Abstract: Some Curcuma species are widely used as herbal medicines. Sesquiterpenes are their important bioactive compounds and their quantitative analysis is generally accomplished by gas chromatography (GC) or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), but the instability and high cost of some sesquiterpene reference standards have limited their application. It is necessary to find a practicable means to control the quality of herbal medicines. Using one stable component contained in Curcuma species to determine multiple analogues should be a practical option. In this study, a simple HPLC method for determination of sesquiterpenes using relative response factors (RRFs) has been developed. The easily available and stable active component curdione was selected as the reference compound for calculating the RRFs of the other eight sesquiterpenes, including zedoarondiol (Zedo), isozedoarondiol (Isoz), aerugidiol (Aeru), (4S,5S)-(+)-germacrone-4,5-epoxide (Epox), curcumenone (Curc), neocurdione (Neoc), germacrone (Germ) and furanodiene (Fura). Their RRFs against curdione were between 0.131–1.301, with a good reproducibility. By using the RRFs, the quantification of sesquiterpenes in Curcuma wenyujin herbal medicines and related products was carried out. The method is especially useful for the determination of (4S,5S)-(+)-germacrone-4,5-epoxide, curcumenone, germacrone and furanodiene, which often are regarded as the principle components in Curcuma species, but unstable when were purified. It is an ideal means to analyze the components for which reference standards are not readily available.
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Zhu, J.-J.; An, Y.-W.; Hu, G.; Yin, G.-P.; Zhang, Q.-W.; Wang, Z.-M. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple Sesquiterpenes in Curcuma wenyujin Herbal Medicines and Related Products with One Single Reference Standard. Molecules 2013, 18, 2110-2121.
Zhu J-J, An Y-W, Hu G, Yin G-P, Zhang Q-W, Wang Z-M. Simultaneous Determination of Multiple Sesquiterpenes in Curcuma wenyujin Herbal Medicines and Related Products with One Single Reference Standard. Molecules. 2013; 18(2):2110-2121.
Zhu, Jing-Jing; An, Yue-Wei; Hu, Guang; Yin, Guo-Ping; Zhang, Qi-Wei; Wang, Zhi-Min. 2013. "Simultaneous Determination of Multiple Sesquiterpenes in Curcuma wenyujin Herbal Medicines and Related Products with One Single Reference Standard." Molecules 18, no. 2: 2110-2121.