Qualitative and quantitative analysis of Paris quadrifolia mother tincture
Paris quadrifolia L. (Trilliaceae) is a small herb occurring locally in temperate and cool areas throughout Europe and Asia. The plant is known to contain steroidal saponins, which seem to be responsible for its toxicity [1, 2]. Ethanolic tinctures of the whole plant are used in homeopathy to treat headache and neuralgic pain . The homeopathic tincture of P. quadrifolia is monographed in the current German Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (HAB 2007). A phytochemical reinvestigation of the plant led to the isolation of two ecdysone derivatives, two flavonol glycosides as well as the saponins pennogenin 3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-α-L- rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)]-β-D-glucopyranoside and 26-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(25R)-5-en-furost-3β,17α,22α,26-tetrol-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)]-β-D-glucopyranoside. On the basis of these results, methods for the qualitative analysis of these compounds in the mother tincture were developed. Furthermore, a HPLC-method for the quantification of the main steroidal saponin, pennogenin 3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)]-β-D-glucopyranoside, has been established revealing a concentration of about 1.3mg/ml in a commercial mother tincture.
References: 1. Nohara, T. et al. (1982) Chem Pharm Bull 30: 1851–6.
2. Weth A. (1997) Hagers Handbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, Springer, Heidelberg.