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Isolation of a bioactive compound hypericin from a medicinal plant hypericum perforatum L. using basic chromatography methods

Duru, Betül
Medicinal plants which have been widely used in folk medicine are known to contain important biologically active compounds. Most of today̕s synthetic drug raw materials are to be prepared by using plant originated compounds as the starting material. Hypericum Perforatum is one of the medicinal plants that grows in Europe, Western Asia and Northern Africa and is distinguished by its golden yellow flowers. The common name of the plant is St. John̕s wort. From the time of the ancient Greeks down through the middle Ages, the plant was considered to be imbued with magical powers and was used to ward off evil and protect against disease. As a practical folk-remedy, it has been used widely to heal wounds, remedy kidney troubles, and alleviate nervous disorders, even insanity. In the last thirty years, Hypericum perforatum has undergone extensive clinical and laboratory testing. The extract of the flower is a red liquid that contains many biologically active compounds such as: naphtodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin), phloroglucinols (hyperforin, adhyperforin), flavonoids (quercetin, hyperoside, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, rutin, campferol, myricetin, amentofloavone), procyanidins (procyanidin, catechin, epicatechin polymers) , tannins (tannic acid), essential oils (terpenes, alcohols), amino acids (GABA, Cysteine, glutamine, leucine, lysine, ornithine, praline, threonine), phenyl propanes (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid), xanthones (keilcorin, norathriol), organic acids peptides and polysaccharides (other water soluble compounds). These compounds have previously been isolated using HPLC method. The aim of this study is to isolate the main biologically active compound groups of Hypericum Perforatum and simply characterize the compounds with TLC, UV-VIS spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy using standard compounds as references.