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Isolation of 3-butyliden-4,5-dihydrophthalide and steroids from Kelussia odoratissima, a Persian food seasoning
Kelussia odoratissima Mozaff. is wild growing in central Iran and being called „karafs koohi“ [mountain celery], is vastly used as yogurt seasoning . It is believed in folk medicine to be effective as anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, anti-tussive, sedative and to treat gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases. Some of the claimed effects have been tested and approved; e.g. it had beneficial effects to prevent development of fatty streak . Despite its wide use, there is no previous phytochemical analysis on the plant. Here, we report the isolation of two sterols and one phthalide from Kelussia odoratissima. Grounded fruits were extracted with hexane using a Soxhlet apparatus. After winterization, the extract was purified using mplc, eluting with heptane-ethylacetate (10:0 to 0:10) to get fractions A1-N1. Fraction G1 rendered mass of crystals which were recrystallized repeatedly in hexane to get crystals of stigmasterol and sitosterol. Fractions H1-L1 were put together and purified using second mplc eluted with heptane:ethyl acetate (8:2–6:4), resulted in fractions A2-R2. Fraction E2 rendered mass of crystals which were recrystallized to get 3 as 3-butyliden-4,5-dihydrophthalide (Z-ligustilide). Using HNMR, CNMR and mass spectra, structures were elucidated. Since, plant sterols are effective on blood cholesterol  and inflammatory processes  in human body, and phthalides could decreased platelet aggregation [5,6], and were effective on Helicobacter pylori  and inflammation , a rational relation between the major plant constituents and its proposed ethnopharmacological effects may be postulated.
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