : 10.0
• Geraniol : 5.0
• Hydroxy davanone : 3.0
• Dihydro rosefurane : 2.5
• Furano-norditerpenoids : 2.0
• Hydroxy nerolidol : 1.23
• Hydroxy dihydrorosefuran : 0.5

* Nor-davanone : Minor
* P-cymene : Minor
* Sabinene : Minor
* Eugenol : Minor
* Cadinene : Minor
* Farnesol : Minor
* Camphene : Minor
* Borneol : Minor
* Methyl eugenol : Minor
* Methyl iso eugenol : Minor
* Linalool : Minor
* Linalool oxide : Minor
* Lilac aldehyde : Minor
* Lilac alcohol Minor
* Artemone : 1.5
* Davana furans 1.0
* Davana esters : 1.0


Davana Oil is one of the important essential oils. Essential oils obtained from higher plants are important raw materials used for manufacture of perfumes, flavours and cosmetics. Even with considerable development in production of synthetic perfumery and flavouring chemicals, essential oils continue to be the important raw materials for these industries throughout the world.

Such natural raw materials should be much more important for future industrial development in the third world, as production of these materials do not depend upon the traditional sources of energy like, petroleum or coal, but the oils are obtained from renewable energy sources. There are around 2000 species of medicinal and aromatic plants that have been reported in India.

Perfumery sector

In expensive perfume compositions Also for flavoring cakes, pastries, tobacco and some of the beverages. Oil of Davana is used in expensive perfume compositions. The oil is also being used for flavoring cakes, pastries, tobacco and some of the costly beverages.

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