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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Rapid Isocratic Hplc Analysis of Hypericins

Authors
item Sirvent, T - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Gibson, Donna

Submitted to: Journal of Liquid Chromatography
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John's wort, has become a popular herbal treatment of depression, and its active constituents are also known to be potent photo active agents for use in antiviral therapy. Hypericins, one of the active groups of compounds, are used as the measure of extract potency, but current methods of analysis are insufficient or laborious to perform. This manuscript describes a rapid and robust method for quantitation of hypericins in crude extracts as well as the stability of the active constituents under light, time, and storage conditions.

Technical Abstract: We describe a new method for the analysis of hypericins from crude extracts of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) using HPLC. Hypericin and pseudohypericin and related compounds were separated in 15 minutes using a simple isocratic elution method on a modified phenyl column. This isocratic method permits the quantitative and rapid analysis of hypericins in crude acetone samples. In addition, we report on the photoconversion of protohypericins to hypericins, as well as the stability of hypericin and pseudohypericin as a function of light, time, and storage conditions.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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