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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Sep 25;50(20):5513-9.

Quantitative characterization of flavonoid compounds in Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) by LC-UV/DAD.

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Istituto Tecnologie Biomediche, CNR, Via Fratelli Cervi 93, 20090 Segrate (Milan), Italy.


Rooibos tea originates from the leaves and stems of the indigenous South African plant Aspalathus linearis. It has gained much attention for clinical purposes in the case of nervous tension, allergies (dermatitis), and various indigestive problems. Recently, antioxidative activity was also attributed to the tea on the basis of its flavonoid content. Therefore, an HPLC method using a C(18) reversed phase column was developed for the assay of 10 flavonoids in aqueous and methanolic infusions. Main compounds determined were the dihydrochalcone aspalthin, rutin, and orientin, and their content was in the range of 1.0 to 1.3 mg/g. The identity of detected flavonoids was confirmed by comparing their retention times and UV and MS spectra with those of corresponding standards. In addition, the MS analysis showed evidence of the presence of other compounds such as nothofagin, dihydroisoorientin, and dihydroorientin.

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