Improved quality control method for Danshen products--consideration of both hydrophilic and lipophilic active components

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2006 Jun 7;41(3):744-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2005.12.032. Epub 2006 Feb 2.


The current study intends to provide an improved quality control analysis for Danshen product-a representative herbal product with known active components that are both hydrophilic and lipophilic in nature. A simple HPLC method with photodiode-array (PDA) ultraviolet detection was developed for the simultaneous determination of three major lipophilic components (cryptotanshinone, tanshinone I and tanshinone IIA) and three major hydrophilic components (danshensu, protocatechuic aldehyde and salvianolic acid B) of Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza). These six components were successfully separated using Radial-pak C18 cartridge with the elution gradient consisting of 0.5% acetic acid in water and 0.5% acetic acid in acetonitrile at a flow rate of 1 ml/min. The intra-day and inter-day precisions of the analysis were within 2.32 and 2.0%, respectively. The detection limits were 0.02, 0.01, 0.01, 0.05, 0.005 and 0.02 microg/ml for cryptotanshinone, tanshinone I, tanshinone IIA, danshensu, protocatechuic aldehyde and salvianolic acid B, respectively. The developed method has been applied to the simultaneous determination of above six major components in Fufang Danshen Tablet and Dripping Pill products by extraction with methanol and water. It has been demonstrated that salvianolic acid B and danshensu are the major components among the eight commercial Fufang Danshen products studied. The current developed method with methanol as extraction solvent provides a simple and efficient method for simultaneous detection of both lipophilic and hydrophilic major components in Danshen products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Quality Control
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Salvia miltiorrhiza / chemistry*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet