NMR based Metabolomic Investigation of the Brazilian Medicinal Plant Carqueja: Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC
In 2010 the ANVISA (the Brazilian Agency equivalent to the FDA in the USA) recognized 66 species of plants as medicinal plants and regulated its use . Of most of these species only limited phytochemical information is available and doubts exist about the active components. On several species we iniciated research with the objective to obtain the phytochemical fingerprints and relate them to the pharmacological activities.
From Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC., a plant widely used in popular medicine, and known in Brazil under the name Carqueja, a series of samples was obtained from local markets and pharmacies. Using a protocol developed in our laboratory, the samples were directly extracted with deuterated solvents to provide two types of extracts: A polar aqueous extract and a apolar chloroformic extract. These were subsequently analysed by NMR spectroscopy.
In this comparison large differences were encounterred in the chemical composition: e.g. the quantity of the flavonoid Eupatorin ranged between 0 and 10mg/g of plant material.
The differences in the phytochemical profiles generate large doubts about the efficient use of this medicinal plant. But, considering that the active components have not been identified, it also offers a possibility to find novel drug leads, by metabolomics, in which activity profiles of the individual samples are directly compared with the chemical profiles. With sufficient samples and efficient biological tests the active components will be revealed.
Acknowledgement: CNPq, FAPERJ, CAPES.
References: 1. Diário Oficial da União, Resolução RDC no. 10, de 9 de março de 2010.