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Pharmacopoeia Commission, Peoples Medical Publishing House, 2005 . [16]. Guidelines for the Assessment of Herbal Medicine , World Health Organization , Munich, Germany , 1991

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Abstract  

In Brazil, the use of herbal medicines is very popular due to its immense flora, cultural aspects and to the popular belief that herbs, which are of natural origin, are safe and without undesirable side effects. Aside from that public interest in natural therapies, the use of herbal medicines has increased expressively due to the high cost of synthetic medicines. In this study, elemental compositions of herbal medicines from the species Ginseng, Ginkgo biloba, Centella asiatica, Mulberry and Aloe vera supplied by different suppliers were evaluated by neutron activation analysis. The concentrations of As, Ba, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, Hf, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc, Th, Zn and some lanthanides were determined in these samples. Comparisons made between the results indicated differences in their elemental contents depending on the plant species, origins of the samples and the age of the leaves. The results also showed that the herbal medicines contain elements such as Ca, Co, K, Fe, Mg and Zn known as essential to humans and for treatment and prevention of diseases. Toxic elements such as Hg, Cd and Cu were not detected. Elements As and Sb were detected in some samples but at very low concentrations at the μg kg−1 levels. Herbal medicine results were also compared to literature values. Biological certified reference material was analyzed for quality control of the analytical results.

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Summary

Radix Isatidis has widely useful activities including anti-virus, anti-bacterial. Tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin are active ingredients in R. Isatidis. Response surface methodology (RSM)-optimized infrared-assisted extraction (IRAE) was developed and combined with HPLC for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from R. Isatidis. IRAE were investigated through extraction yields of the three components and optimized by RSM. The optimum conditions were as follows: infrared power of 129 W, solid/liquid ratio of 1:40 g/mL, and irradiation time of 22.5 min. IRAE conditions obtained by RSM were not only accurate, but also had practical value reflecting the expected optimization. Subsequently, this novel IRAE method was evaluated by extraction yield of the components of R. Isatidis samples from different regions. Compared with common extraction methods including maceration extraction (ME), reflux extraction (RE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), IRAE showed higher yield with advantages of no limitation of solvent selection, low cost, convenience under optimum extraction conditions. These results suggested the potential of RSM-optimized IRAE for extraction and analysis of the water-/fat-soluble compositions of Chinese herbal medicine. A simple chromatographic separation for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from Chinese herbal medicine R. Isatidis was performed on a C18 column (Diamonsil 150 mm × 4.6 mm i.d., 5 μm) with a mobile phase isocratic consisting of methanol and water at a flow-rate of 0.8 mL min−1. The retention times of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin were 15.4, 31.9, and 58.6 min, respectively. The linear equations were obtained as follows: y = −3094.5744 + 21208.792x for tryptanthrin (R = 0.9998, 0.9–18.0 μg mL−1), y = 4730.0448 + 30180.567x for indigo (R = 0.9997, 0.5–10.0 μg mL−1) and y = −6582.9045 + 67069.312x for indirubin (R = 0.9997, 0.4–8.0 μg mL−1). The result showed that RSM-optimized IRAE was a simple, efficient pretreatment method for the analysis of complex matrix.

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Abstract  

In the under developed countries, the people of far-flung rural areas still depend to a large extent upon herbal medicines. At the foundation of usage of herbal medicine is the experience of thousands of years. The present paper deals with the characterisation of exotic fruits for essential and toxic elements. The samples include Morus nigra, Morus alba, Salvadora persica and Carissa opaca (from low and high altitude). Two standardizations of neutron activation analysis, that is, semi-absolute k 0-instrumental neutron activation analysis (k 0-INAA) and epithermal neutron activation analysis (ENAA) were employed for the quantification of elements. The analysis methodologies were validated by analyzing the IAEA-336 (lichen) and NIST-SRM-1572 (citrus leaves). Sixteen elements including Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Fe, I, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Rb, Sb, Sc Sr, and Zn were determined in all samples. Daily intakes of various elements from the samples were measured and compared with the dietary reference intakes. Additionally, principal component analysis was performed to extract information regarding samples and elements.

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Abstract  

DSC and TG studies were carried out on γ -radiation processed Indian natural products of medicinal importance, namely Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Amla (Emblica Officinalis) and Hartiki (Terminalia chebula). DSC thermoanalytical curves were recorded from 35 to 400C in air and nitrogen atmosphere. Similarly, TG thermoanalytical curves were taken from 35 to 700C in air and nitrogen atmosphere. Irradiated products gave significantly different thermoanalytical profiles in comparison to non-irradiated samples. The differences were observed above decomposition temperature of 200C and were non-linear with respect to radiation dose. Partial oxidation of the products during irradiation in air could be responsible for the observed differences.

