Influence of sulfur fumigation on glycoside profile in Platycodonis Radix (Jiegeng)

Xiao Qing Ma, Su Mei Li, Chi Leung Chan, Tao Su, Wei Dong Li, Hui Cao, David W F Fong, Zhiling Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Over recent decades, sulfur fumigation is becoming abused in processing some freshly harvested herbs used as both medicine and food, although it has been questioned whether sulfur fumigation will change the efficacy and safety of the herbs. One of the herbs commonly processed by sulfur fumigation is Platycodonis Radix (Jiegeng in Chinese). Glycosides are the main bioactive components of Jiegeng. Up to the present, no study has been carried out to evaluate the impact of sulfur fumigation on glycoside profile of Jiegeng. Methods: A rapid and versatile ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultra-high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC UHD Q-TOF MS/MS) method was developed for comprehensive analysis of the glycoside profiles of sulfur-fumigated and air-dried Jiegeng samples. Results: Twenty-three glycosides were detected in air-dried and sulfur-fumigated Jiegeng samples. After sulfur fumigation, the peak heights of eight glycosides, namely platycogenin A, platycodin D, platycodin D2, platycodin D3, polygalacin D, polygalacin D2, deapio-platycodin D and 3"-O-acetylplatycodin D2, remarkably decreased; while peak heights of five glycosides, namely syringin, lobetyolin, platycoside E, deapio-platycodin D2 and deapio-platycoside E, slightly increased; in addition, peaks of ten glycosides, platycodin A, platycodin C, platycodin V, platycoside C, 16-oxoplatycodin D, 2"-O-acetylpolygalacin D, 2"-O-acetylpolygalacin D2, 3"-O-acetylpolygalacin D, 3"-O-acetylpolygalacin D2, and platycogenic acid B, disappeared. Conclusion: Sulfur fumigation caused significant changes of glycoside components of Jiegeng. Further investigations are warranted to explore how these chemical changes occurred and whether these changes would affect the efficacy and safety of Jiegeng.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalChinese Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • Glycosides
  • Jiegeng
  • Processing
  • Sulfur fumigation


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