Quality evaluation of cortex berberidis from different geographical origins by simultaneous high performance liquid chromatography combined with statistical methods

  • Yan Li
  • Xiu-Mei Lv
  • Ce Tang
  • Xian-Rong Lai
  • Yi Zhang
  • Gang Fan
Keywords: Tibetan medicine, Cortex berberidis, Origin discrimination, Quality evaluation, Magnoflorine, Palmatine, Berberine, Jatrorrhizine


Purpose: To develop an effective method for evaluating the quality of Cortex berberidis from different geographical origins.

Methods: A simple, precise and accurate high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method was first developed for simultaneous quantification of four active alkaloids (magnoflorine, jatrorrhizine, palmatine, and berberine) in Cortex berberidis obtained from Qinghai, Tibet and Sichuan Provinces of China. Method validation was performed in terms of precision, repeatability, stability, accuracy, and linearity. Besides, partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were applied to study the quality variations of Cortex berberidis from various geographical origins.

Results: The proposed HPLC method showed good linearity, precision, repeatability, and accuracy. The four alkaloids were detected in all samples of Cortex berberidis. Among them, magnoflorine (36.46 - 87.30 mg/g) consistently showed the highest amounts in all the samples, followed by berberine (16.00 - 37.50 mg/g). The content varied in the range of 0.66 - 4.57 mg/g for palmatine and 1.53 - 16.26 mg/g for jatrorrhizine, respectively. The total content of the four alkaloids ranged from 67.62 to 114.79 mg/g. Moreover, the results obtained by the PLS-DA and ANOVA showed that magnoflorine level and the total content of these four alkaloids in Qinghai and Tibet samples were significantly higher (p < 0.01) than those in Sichuan samples.

Conclusion: Quantification of multi-ingredients by HPLC combined with statistical methods provide an effective approach for achieving origin discrimination and quality evaluation of Cortex berberidis. The quality of Cortex berberidis closely correlates to the geographical origin of the samples, with Cortex berberidis samples from Qinghai and Tibet exhibiting superior qualities to those from Sichuan.

Keywords: Tibetan medicine, Cortex berberidis, Origin discrimination, Quality evaluation, Magnoflorine, Palmatine, Berberine, Jatrorrhizine


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996