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Schizonepeta annua (Pall.) Schischk. is an endemic annual plant from the Lamiaceae family and it has been employed to cure tracheitis in traditional herbal medicine. Its essential oil exhibited a strong antimicrobial and antioxidative effect. Next, high-performance thin-layer chromatography-bioautography was applied for investigation of the bioactive compounds of S. annua, and gas chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry was used to perform subsequent targeted identification of compounds. Three active components were characterized, and two of them were tentatively identified as thymol and carvacrol. S. annua has the potential to be a good alternative for synthetic disinfectants and antioxidants.

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Planar chromatography is commonly used for the quality control of herbal medicines due to its many advantages. Its combination with chemometrics was proven to be a fast and reliable tool for the extraction of even more analytical information, such as similarity or dissimilarity between samples, and the identification of marker compounds. To date, depending on image processing procedures, different variables have been obtained as input data, and thus, various preprocessing procedures have been applied. In this study, we converted the chromatogram images of high-performance thin-layer chromatography to form a data matrix, by digitization of the chromatograms. Further, principal component analysis was applied on raw data and investigated after different preprocessing techniques. The proposed preprocessing techniques were successfully applied to improve the differentiation between two types of German propolis. The best multivariate models were observed in the case of warping, standard normal variate, and mean centering/autoscaling.

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The technological improvement in the structural elucidation of natural compounds has made it probable to generate appropriate strategies for the analysis and standardization of plant-based medicines. An appliance of highly oriented hyphenated techniques provides a definite tool for herbal investigations. Therefore, the present study was directed towards the standardization of biomarkers gallic acid and berberine in polyherbal formulation Entoban capsules to ensure the quality of the herbal drugs. A rapid, simple, accurate, and specific high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) method for the quantitative estimation of biomarkers berberine and gallic acid has been developed. HPTLC was performed to evaluate the presence of gallic acid and berberine applying toulene—ethyl acetate—formic acid—methanol (12:9:4:0.5 v/v) and ethanol—water—formic acid (90:9:1 v/v), as the mobile phase, respectively. The R F values (0.58 for gallic acid and 0.76 for berberine) in both sample and reference standard were found comparable under ultraviolet (UV) light at 273 nm and 366 nm, respectively. The method developed resulted in good-quality peak shape and enabled high-quality resolution of biomarkers. The present standardization undertaken reveals compliance with the analytical procedure; therefore, it is concluded that Entoban capsule is a well-standardized product. Standardization falls under the specific guidelines of quality herbal medicine following the prerequisite for global harmonization.

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Abstract  

Hypocrellins, natural photosensitizers including hypocrellin A (HA) and hypocrellin B (HB), have been used as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine to cure various skin diseases. Hypocrellins have excellent antiviral activity, which can inhibit the growth of human immunodeficiency virus. They also exhibit significant light-induced antitumor property. In this article, thermal analysis technologies (e.g., differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry) are employed to characterize whether the photosensitive hypocrellin A could be encapsulated with silica nanoparticle (SN) material or not, and evaluate the stability of inclusion complex. The results show that the inclusion complex exhibits improved performance in both stability and hydrophilicity than natural hypocrellin A. Fluorescence spectrophotometry studies have also been performed to verify the thermal analysis results. The results suggest that the thermal analysis technology could be used as an effective and rapid tool to characterize the encapsulation properties of the novel anticancer HA–SN complex.

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A simple and accurate high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC)-bioautographic method was developed for the quantitative analysis of magnolol and honokiol in the herbal medicine Magnoliae officinalis Cortex. The samples were separated on a silica gel HPTLC plate with a mixture solution of toluene-methanol (10:1, v/v) as the mobile phase. Spots were visualized by dipping in 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH*) reagent and measured at a wavelength of 550 nm in a reflection mode, scanning after derivatization for 40 min. The method had excellent linearity (r 2 = 0.9939 for magnolol and r 2 = 0.9989 for honokiol, respectively) in the concentration range of 0.16–0.97 mg spot−1 for both analytes. The recoveries were 94.5–105.9% for magnolol and 86.6–103.4% for honokiol, respectively. The established HPTLC-bioautographic method was evaluated comprehensively in quantitative and antioxidant activity analysis of magnolol and honokiol in Magnoliae officinalis Cortex and various plants.

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