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Determination of seco-iridoid and 4-pyrone compounds in hydro-alcoholic extracts of Gentiana lutea L. subsp. symphyandra Murb. leaves and roots by using high performance liquid chromatography

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In view of the increasing interest in herbal remedies and their important role in health maintenance and well-being, a study was carried out to clarify the role and importance of the solvent in the extraction process. Hydro-alcoholic (methanol or ethanol) or water extraction procedures for secondary metabolites from Gentiana lutea subsp. symphyandra leaves and roots were optimized for the yield of compounds that have proved to act antioxidatively. Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the contents of seco-iridoid glucosides (gentiopicroside, amarogentin) and 4-pyrones (mangiferin (xanthone), homoorientin (flavone C-glycoside), isovitexin (flavone C-glycoside)) in Gentiana lutea subsp. symphyandra extracts were determined. The analysis revealed that the contents of observed secondary metabolites in Gentiana lutea subsp. symphyandra extracts varied significantly based on the solvent (methanol, ethanol, and water) used in the extraction procedure. Seco-iridoids and 4-pyrone contents in extracts were significantly affected also by the concentration of the alcohol. The highest contents of seco-iridoids were obtained when preparing extracts with 60% methanol and the highest contents of 4-pyrones when using 20% ethanol or water. Root extracts did not contain 4-pyrones. Due to the high content of seco-iridoid glucosides in leaf extracts, and because 4-pyrones of the gentian leaves present an additional therapeutic benefit (such as antioxidative), the use of both roots and leaves of yellow gentian as the raw material for herbal preparations in phytotherapy has been recommended.

Affiliations: 1: Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy Department, University of Ljubljana


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