A review on plant-based rutin extraction methods and its pharmacological activities

J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12;150(3):805-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.10.036. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Rutin is a common dietary flavonoid that is widely consumed from plant-derived beverages and foods as traditional and folkloric medicine worldwide. Rutin is believed to exhibit significant pharmacological activities, including anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, anti-diabetic, anti-adipogenic, neuroprotective and hormone therapy. Till date, over 130 registered therapeutic medicinal preparations are containing rutin in their formulations. This article aims to critically review the extraction methods for plant-based rutin and its pharmacological activities. This review provides comprehensive data on the performance of rutin extraction methods and the extent of its pharmacological activities using various in vitro and in vivo experimental models.

Materials and methods: Literatures including journals, patents, books and leaflets reporting on rutin from natural resources are systematically reviewed, particularly in the aspect of its extraction methods and biological activities. Factors affecting the efficiency of rutin extraction such as extraction temperature, duration and solvent to sample ratio are presented based on the findings of previous studies. The observed biological activities followed by clear explanation are also provided accordingly.

Results: The biological activities of rutin varied largely dependent on the geographical and plant origins. The complexity of natural rutin has impeded the development of rutin derived drugs. The detail mechanism of rutin in human body after consumption is still unclear. Therefore, studies are intensively carried out both in vitro and in vivo for the better understanding of the underlying mechanism. The studies are not limited to the pharmacological properties, but also on the extraction methods of rutin. Many studies have focused on the optimization of extraction method to increase the extraction yield of rutin. Currently, the performances of modern extraction approaches have also been compared to the conventional heat reflux method as a benchmark.

Conclusion: There are various extraction methods for plant-based rutin ranging from conventional method up to the use of modern techniques such as ultrasound, mechanochemical, microwave, infrared and pressurized assisted methods. However, proper comparison between the methods is very difficult because of the variance in plant origin and extraction conditions. It is important to optimize the extraction method in order to produce high yield and acceptable purity of rutin with a reasonable cost. Even though rutin has been proven to be effective in numerous pharmacological activities, the dosage and toxicity of rutin for such activities are still unknown. Future research should relate the dosage and toxicity of rutin for the ethnobotanical claims based on the underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl; 3,4-DHPAA; 3,4-DHT; 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid; 3,4-dihydroxytoluene; 3-HPAA; 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid; AGE; Anti-inflammation; Antioxidant; BHT; CML; COX-1; COX-2; DMPD; DNA; DPPH; Extraction; FRAP; HVA; ICR; Imprinting Control Region; N(ε)-carboxymethylysine; N,N-dimethyl-p-phenylendiamine; PRAP; RNS; ROS; Rutin; SPE; Solid phase extraction; TNF-α; UV; WHO; World Health Organization; advanced glycation end product; butylated hydroxytoluene; cyclo-oxygenase 1; cyclo-oxygenase 2; deoxyribonucleic acid; ferric-reducing antioxidant power; homovanillic acid (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenylacetic acid); phosphomolibdenum-reducing antioxidant power; reactive nitrogen species; reactive oxygen species; solid phase extraction; topo I and II; topoisomerases I and II; tumor necrosis factor-α; ultraviolet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Rutin* / isolation & purification
  • Rutin* / pharmacology
  • Rutin* / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Rutin