Main content area

Castanea spp. as phytochemical source for herbal preparations

Donno, D., Beccaro, G. L., Masnari, F., Mellano, G. M., Cerutti, A. K., Bounous, G.
Acta horticulturae 2014 no.1043 pp. 75-82
Castanea, antioxidants, bioactive properties, buds, chromatography, cold, cystitis, herbal medicines, maceration, plant tissues, quality control, terpenoids, vitamins
It is well known that plants are important sources for the preparation of natural remedies as they contain many biologically active compounds: in particular, bud-preparations deriving from embryonic fresh plant tissues (buds or sprouts) and their bioactive compounds, extracted through the process of cold maceration quoted in the French Pharmacopoeia, show some interesting differences when compared with those of mature organs. Castanea spp. is among the most commonly used herbal medicines and it is popularized for its effects on stagnant and vascular fluids or against recurrent cystitis and for its curative and restorative properties. The aim of this research was to perform an analytical study of chestnut bud-preparations, in order to identify and quantify the main bioactive compounds, obtaining a specific chemical fingerprint to evaluate the single class contribution to herbal preparation phytocomplex. Different chromatographic methods were used to determine concentrations of phytochemical compounds in chestnut bud-preparations, quantifying any statistically significant differences in their content in relation to different species and varieties in specific sampling sites and defining the phenological stage in which the concentrations of identified molecules are the highest. Castanea spp. was identified as a rich source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds: the observed analytical fingerprint demonstrated that these bud-preparations represent a rich source of vitamins, terpenes and polyphenolic compounds.This study allowed to develop an effective tool for the quality control through the botanical fingerprinting of bud preparations: only with the deep knowledge of the bioactive composition of plant preparations it will be possible to develop a new generation of standardized, effect-optimized, mono- and multi-extract preparations.