Skip to main content

Wound healing properties of naphthaquinone pigments fromAlkanna tinctoria


From the roots ofAlkanna tinctoria Tausch, the alkannin esters of the following acids were isolated and identified: β,β-dimethylacrylic acid, β-acetoxy-isovaleric acid, isovaleric acid, and angelic acid. These esteric pigments showed excellent wound healing properties in a clinical study on 72 patients with ulcus cruris.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 2

    R. Gunther, in: The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides, p. 421. (Hafner, New York 1959).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 3

    M. Grieve, in: A Modern Herbal, Hafner, New York 1959.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 4

    All the biological and clinical studies were performed using extract of the root ofAlkanna tinctoria, which I obtained from the Greek Pharmaceutical Company ‘Chropi SA’.

  4. 5

    V.P. Papageorgiou, Chem. Chrom.7, 45 (1978).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 6

    V.P. Papageorgiou, Chem. Chron.6, 365 (1977).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 7

    R.H. Thomson, in: Naturally Occurring Quinones, p. 248. Academic Press, New York 1971; K. Bentley, in: The Natural Pigments, vol. 4, p. 204. Interscience, New York 1960.

    Google Scholar 

  7. 8

    V.P. Papageorgiou and G.A. Digenis, in preparation.

  8. 9

    V.P. Papageorgiou, Planta Med.31, 390 (1977).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 10

    H. Brockmann, Annalen1, 521 (1936).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 11

    V.P. Papageorgiou, Deutsche Patentanmeldung, P 2700448.4 (1977).

  11. 12

    B.N. Ames, J. McCann and E. Yamasaki, Mutation Res.31, 347 (1975).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 13

    V.P. Papageorgiou, A. Winkler, A. Sagredos and G. Digenis, Planta Med., in press (1978).

  13. 14

    F. Heiss, Reichst., Aromen, Körperpflegem.4, 103 (1974).

    Google Scholar 

  14. 15

    The initial phase of the clinical studies was done at the dermatological ward of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece). The studies were then continued at the dermatological ward of the Heidberg Hospital in Hamburg (Germany).

  15. 16

    After 18 weeks this patient left the hospital and continued the treatment at home.

  16. 17

    S.K. Gupta and I.S. Mathur, Indian. J. Cancer9, 50 (1972); Y.N. Shukla, J.S. Tandon, D.S. Bhakuni and M.M. Dhar, Phytochemistry,10, 1909 (1971).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. 18

    S.C. Cohen, H.L. Gabelnick, R.K. Johnson and A. Goldin, Surgery78, 238 (1975).

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Additional information

I thank Dr A. Winkler, Heidberg Hospital and Prof. K. Kanitakis, Aristotle University, for the clinical studies. Prof. A. Sagredos, Aristotle University, for his help and Dr C. Gairola, Tobacco and Health Research Institute, for the mutagenicity tests. I also thank Dr G. A. Digenis and Dr L. Hurley, University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, for their critical reviews and comments.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Papageorgiou, V.P. Wound healing properties of naphthaquinone pigments fromAlkanna tinctoria . Experientia 34, 1499–1501 (1978).

Download citation


  • Ester
  • Clinical Study
  • Wound Healing
  • Healing Property
  • Isovaleric Acid