Improved method for isolation of lycopsamine from roots of comfrey (Symphytum officinale).Nat Prod Commun 2012; 7(7):861-2NP
An improved method for the isolation and purification of pyrrolizidine alkaloids from comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) roots was developed, introducing very fast, selective and ion residue-free reduction of N-oxides followed by ion-exchange chromatography giving a non-aqueous solution of alkaloids, from which solvents can be easily removed. With this procedure the use of large volumes of organic solvents, very slow reduction of N-oxides and input of additional impurities was avoided. Lycopsamine, which proved to be the major alkaloid, was additionally purified by preparative layer chromatography (PLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The identity of the alkaloid was confirmed by (I)H NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.