Sustainable production of natural alpha bisabolol
The candeia tree (Eremanthus erythropappus) is a species from Brazil, with natural occurrence concentrated mainly in Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Espinhaço in the state of Minas Gerais.
The essential oil extracted from this wood is rich in (-)-alpha-bisabolol, widely used in cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries due to its well-known anti-inflammatory properties. Through appropriate stewardship techniques, it is possible to explore this natural resource according to sustainable practices. In Brazil, thanks to research supported by CItróleo and CNPq, the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) defined the ideal approache for conservation of natural forests of candeia. As a result, this research has lead to the publication of Brazilian laws referring to the sustainable use of candeia. The candeia tree is the first species to receive exclusive regulation thanks to this research. Besides the implementation of a stewardship plan on its private forests, which concerns not only planned removal of trees but also preservation of good trees for sowing and natural regeneration, Citróleo maintains a programme for seedling production. This programme, which includes the production and distribution of more than 100,000 seedlings of candeia trees per year, is conducted on Citróleo’s farm in Baependi, Minas Gerais, where experimental studies are also developed in partnership with UFLA, focusing on sustainable management of natural forests.