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Pharm Biol. 2012 Dec;50(12):1508-12. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2012.685946. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Factors affecting the content of pentacyclic triterpenes in Centella asiatica raw materials.

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Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Hat-Yai, Songkhla, Thailand.



Pentacyclic triterpenes, mainly, asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside, and madecassoside are the active constituents of Centella asitica (L.) Urban. (Apiaceae). These compounds possess various pharmacological activities that have been shown to assist with wound healing and brain enrichment.


Determination of these active pentacyclic triterpenes in extracts from the various parts of C. asiatica plants harvested at different times of the year and grown in different environments.


The separate plant parts selected were leaves, stolons, petioles, flowers, fruits, and nodes with roots. Dried powder from each part was extracted with ethanol by microwave-assisted extraction and subjected to determination of their content of the four pentacyclic triterpenes using a HPLC method. The effects of the places of cultivation as well as harvesting periods on the content of the four pentacyclic triterpenes in the extracts were also determined.


Among the various parts of C. asiatica, the leaves contained the highest amount of pentacyclic triterpenes with a total content of pentacyclic triterpenes of 19.5 mg/g dry powder. However, the contents of the pentacyclic triterpenes in C. asiatica varied according to the place of cultivation and the harvesting period. C. asiatica collected from Trang, Thailand gave the highest content of total pentacyclic triterpenes (37.2 mg/g dry powder) when harvested in March, while those collected from Songkhla, Thailand gave the highest value (37.4 mg/g dry powder) when collected in December. C. asiatica collected from Nakornsrithammarat and Ratchaburi, Thailand gave the lowest content of total pentacyclic triterpenes in all experimental harvesting periods.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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