Chemical profile of ginseng, Epimedium, Rhodiola and Siberian ginseng extracts and stability of their formulated products

  • Jie Ma

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Epimedium and Panax species have been used in complementary and alternative medicine for thousands of years and are used worldwide for their range of curative effects. In order for any herb preparation to be considered medicinally effective, it must be given at a sufficient dosage level, as well, for therapeutic purposes, the correct plant species is most important. Due to the lack of quality control, many herb-containing products that are made available to consumers on the market today may contain misidentified plant species, counterfeit ingredients, an insufficient quantity of the known active compounds and spiking with marker compounds. Therefore, better regulation and effective control of commercial herbal products are needed.

There are three major aims for this research programme:
1) Development of analytical methods for the detection of major biological marker compounds of Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Epimedium and Panax species and establishment of their HPLC profiles.
2) The developed methods from above to be used to evaluate raw materials and commercial products containing the Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Epimedium and Panax species.
3) Establish Rapid Resolution Liquid Chromatography methods for each single herb and analyze multiple chemical constituents simultaneously in formulated products containing Rhodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Epimedium and Panax species.
4) To determine if the proposed developed methods are practical for use, and furthermore, with respect to selected commercial products to clarify that their content matches the claim on their label.
Traditionally, single marker compounds are used for the evaluation and determination of herbs. This presents a restriction and consequently many counterfeit products are found on the market. Therefore HPLC profile analysis for the multiple chemical constituent is needed for a more accurate identification of herb species and provides significance for the analysis of formulated products. R. rosea, E. senticosus, Epimedium and Panax species were included in this study as these four herbs are often used in different mixture combinations to make the so called “energy formula”. This includes the simultaneous analysis of up to twenty active ingredients from these four herbs, namely, salidroside, tyrosol, eleutheroside B, E, rosarin, rosavin, rosin, rosiridin, Rg1, Re, epimedin A, B, C, icariin, Rb1, Rc, Rb2 and Rd.

A rapid and effective method for the determination of phenylpropanoids, phenylethanol and monoterpenoids from R. rosea, eleutherosides B and E from E. senticosus, flavonol glycosides from Epimedium species and ginsenosides from Panax species in one injection using the reverse-phase Rapid Resolution Liquid Chromatography was successfully developed and used to evaluate the botanical combination. This breakthrough example will lead the industry to optimum quality control methods, especially for formulated botanical products. As well, the results will provide herbalists with more confidence in accepting the so called “standardized botanical extracts”. This developed method can simultaneously analyse Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus, Epimedium and Panax containing products to ensure the correct species.

Date of Award2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorAsmita Vithaldas Sautreau (Supervisor) & Darek Gorecki (Supervisor)

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