J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1973, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (1): -.

• Research Articles •    

Search for Biologically Active Substances in Chinese Medicinal Plants--New Sources of Five Medicinal Alkaloids

Hsiao Pei-ken, Feng Yu-shou, Hsia Kuang-cheng, Feng Shui-chi, Ling Shou-cbün and Chen Yu-heng   

Abstract: The present paper deals with the results of hunting for new sources of five medicinal alkaloids. Reserpine: A study by means of paper chromatography and UV spectra indicated that reserpine was present in all five species and three varieties of Chinese Rau-volfia, viz. R. serpentina, R. yunnanensis, R. latifrons, R. tiaolushanensis, R. verticil-lata, R. verticillata var. rubrocarpa, R. verticillata var. hainanensis, R. verticillata var.oblanceolata, the total alkaloid and the reserpine percentage of these plants are givenin table 1. Atropine: Tested by the method of TLC of the Chinese solanaceous plants, hy-oscyamine has been shown to be present in Atropanthe sinensis, Mandrogora caules-cens, Hyoscyamus pusillus, Physochlaina infundibularis, Physochlaina physoides, Prze-walskia shebbearei, Przewalskia tangutica, Scopolia lurida, Scopolia tangutica. Furthermore, the major alkaloid isolated from the roots of Przewalskia shebbearei was identified as hyoscyamine based upon melting point, UV and IR spectra, the total alkaloidand hyoscyamine content was 1.89% and 1.65% respectively. Owing to the presenceof tropane group alkaloids in the genus Przewalskia, it thus reveals the ubiquitousexistence of these alkaloids in the whole genera of the Solanaceae-Solaneae-Hyoscya-minae (sensu Wettstein), which may be regarded as a high incidence of tropane-containing category. Strychnine: By means of an alkaloid screening method, three species of Strychnosappear to have a high alkaloid content, viz. S. pierriana, S. confertiflora and S. hainanensis. Strychnine is the princeple alkaloid identified in the seeds of S. pierriana and in the roots of S. confertiflora, while the seeds of S. hainanensis contains chieflybrucine. The total alkaloid content was 1.26% and 2.9% with strychnine content of1.1% and 0.04% for the 2nd and 3rd plant respectively. Ephedrine: A study has been made on the total alkaloid content as well as ephedrine and pseudo-ephedrine percentages of genus Ephedra, obtained from autonomousregions Sinkiang and Tibet, the results are recorded in table 2. Berberine: The amount of berberine in Tibetan Berberis has also been determined.Berberis jamesiana Forrest et W. W. Sm. has been found to contain a high content of this alkaloid (7.07%–7.73%). Finally, the present work reveals that the Plant Phylogeny-Phytochemistry relationships can be satisfactorily used in the discovery of new sources of drugs.

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