Identification and comparative quantification of bio-active phthalides in essential oils from si-wu-tang, fo-shou-san, radix angelica and rhizoma chuanxiong.Molecules. 2010 Jan 15; 15(1):341-51.M
Phthalides are important bio-active constituents in Si-Wu-Tang and Fo-Shou-San, two commonly used Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) combined prescriptions mainly derived from Radix Angelica and Rhizoma Chuanxiong. In this paper, the contents of eight phthalides, including Z-ligustilide, E-ligustilide, Z-butylenephthalide, E-butylene-phthalide, 3-butylphthalide, neocnidilide and senkyunolide A were determined or estimated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results showed GC-MS was a simple, rapid, and high sensitive method for analyzing phthalides in Si-Wu-Tang, Fo-Shou-San, Radix Angelica and Rhizoma Chuanxiong, and the extractable contents of each phthalides including Z-ligustilide, E-ligustilide, Z-butylenephthalide, etc. varied after Radix Angelica, Rhizoma Chuanxiong were combined into a formulation, such as Si-Wu-Tang and Fo-Shou-San. Furthermore, inhibition activity of essential oils from Si-Wu-Tang, Fo-Shou-San, Radix Angelica and Rhizoma Chuanxiong on uterine contraction was tested in an in vitro assay, and the results showed that the activity of the essential oil is higher as the content of the phthalides increase, which demonstrated that phthalides are possibly main active components inhibiting mice uterine contraction in vitro. All of the results suggested that comparative analysis of chemical components and pharmacological activities of each herb and formula is possibly helpful to elucidate the active components in traditional Chinese medicine, and to reveal the compatibility mechanism of TCM formulae.