Thursday, 29 October 2015

2009 Characterisation of phenolics in Flor-Essence--a compound herbal product and its contributing herbs

Phytochem Anal. 2009 Sep-Oct;20(5):395-401. doi: 10.1002/pca.1139.



Commercially available herbal mixture FE, a proprietary natural health product manufactured by Flora Manufacturing and Distributing Ltd (Flora), is a unique North American traditional herbal product. FE is a chemically complex mixture of eight herbs and has not been subjected to phytochemical analysis.


To develop analytical methods to undertake detailed phytochemical analyses of FE, and its eight contributing herbs, including burdock (Arctium lappa L.), sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella L.), Turkish rhubarb (Rheum palmatum L.), slippery elm Muhl. (Ulmus rubra), watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. Br.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus L.) and kelp (Laminaria digitata Lmx.).


The identification was undertaken by a combination of reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection-atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation-mass selective detection (RP-HPLC-DAD-APCI-MSD) analysis and phenolics metabolomic library matching.


New separation methods facilitated the identification of 43 markers in the individual herbs which constitute FE. Sixteen markers could be identified in FE originating from four contributing herbs including four caffeoyl quinic acids, three dicaffeoyl quinic acids and two caffeic acid derivatives from A. lappa, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, luteolin, five apigenin glycosides and apigenin from R. acetocella and N. officinale and sissostrin from T. pretense. A validated method for quantitative determination of three markers is reported with good intraday, interday and interoperator repeatability using a reliable alcohol based extraction technique.


FE and its contributing herbs predominantly contain phenolics. This methodology can be applied to further develop full-scale validation of this product.