A simple and sensitive high-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method was developed for the evaluation of biomarker lupeol in the leaves of five different species of genus Ficus (Ficus carica, Ficus nitida, Ficus ingens, Ficus palmata, and Ficus vest) belonging to family Moraceae. Chromatography was performed on glass-backed silica gel 60 F254 precoated HPTLC plates with solvents toluene-methanol (9:1, v/v) as the mobile phase. After development, the HPTLC plate was derivatized with p-anisaldehyde reagent, scanned, and quantified at 540 nm. The system was found to give compact spot for lupeol at RF = 0.32 ± 0.01. The precisions and accuracy (n = 6) for lupeol were found to be 1.47–1.64% and 1.63–1.86%, and 99–100% and 99.4–99.7%, respectively, for inter-day and intra-day. Lupeol was found to be present in four species, i.e., F. carica (0.4%, w/w), F. nitida (1.4%, w/w), F. palmata (0.33%, w/w), and F. vest (0.59%, w/w), while it was absent in F. ingens. The statistical analysis proved that the developed method is reproducible and selective. The developed method can be used as an important tool to assure the therapeutic dose of active ingredients in herbal formulations as well as for standardization and quality control of bulk drugs and in-process formulations. This method can also be employed for the further study of degradation kinetics and determination of lupeol in plasma and other biological fluids.
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