An HPLC-DAD-MS method was developed for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the major constituents in Chuanxiong (the dried rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort). Twenty compounds including phenolic constituents, alkylphthalides and phthalide dimers were identified using online ESI-MS and comparisons with literature data and standard compounds, and six of them were quantified by HPLC-DAD simultaneously. A comprehensive validation of the method including sensitivity, linearity, repeatability and recovery was conducted. The linear regressions were acquired with R20.99 and limit of detection (LOD, S/N3) values were between 1.5 and 2.5 ng. The repeatability was evaluated by intra- and inter-day assays, and relative standard deviation (RSD) values were reported within 1.87%. The recovery studies for the quantified compounds were observed in the range of 96.36—102.37% with RSD values less than 2.63%. These phenolic constituents and alkylphthalides, the major constituents in Chuanxiong, are generally regarded as the index for the quality assessment of this herb. The overall procedure is accurate and reproducible, which is considered suitable for the qualitative and quantitative analyses of a large number of Chuanxiong samples.
- Ligusticum Chuanxiong,
- Phenolic Constituent,
- Quality Assessment
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