Medicinl plants, chemical composition and quality: may blackcurrant buds and blackberry sprouts be a new polyphenol source for herbal preparations?
Keywords:Ribes nigrum, Rubus ulmifolius, flavonoids, phenolic acids, single polyphenolic profiles, HPLC
It is well known that plants are important sources for the preparation of natural remedies as they contain many biologically active compounds: in particular, phenolic compounds are one of the most widely occurring groups of phytochemicals. Some endemic species may be used for the production of herbal preparations containing phytochemicals with significant antioxidant capacities and health benefits: blackberry sprouts and blackcurrant buds are known to contain appreciable levels of phenolic compounds, including flavonols, phenolic acids and catechins.
The aim of this research was to perform an analytical study of blackcurrant and blackberry bud-preparations, in order to identify the main bioactive polyphenolic compounds, to study the total polyphenolic content and to obtain a specific profile of the main polyphenols contained in these products using a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph - Diode Array Detector; the same analyses were performed both on the University lab preparations and on commercial preparations.
Differentchromatographic methodswere usedto determine concentrations of phytochemical compounds in the preparations, allowing to quantifystatistically significant differencesin their polyphenolic content both in the case of Ribes nigrum and Rubus ulmifolius.
The assessment of chemical composition and bioactivities of the plant-derived products could help in find out new sources of natural antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds: 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.
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