Natural Products Chemistry & Research

ISSN - 2329-6836


Carotenoid Profiles of Dried Herbs, Water Infusions and Alcoholic Tinctures of Calendula Flower and Catnip, Dandelion, Stinging Nettle, and Violet Leaves

Kiersten Olsen, Sara Arscott and Sherry A Tanumihardjo

Herbs have been used for centuries to help with various ailments in cultures throughout the world. Herbal water infusions and alcoholic tinctures are two processes that are still used today. Five herbs, Calendula flower (Calendula officinalis L.) and Catnip (Nepeta cataria), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale F. Weber ex Wiggers), Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) and Violet leaves (Viola odorata), were analyzed for carotenoid content in three forms: raw-dried herb, water infusion, and alcoholic tincture. Carotenoids infer putative health benefits and act as potential antioxidants and vitamin A precursors. Carotenoid content analysis of herbal preparations adds to current knowledge of which forms deliver the greatest amounts. In order to evaluate carotenoid content, high pressure liquid chromatographic analyses were performed. The concentrations of all-trans-β-carotene, 9- and 13-cis-β-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein within each herbal form were determined. As expected among the preparations evaluated, the raw-dried herb showed the highest mean concentrations of all five carotenoids. The mean carotenoid concentrations in the herbal tincture and infusion forms did not always reflect the same relative profile as the dried herb.