Variation of active constituents of an important Tibet folk medicine Swertia mussotii Franch

Author(s): Yang H, Ding C, Duan Y, Liu J


Concentrations of seven phytochemical constituents (swertiamarin, mangiferin, swertisin, oleanolic acid, 1,5,8-trihydroxy-3-methoxyxanthone, 1,8-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyxanthone and 1,8-dihydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyxanthone) of "ZangYinChen" (Swertia mussotii, a herb used in Tibetan folk medicine) were determined and compared in plants collected from naturally distributed high-altitude populations and counterparts that had been artificially cultivated at low altitudes. Levels of mangiferin, the most abundant active compound in this herb, were significantly lower in cultivated samples and showed a negative correlation with altitude. The other constituents were neither positively nor negatively correlated with cultivation at low altitude. Concentrations of all of the constituents varied substantially with growth stage and were highest at the bud stage in the cultivars, but there were no distinct differences between flowering and fruiting stages in this respect.

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