Extracting the Medicine from Traditional Chinese Medicine

Extracting the Medicine from Traditional Chinese Medicine

Author: David Bradley

Nardostachys chinensis or “Gansong” – a medicinal plant in the family Valerianaceae – is used as a sedative and a painkiller in Oriental medicine. Jun Zhou, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, and colleagues have isolated a new type of sesquieterpenoid–chalcone hybrid, containing a 2,3-dihydrofuran ring fused to an aristolane-type sesquiterpenoid and a chalcone, nardokanshone A (pictured).

Infra-red and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy reveals the absolute structure of the molecule, while density functional theory (DFT) calculations suggest a possible biosynthetic pathway based on the characteristics of this compound and a possible precursor, also isolated, from the plant kanshone C.

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