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Planta Med. 2008 Jun;74(7):787-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1074537. Epub 2008 May 26.

Authentication of the traditional medicinal plant Eleutherococcus senticosus by DNA and chemical analyses.

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Division of Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry and Narcotics, National Institute of Health Sciences, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Shigoka (SGK), the rhizome of Eleutherococcus senticosus, is a traditional medicine used as a tonic in northeastern Asia and far eastern Russia. We analyzed the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence of the medicine available on the Japanese and Chinese markets and found that at least 3 species were used as the source plant of the commercial SGKs and that only 70% of all samples was made from the correct species. Furthermore, we performed the quantitative determination of 3 marker compounds, eleutheroside B (EB), syringaresinol diglucoside (Syr), and isofraxidin (Iso) by ultraperformance liquid chromatography (UPLC)/mass spectrometry (MS). We found that EB and Iso are specific to the correct source plant of SGK. Of them, EB is thought to be the best marker compound for quality assurance of the SGK from the viewpoint of its pharmacological activity.

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