Functional Teas from the Stems of Penthorum chinense Pursh.: Phenolic Constituents, Antioxidant and Hepatoprotective Activity

  • Libo He
  • Shiyan Zhang
  • Chaomei Luo
  • Yiran Sun
  • Qiuxia Lu
  • Lei Huang
  • Fang Chen
  • Lin TangEmail author
Original Paper


Penthorum chinense Pursh (PCP), a medicinal and edible plant, is traditionally used for liver protection and treatment of liver diseases. In this study, we compared the differences of composition and activity of flowers, stems and leaves of PCP to select a bioactive part. The stems of PCP with stronger antioxidant activity (6.25–100 μg/mL) and lower cytotoxicity (25–200 μg/mL) than the flowers and leaves were a better bioactive part. Then the chemical composition and hepatoprotective effects of an aqueous extract and an 70% ethanolic extract made with stems of PCP were investigated. We found that the 70% ethanolic extract enriched more polyphenols and flavonoids and possessed significantly stronger hepatoprotective activity than the aqueous extract in the dose range of 25–200 μg/mL, which indicated that 70% ethanol is the better solvent of PCP in extraction technology. Moreover, ethyl acetate extract of stems of PCP (PSE) was used to evaluate the hepatoprotective ability of PCP against oxidative damage using an in vitro model of a normal rat’s liver cell (BRL-3A). Besides, 12 phenolic compounds were identified from PSE by ultra-performance liquid chromatography followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS). Obtained results strongly support the traditional use of PCP and prove stems of PCP to be an important source of bioactive compounds associated with hepatoprotective activity.


Penthorum chinense Pursh Aqueous extract Ethanolic extract Hepatoprotective ability Oxidative damage UPLC-ESI-MS 



Penthorum chinense Pursh


aqueous extracts


ethanolic extracts


ethyl acetate fraction of Penthorum chinense Pursh flowers, stems and leaves


alanine aminotransferase


aspartate aminotransferase


lactate dehydrogenase








reactive oxygen species


total phenolic content


total flavonoid content



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31570351, Date: 2016.01-2019.12).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest exits in the submission of this manuscript, and manuscript is approved by all authors for publication.

Supplementary material

11130_2018_701_MOESM1_ESM.doc (6.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 6985 kb)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Bio-Resources and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life SciencesSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Energy Plant Bio-Oil Production and ApplicationChengduChina
  3. 3.Institute of New Energy and Low-Carbon TechnologySichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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