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Chemical identification of the sources of commercial Fructus Chebulae

Juang, L.J., Sheu, S.J.
Phytochemical analysis 2005 v.16 no.4 pp. 246-251
Terminalia chebula, medicinal plants, herbaceous plants, plant taxonomy, chemotaxonomy, phytochemicals, tannins, chemical analysis, high performance liquid chromatography, Taiwan
Twenty-eight commercial samples of Fructus Chebulae were collected from local herbal markets in Taiwan and were determined to have been derived from Terminalia chebula Retz. and Terminalia chebula Retz. var. parviflora Thwaites, which differ markedly in external appearance. Ten tannin-related constituents [gallic acid (1), chebulic acid (2), punicalagin (4), chebulanin (7), corilagin (8), neochebulinic acid (9), ellagic acid (11), chebulagic acid (12), chebulinic acid (13) and 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose (14)] were identified and quantified by HPLC. Samples derived from T. chebula. var. parviflora, which are typically round-shaped, generally contained higher concentrations of 13 and 14 but lower levels of 12 compared with those from T. chebula, which are largely oval-shaped. The ratio of the concentration of 14 to that of 4 may serve as a potential parameter for differentiating samples from the two origins (T. chebula, ratio 0.6 ± 0.3; T. chebula. var. parviflora, ratio 3.4 ± 2.2). Levels of the three major bioactive constituents 12-14 were found to provide good references for the quality assessment of Fructus Chebulae. The ratio of the concentration of 12 to that of 14 may offer a guideline for determining quality as well as origin of the drug (lower-grade T. chebula, ratio 12.4 ± 6.0; medium-grade T. chebula, ratio 8.8 ± 7.9; higher-grade T. chebula, ratio 3.2 ± 0.8; T. chebula var. parviflora, ratio 1.6 ± 0.7).