Our friends at SeparationsNow.com recently published an article about how thin layer chromatography is being used to help identify powerful antioxidants in the Pereskia bleo plant.
Here's some excerpts:
Pereskia bleo is among 17 species of Pereskia cacti, consumed as a vegetable as well as being used as a traditional herbal medicine in Latin America and Asia. Its leaves have been used to treat diseases associated with inflammation, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. Supporting its medical use, analyses have shown that P. bleo contains several bioactive elements, including alkaloids, flavonoids, sterols, terpenoids and carotenoids.
To properly analyse herbal extracts, chromatographic analysis of the entire sample should be used.
However, the major systems used for analysis – NMR, GC-MS and HPLC-MS – are prohibitively expensive in developing countries, where herbal extracts are most widely used. A more affordable alternative is thin-layer chromatography