Investigation of the Alkaloids of Two Ephedra Spp. Wildly Grown in Iraq

Ekbal Al-khateeb, Hakeem Al-Ani, Kalid Al-Kadi, Essam D.F. Al-Obaidi, Naeem Shalan, Nasser Al-Rawi


Studies covering different species of Ephedra had reported the presence of alkaloids in some species of the plant, but non on the Iraqi Ephedra, therefore a research on this plant might be of value in drug industry.
In a screening program for the Iraqi plants containing alkaloids it was found that Ephedra.alate and Ephedra.transitotia contain suitable amounts of alkaloids. According to these results, together with literature survey, it was deemed to carry out this phytochemical work, with emphasis on isolation and identification of the major alkaloids that might be present. This study covers some phytochemical investigation of two spp. Of wild plants of Ephedra which has wide medicinal reputation due to different pharmacological effects. The two plant spp. Are Ephedra alata Decnc and Ephedra transitoria Riedl. of the family Ephedraceae.
Detailed preliminary investigation on the dried, aerial plant showed the presence of alkaloidal amines that were tested by both dragendprff’s and ninhydrine spraying reagents. The alkaloidal content of the plant extract was authenticated with standard compounds by TLC using several developing systems which proved the occurrence of one alkaloid amine, Ephedrine. However, only one of these developing systems indicated the presence of two major compounds, Ephedrine and Pseudoephedrine in the two plant spp. The extraction method of the plant material, fractionation, and isolation procedures of the alkaloids are fully described. Ephedrine crystals were subjected to tests purity using HPLC, UV, IR, M.P. and M.M.P. which matches with standard Ephedrine. Pseudoephedrine crystals were identified by M.P. and HPLC only


HPLC, IR, UV, Mixed M.P., Extract of Ephedra species

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