Here, we continue our spotlight on some of our analytical solutions for traditional Chinese medicines. Our first blog post on this topic covered wild chrysanthemum, ginkgo biloba, and ginseng.

As mentioned in the previous post on this subject, one of the exciting areas in drug discovery in recent times has been the discovery and acceptance of new ways to treat various illnesses with ancient medicines from countries such as China and India. These medicines are derived from natural sources–plants and animals–and, in some instances, have been in use for a couple of thousand years (for example, ginseng).

Here we present HPLC analytical applications for Gotu Kola, Giant Knotweed, Schizandrin, and Semen Raphani commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Gotu Kola in Chinese MedicineThe first application titled, Determination of Triterpenes in Centella asiatica (Gotu Kola) by HPLC-CAD, was developed by a customer–Mark Roman of Tampa Bay Analytical Research, Inc., Largo, FL. Gotu kola is used as a medicinal herb both in Ayurvedic medicine in India and in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as improving memory, blood flow, as a wound-healing agent, and as a topical application for skin conditions such as ulcers, wounds, and eczema. This method describes using the Thermo Scientific Dionex Corona™ CAD™ Charged Aerosol Detector as an alternative to low-wavelength UV detection to improve the baseline and reduce interferences.

Giant Knotweed in Chinese MedicineApplication Note 232, Determination of Anthraquinones and Stilbenes in Giant Knotweed Rhizome by HPLC with UV Detection, describes an efficient HPLC method that in a single injection determines the eight main active components of giant knotweed rhizome: anthraglycoside A, anthraglycoside B, emodin, physcion, rhein, chrysophanol, resveratrol, and polydatin. The advantage of this method is the convenience of the single method plus the identification of the eight main active components. The Chinese Pharmacopeia Edition 2005 regulates quality control for giant knotweed rhizome with two different HPLC methods for the determination of only two of the active components emodin and polydatin.

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Giant knotweed is used as an herbal medicine for angiocardiopathy, skin inflammations, liver diseases, fevers, and arthritis pain.

Schisandra chinensis in Chinese MedicineApplication Brief 139, Separation of Schizandrin, Schizandrin A, and Schizandrin B in a Tablet Sample, (downloadable PDF), discusses the analysis of Schisandra chinensis (Turcz.) Baill is an important traditional Chinese medicine for protecting the liver among other uses and is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. The Chinese Pharmacopeia Edition 2010 regulates its quality with a ultra high pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) method for the determination of schizandrin, schizandrin A and schizandrin B. In the analysis described in our application brief, the UV spectra of the three analytes collected in the standard and tablet sample are highly consistent. The calculated peak purity match factors for schizandrin, schizandrin A, and schizandrin B separated from the tablet sample extract are all 1000 (the corresponding value for 100% purity).

semen raphaniApplication Brief 126, Separation of Sinapine Thiocyanate in Semen Raphani Using an Acclaim Phenyl-1 Column, describes a quick and sensitive analysis of Semen Raphani, the seeds of the plant Raphanus sativus L., commonly used in Chinese medicine for the treatment of dyspepsia and hypertension. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia monitors the quality control of Semen Raphani with a reversed-phase (RP) high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for the determination of sinapine thiocyanate.

For more drug discovery applications, visit our Chinese Medicines page on our website.

Also, do add specific applications you are looking for in the comments box below: I can pass the word to our application chemists here in Sunnyvale.