Phytochemical characterization of an adaptogenic preparation from Rhodiola heterodonta

Mary H. Grace, Gad G. Yousef, Anvar G. Kurmukov, Ilya Raskin, Mary Ann Lila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phytochemical constituents of a biologically active, standardized, 80% ethanol extract of Rhodiola heterodonta were characterized. The extract was fractionated over a Sephadex LH-20 column to afford two main fractions representing two classes of secondary metabolites: phenylethanoids and proanthocyanidins. This fractionation facilitated the identification and quantification of individual compounds in the fractions and sub-fractions using HPLC, and LC-MS. The major compounds in the phenylethanoid fraction were heterodontoside, tyrosol methyl ether, salidroside, viridoside, mongrhoside, tyrosol, and the cyanogenic glucoside rhodiocyanoside A. These seven compounds comprised 17.4% of the EtOH extract. Proanthocyanidins ranged from oligomers to polymers based on epigallocatechin and gallate units. The main identified oligomeric compounds in the proanthocyanidin fraction were epigallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate and 3-O-galloyl- epigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, which constituted 1.75% of the ethanol extract. Tyrosol methyl ether, mongrhoside, and the two proanthocyanidin dimers were reported for the first time from this species in this study. Intraperitoneal injection of the 80% ethanol extract increased survival time of mice under hypoxia by 192%, as an indication of adaptogenic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1058
Number of pages6
JournalNatural Product Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009


  • Adaptogenic activity
  • Anti-hypoxia
  • Phenylethanoid
  • Proanthocyanidin
  • Rhodiola heterodonta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Plant Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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