Background: Leonuri Herba (Yimucao) is a very common Chinese herbs for treating menstrual and maternal diseases for thousands of years in China. However, the herb collected in different origins was easily found in the markets which induce the unstable quality for clinic use. In this study, a comprehensive strategy of using multiple chromatographic analysis and chemometric analysis was firstly investigated for chemical discrimination of Leonuri Herba from different geographical origins.
Methods: UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS was applied to identify the peaks of Leonuri Herba and chemical fingerprints were established in 30 batches from different geographical origins. Meanwhile, dissimilarities of chemical compositions among different origins were further investigated by principal component analysis and cluster analysis. And a quantitative UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS approach were established to investigate the potential marker for quality control of Leonuri Herba.
Results: A total of 49 chromatographic peaks of Leonuri Herba were identified by UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS. Leonuri Herba were classified into four categories, and eight major compounds detected could be used as chemical markers for discrimination. Also, the eight components, including leonurine, 4',5-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone, rutin, hyperoside, apigenin, quercetin, kaempferol and salicylic acid, were simultaneously quantified using the extracting ion mode of UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS.
Conclusion: The current strategy not only clearly expounded the correlation between quality and geographical origins of Leonuri Herba, but also provided a fast, accurate and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative method for assessing the quality of Leonuri Herba.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine