Study of organic acids in Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus after vinegar processing

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Sep 22, 2017
  • Author: Fangzhou Yin, Hui Dai, Lin Li, Tuling Lu, Weidong Li, Baochang Cai, Wu Yin
  • Journal: Journal of Separation Science


The ripened fruit of Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus has unique medical properties in Chinese medicine. It is commonly used after vinegar steaming. Vinegar steaming changes the color of Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus from red to black and enhances its acidic and astringent properties. Lignans are the well‐investigated components in this herb. However, Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus is acidic in the theory of Chinese medicine, and whether vinegar processing changes its organic acid components remains largely unknown. In this study, the organic acids in this herb were derived by the method of methyl esterification, and further analyzed by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry. A total of 39 organic acid compounds were identified. Interestingly, Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus after vinegar processing showed a significant increase in the content of levulinic acid as compared to the unprocessed ones. Pharmacological experiments demonstrated that levulinic acid inhibited the contractility of isolated intestine and had an inhibitory effect on the excessive hyperfunction of small intestinal propulsion. Moreover, the extracts of vinegar‐processed Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus had a stronger inhibitory on the excessive hyperfunction of small intestinal propulsion than that of unprocessed ones. Taken together, this study offers novel insight into the effect of Schisandrae Chinensis Fructus after vinegar processing.

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