ÉTIENNE OSSIAN HENRY Alkaloids and other vegetable principles

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Étienne Ossian Henry (1798-1873), a French pharmacist, carried extensive research on the chemistry, analysis, and extraction of alkaloids (quinine sulfate, quinidine, morphine, strychnine, and brucine) and active vegetable principles (among them, tanguin nut, white mustard, peanuts, New Zealand flax, asparagus, solanine, manioc, and rhubarb). Henry and Ollivier separated from the nuts of tanguin sweet oil and a viscous poisonous principle, which they named tanghinin, acting on the cerebrospinal system and causing death by syncope or asphyxia. With Garot they isolated from mustard oil a new acid (sulfosinapic acid) and prepared a large number of its salts. Henry and Pelouze were the first to isolate peanut oil, which eventually became a large major
chemical commodity. Henry developed an efficient process for determining the amount of cinchonine sulfate present in quinine sulfate; together with Delondre they discovered the presence of a new alkaloid in the bark of yellow quinquina, which they named quinidine (a dextro rotatory stereoisomer of quinine) and prepared a large number of its salts, which were shown to be very similar to the corresponding salts of quinine, although much easier to crystallize. Henry and Plisson developed a new procedure for extracting morphine from opium that did
not require alcohol and was based on the fact that morphine and narcotine could be easily separated with the help of diluted HCl
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-256
Number of pages19
JournalRevista CENIC. Ciencias Biológicas
Issue number3
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2020


  • alkaloids
  • cinchonine
  • mustard oil
  • opium
  • peanut oil
  • quinidine
  • rhubarb


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