Determination of Bioactive Compounds in Roots of Different Ages
Airy Shaw Suvatabhandhu and Butea superbaRoxb.
from Various Locations in Thailand
A. Manosroi and J. Manosroi
Pharmaceutical-Cosmetic Raw Materials and Natural Products
Research and Development Center (PCRNC)
Institute for Science and Technology Research and Development
Keywords: puerarin, daidzein, genistein, miroestrol, sites, HPLC, finger prints
The bioactive compounds from the roots of White Kwao Krua (Pueraria mirifica) and Red Kwao Krua (Butea superba) extracted by organic solvent were determined from the HPLC finger prints compared with the standard isoflavonoids (puerarin, daidzein and genistein). Roots of White Kwao Krua from Chiang Mai province harvested at the age of 6 years gave the highest amount of isoflavonoid compounds of 290, 89 and 16 mg/kg of the dried root, respectively. Roots that were younger or older than 6 years old appeared to contain less amount of the active compounds. Red Kwao Krua from Chiang Mai had the highest amount of the active compounds. Puerarin contents in Red Kwao Krua were less whereas daidzein and genistein were more than those found in White Kwao Krua. The contents of puerarin, daidzein and genistein in Red Kwao Krua from Chiang Mai were 1.9, 37.2 and 4.5 mg/kg of the dried root, respectively. For miroestrol contents, the highest amount of 45.0 mg/kg of the dried root was found in White Kwao Krua collected from Chiang Mai province at the age of 5.5 years old. No miroestrol can be determined from roots of Red Kwao Krua. This study suggested that both isoflavonoids and miroestrol contents in the two plants depended on ages and locations of cultivation in Thailand. Informations from this study can be applied for the selection of sources and ages of the plants that contain high amounts of the bioactive compounds for further herbal formulation.
White Kwao Krua and Red Kwao Krua are Thai medicinal plants which have been
widely used for generations by the native northern Thais. They have been used as tonics
for longer life, rejuvenation, improving the muscle tonic and firming of the
body. The juice or powder from sun dried flesh of White Kwao Krua root are mixed with
cow milk or honey and prepared as pills in northern Thai folk medicines (Anusarnsunthorn,
The claim of antiaging
and rejuvenation effects of this plant appears to be from these compounds, especially
miroestrol which is a known potent estrogenic principle (Lakshnakara et al.,
Red Kwao Krua has been used traditionally for men as a phytoandrogen in many Thai folk medicinal recipes. It has been found to contain butenin and butin as well as other compounds that are also found in White Kwao Krua (Manosroi et al., 2002).
bioactivity of these two plants is correlated to the amounts of these bioactive
compounds which depend on the ages of the roots and locations of cultivation. The present
study compared the contents of some bioactive compounds found in roots of White Kwao
Krua and Red Kwao Krua which were harvested at different ages from various locations
in Proc. WOCMAP III. Vol. 4: Targeted Screening of MAPs, Economics & Law
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Eleven root samples of White Kwao Krua were collected from Chiang Mai,
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The maximum percentage yield of the crude extract was 25.72% of White Kwao Krua found in the sample from Chiang Mai province. Among the three bioactive
isoflavonoid compounds in all samples, puerarin was the highest (Table 1). Genistein
the lowest and not found in some root samples. This may be due to the instability
compound. White Kwao Krua at 6 years old collected from Chiang Mai province
4 and Site No. 2.4 gave the highest amount of puerarin 29 mg/kg and daidzein
Fig. 2 compared the amounts of 29.80
to 45.00 mg of miroestrol per kg of the dried root in White Kwao Krua collected from
Chiang Mai province (at Site No. 2, i.e. Site Nos. 2.1 to 2.5)
at the ages of 4.5 to 6.5 years old. This amount was close to that was previously
The miroestrol contents appeared to depend on sites of cultivation more than the ages, since roots at the age of 6 years old but from different sites of Chiang Mai (Site No. 4) and Chiang Rai had lower amount of miroestrol of only 5.80 and 13.40 mg/kg of the dried root, respectively in comparing to 29.80 mg/kg of the dried root from Chiang Mai (Site No. 2.4).
This study indicated that isoflavonoid and miroestrol contents in White KwaoKrua depended on locations of cultivation and ages of its tuberous roots. Puerarin and miroestrol seemed to be the main bioactive compounds in White Kwao Krua while daidzein and genistein were isoflavonoids that were found more in Red Kwao Krua. This study suggested the proper source and age of White Kwao Krua and Red Kwao Krua cultivated in Thailand. This information will be beneficial for the selection of these two plants in future formulation development.
Thanks to Mathana Phanit Chiangmai Co., Ltd. for supporting some root samples
of the plants and Mr. Somsak Tharatha for assisting the experiments in this study.
Anusarnsunthorn 1932. Recipe of White Kwao Krua (Pueraria mirifica) medicinal plants
or unrefined drugs. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Cain, J.C. 1960. Miroestrol: an oestrogen from the plant Pueraria mirifica. Nature
Ingham, J.L., Tahara S. and Dziedzic,
S.Z. 1986. A chemical investigation of Pueraria
mirifica roots. Z. Naturforsch. 41C:403-408.
Jones, H.E. and Pope, G.S. 1961.
A method for the isolation of miroestrol from Pueraria
mirifica. J. Endrocrin. 22:303-312.
Lakshnakara, K., Suvatabandhu, K.
and Airy Shaw, H.K. 1952. A new species of
Pueraria (Leguminosae) from Thailand, yielding an oestrogenic principle. Kew Bull.
Manosroi, A., Saowakon, S. and Manosroi,
J. 2002. The safety of Butea superba, Roxb.?
4th Natl. Seminar on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics and
Functional Foods from Nature,
Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 10-12 September.
Herbal medicine long has been used in the management of sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction. Many patients have attested to the efficacy of this treatment. However, is it evidence-based medicine? Studies have been done on animal models, mainly in the laboratory. However, randomized controlled trials on humans are scarce. The only herbal medications that have been studied for erectile dysfunction are Panax ginseng, Butea superba, Epimedium herbs (icariin), Tribulus terrestris, Securidaca longipedunculata, Piper guineense, and yohimbine. Of these, only Panax ginseng, Butea superb, and Yohimbine have published studies done on humans. Unfortunately, these published trials on humans were not robust. Many herbal therapies appear to have potential benefits, and similarly, the health risks of various phytotherapeutic compounds need to be elucidated. Properly designed human trials should be worked out and encouraged to determine the efficacy and safety of potential phytotherapies.
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