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  • 1 University of Macau Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences Macau SAR China
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A simple, rapid, and effective high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method has been established for differentiating among the polysaccharides present in six traditional Chinese medicines (TCM), Cordyceps sinensis, Ganoderma lucidum, Astragalus memberanaceus, Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolii , and Panax notogiseng . Acid hydrolyzates of the polysaccharides were analyzed by HPTLC with two detection reagents, aniline-diphenylamine-phosphoric acid and ninhydrin, and scanning densitometry. The compounds were separated on silica gel plates with chloroform- n -butanol-methanol-acetic acid-water 4.5:12.5:5:1.5:1.5 ( v/v ) as mobile phase. Seven monosaccharides and two glucuronic acids were used as reference compounds. The results showed that hydrolysis of polysaccharides can release specific molecules present in the herbal species in addition to the monosaccharides present. This is useful for distinguishing the origins of the polysaccharides in Chinese medicines.

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