Isolation and Identification of Triterpene Saponins from Phytolacca americana L. (Phytolaccaceae)
Phytolacca americana L. (Phytolaccaceae), commonly known as poke, pokeweed or pokeberry, is an herbaceous dicot native to North America. Despite the plant's documented toxicity, poke continues to be used as a food and therapeutic . The roots of the plant have been traditionally used for a variety of indications including inflammation and rheumatism and for the treatment of viral, fungal and parasitic infections . In order to formulate a better understanding of the risk and benefits associated with the use of poke, a thorough study of its phytochemical profile is required. Reported herein are the results of a preliminary investigation focused on the isolation and identification of triterpenes saponins, including the toxic compounds phytolaccoside B and phytolaccin (1), from the plant. Several triterpene saponins were isolated through chromatographic techniques and identified through spectrometric methods. The isolated compounds and data obtained from this preliminary work will be further used to support a broader phytochemical investigation of the plant. Acknowledgements: This research is supported by Science Based Authentication of Dietary Supplements funded by the Food and Drug Administration grant number 5U01FD004246. References:  Nienaber MA, Thieret JW. (1993+) Phytolacca Americana in Flora of North America. Flora of North America Editorial Committee. New York and Oxford. 4: 5 – 8.  Barton BS (1810) Collections for an Essay towards a Materia Medica of the United States. Fry and Kammerer Printers. Philadelphia: 27 – 28.