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Chemical and biological comparison of raw and vinegar-baked Radix Bupleuri

Li, Zhen-Yu, Sun, Hui-Min, Xing, Jie, Qin, Xue-Mei, Du, Guan-Hua
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2015 v.165 pp. 20-28
Oriental traditional medicine, acetic acid, baking, bioactive properties, chemical composition, citric acid, herbal medicines, high performance liquid chromatography, histopathology, liver, liver diseases, malic acid, mice, multivariate analysis, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, succinic acid, sucrose, therapeutics, vinegars
Radix Bupleuri (RB) is a commonly used herbal drug in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and it can be baked with vinegar to afford vinegar-baked Radix Bupleuri (VBRB), which is used in TCM for liver diseases treatment. In this study, the chemical compositions and biological effects between raw and two processed RBs by different vinegars were systematically compared.The chemical compositions of raw and two processed RBs were analyzed by ¹H NMR spectroscopy coupled with multivariate analysis. Two different extraction procedures were used, including direct extraction and liquid–liquid partition. Then HPLC was applied to determine the changes of saikosaponin contents. In addition, their liver protective effects against CCl4 induced liver injury were also investigated, and the biochemical parameters and histopathology were measured after treatment of mice with raw RB and two processed RBs (5g/kg/day) for 14 days.Multivariate analysis showed clear differences between the raw and the two processed RBs, and the vinegar-baking process induced elevated contents of ssb1, ssb2, acetic acid, malic acid, citric acid, 5-HMF, and ligustrazine, as well as the decreased contents of ssa, ssd, sucrose, glycine, succinic acid etc. In addition, both raw and processed RBs showed liver protective effects against CCl4 induced liver injury, and the vinegar-baked RBs showed better effects than that of raw RB.The raw and vinegar-baked RBs differed not only in the chemical compositions but also in the pharmacological effects. And two processed RBs also showed chemical differences, suggesting that the type of vinegar had an important effect on vinegar baking. In order to ensure the therapeutic effect and safety of TCM, the effect of different vinegars on processing of herbal drugs should be further studied.