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Sugandha Kokila Oil


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Sugandha Kokila Oil. The evergreen, Cinnamomum glaucescens (syn. Cinnamomum cecidodaphne), part of the Lauraceae family, is native to Nepal and grows wild in the districts of Dang, Rolpa and Sallyan in the Rapti Zone.[1] This species is a diploid and can grow to an altitude of 1300 meters.[2] Cinnamomum glaucescens is recognized as an aromatic plant, meaning it has an elevated level of essential oil.[3] Using steam distillation, the dried berries of Cinnamomum glaucescens produce the essential oil commonly known as sugandha kokila oil,[2] which is yellow in colour and has a camphoraceous, spicy aroma.[4] This product can be used as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, cosmetics, perfumes and industrial fragrances.[3] Sugandha kokila oil is also used in indigenous medicine as a demulcent and stimulant.[1] The Nepal Trade Integration Strategy 2010, identified Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) as one of Nepal’s top twenty goods and services with export potential.

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Cinnamomum glaucescens has been successfully cultivated,[8] and promotes species conservation.[7] A ranking scale was established,[9] assessing mode of domestication, cultivation and social beliefs from farmer or forest users perspective, to rank the suitability of MAPs for farming. With the highest ranking being five, and lowest zero, sugandha kokila ranked four out of five.[9] This demonstrate that Cinnamomum glaucescens is not only physiologically appropriate for cultivation but also has a high chance to be adopted by farmers, when compared with other MAPs. Furthermore, the GEF Small Grants Programme ran a successful project mobilizing two indigenous Nepalese communities, promoting the knowledge and tools to cultivate sugandha kokila.[8] The project amended the two involved communities’ local forestry operation plan to include the conservation of Cinnamomum glaucescens.[8] The two communities involved planted Cinnamomum glaucescens 13ha of community forests, in addition to 6ha planted on private land.[8] Increasing the market demand of sugandha kokila oil will not only benefit the farmers and producers in Nepal but also encourage the conservation of Cinnamomum glaucescens. As the market grows, the plant will increase in value, encouraging more cultivation of the plant and therefore increase conservation efforts. Also, three women-run forest nurseries established, responsible for growing 30,000 seedlings of sugandha kokila, sapindus, cinnamon, zanthoxylum, lemon and asparagus.[8] Creating women run nurseries empowered women to learn new skills and play an important role in the cultivation of sugandha kokila and other products. Additionally, 86 households were supported in developing suitable infrastructure for the processing of sugandha kokila.[8] This project is an example of how the cultivation of sugandha kokila using a community approach can empower women and conserve this endemic plant.

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1kg, 500gm


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