Quantification of procyanidins in oral herbal medicinal products containing extracts of Crataegus species

Jörg Wittig, Ingrid Leipolz, Eva Ulrike Graefe, Birgit Jaki, Dieter Treutter, Markus Veit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


According to the European Pharmacopeia a photometric assay is used for the estimation of procyanidins in Crataegi fructus. This assay is also most commonly used for procyanidin analysis in herbal medicinal products (HMPs) containing extracts of hawthorn (Crataegus species). In order to find an appropriate method for the determination of oligomeric and polymeric procyanidins by analysing various preparations containing extracts of Crataegus, the Ph. Eur.-method was compared to an HPLC-method with chemical reaction detection (HPLC-CRD-method) and another conventional photometric assay using 4-dimethylamino-cinnamic-aldehyde (DMACA). Total procyanidins estimates obtained with the pharmacopeial method were, depending on the reference standard used, at least more than 50 % higher than those obtained with the DMACA-assay. The determination of individual procyanidins could only be achieved by HPLC-CRD. Monomeric, dimeric, and trimeric procyanidins could be separated and detected individually, whereas no HPLC separation was possible for higher polymeric compounds. However, these compounds could be analysed as co-eluting groups. Using the DMAGA method for the estimation of total oligomeric procyanidins and the HPLC-CRD method for quantification of the mono- up to trimeric procyanidins, some market leading herbal medicinal products from Germany containing extracts Crataegus species (C. monogyna Jacq., C. laevigata D.C., C. pentagyna Waldst. et Kit., C. nigra Waldst. et Kit, C. azarolus L.) were analysed. Procyanidin B2 (epicatechin-(4β→8)-epicatechin) was isolated from Aesculus hippocastanum fruit shells as reference standard for calibration purposes. The structure elucidation was carried out by by means of MS and 1H-NMR. Quantitative 1H-NMR spectroscopy (qNMR) was applied for purity assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
Number of pages8
JournalArzneimittel-Forschung/Drug Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Aesculus hippocastanum Crataegus extracts
  • Quantification in medicinal products
  • Quantification of procyanidins Hawthorn Procyanidins


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