Guaiacol whose term in the IUPAC official nomenclature is: 2-methoxyphenol is an organic compound of phenolic nature with brute or molecular formula: CH3OC6H4OH.
Guaiacolo is a methyl ether of pyrocatechin, a phenol that occurs naturally in the leaves of Ampelopsis hederacea, cinchona juice, etc.) and isolated from the distillation products of the guaiac resin (Guaiacum officinale L.) a tree native to Central America . However, it is present in a high concentration in beech creosote (a mixture of different phenols obtained by distillation of beech wood tar).
At room temperature, this molecule is a colorless to yellow hard crystalline solid with a characteristic aromatic and phenolic odor and a sweetish taste and is classified as an irritant.
The guaiacolo has a balsamic and antiseptic action, so much so that it is used in the treatment of bronchitis and some cystitis, as well as some of its esters (benzoate of g., Salicylate of g., Taurocolate of g.), Which turn out to be less irritating to the digestive tract.
Guaiacolo is easily absorbed by all routes and, at high doses, causes poisoning similar to phenolic poisoning. It is in fact used, orally, as a balsamic and expectorant, hypodermically, and externally as an analgesic and antiseptic, pure for brushing or in ointments. In the past, its derivative, sulfoguaiacol has also found clinical uses.
The guaiacolo, if present in wines, is counted as a defect, as it is also present in white wines as a bacterial product and, therefore, its presence is an organoleptic defect due to the “pharmaceutical” smell perceptible already a few mg / L of concentration.
This molecule is also one of the raw materials for the synthesis of vanillin.
On the market, guaiacolo can also be found in the form of an oily liquid which is obtained from the fractional distillation of creosote and contains, as impurities, small quantities of cresol and similar phenolic derivatives.
Warning: The information shown is not medical advice and may not be accurate. The contents are for illustrative purposes only and do not replace medical advice.
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