Liquid chromatographic determination of honokiol and magnolol in hou po (Magnolia officinalis) as the raw herb and dried aqueous extract

J AOAC Int. Sep-Oct 2007;90(5):1210-8.


A validated analytical method is described for the determination of honokiol and magnolol in Hou Po (Magnolia officinalis) as the dried raw herb and the commercially prepared dried aqueous extract. The samples were extracted with methanol by the Soxhlet method, and the extract was analyzed by liquid chromatography with photodiode array (LC/PDA) detection with confirmation of analyte identity by negative-ion electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). A C18 column was used with a menthanol--0.1% aqueous acetic acid gradient mobile phase. Honokiol and magnolol were quantified at 288 nm. With the MS detector, the honokiol precursor ion at m/z 265 was shown to produce ions at m/z 222 and 224. For magnolol, the precursor ion at m/z 265 produced the ions at m/z 247 and 245. Comparable results were obtained for the LC/PDA and LC/ESI-MS/MS methods of quantitation. Six commercially prepared dried aqueous extracts were analyzed. The levels of honokiol and magnolol found in the raw herb were 17.0 and 21.3 mg/g, respectively. The limits of detection for honokiol and magnolol in the raw herb were 0.45 and 0.58 mg/g, respectively, and in the dried aqueous extract, 0.04 and 0.30 mg/g, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biphenyl Compounds / analysis*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Calibration
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Ions
  • Lignans / analysis*
  • Lignans / chemistry
  • Magnolia / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Methanol / chemistry
  • Models, Chemical
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations
  • Reference Standards
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Water / chemistry


  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Ions
  • Lignans
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Preparations
  • Solvents
  • magnolol
  • Water
  • honokiol
  • Methanol