The laboratory of phytochemistry R&D
Herbs – sources of bioactive compounds
At time being our lab perform extractions of herbs cultivated in Norway. This is part of a research project with several potential application areas. The project includes the following herbs:
- Hops (Humulus lupulus)
- Maral root (Leuzea carthamoides)
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- Peppermint (Mentha pipperita)
- Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea)
- Sweet wormwood (Artemisia annua)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Dried herbs are sequentially extracted by use of dichloromethan (DCM), ethanol and water. In addition, directly alcohol extraction are used for some few selected plants. Sonication has been included as a standard in the extraction method. We are also evaluating the effect of sonication versus that of Soxhlet with respect to DCM extraction. Some dried plants give best yields with sonication, while others have highest yields with Soxhlet extraction.
Colonic phenolics catabolites
Only minor amounts of the flavonoids and other phenolic compounds that are regularly part of our diet reach the circulation system. This doesn’t say that these compounds have no biological impact on our health. However, results obtained the last years point to catabolites from colonic microflora as potentially more important phenolic compounds with respect to the circulation system (blood and urine). Their origin is nevertheless flavonoids and other phenolics from fruits, vegetables and berries.