Molecule of the Week


December 14, 2009

Coumarin is a benzopyrone that occurs naturally in plant-derived sources such as tonka beans, lavender oil, woodruff, and sweet clover. Its sweet scent makes it useful in perfume manufacture. It is a potent rodenticide, but it is only moderately toxic to humans. It is used to make warfarin, another rodenticide that is also a widely used anticoagulant drug (trade name Coumadin) for preventing thrombosis and embolism.