University of Illinois at Chicago
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Pharmacognosy of Raw Materials for Black Cohosh Dietary Supplements

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posted on 2017-03-11, 00:00 authored by Ayano Imai
This study explored the potential of the aerial parts of Cimicifuga racemosa as a sustainable source of raw materials for the production of black cohosh dietary supplements to promote women’s health. The first step in this process was to isolate and identify characteristic secondary metabolites from the aerial parts of C. racemosa and compare these metabolites with those known from the roots which are believed to have therapeutic effects. The composition of extracts of the aerial parts of C. racemosa was shown to be different compared to the extracts of the roots/rhizomes. Two new cycloartane triterpene glycosides, 24-epi-1alpha-hydroxycimigenol-3-O-beta-D-xylopyranoside and 1alpha-hydroxydahurinol-3-O-beta-L-arabinopyranoside, were isolated and their structures elucidated. In addition to the two new compounds, five triterpenes were isolated for the first time from C. racemosa. The next step was to establish a method for differentiation and identification of Cimicifuga species and plant parts in black cohosh dietary supplements. A statistical method using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of proton NMR spectra was employed to take into account small signals in the NMR spectra for the identification of extractives from the Cimicifuga species. PCA scores enabled the identification of both the aerial parts and the roots/rhizomes of each of the three of American Cimicifuga species in crude extracts. This metabolomic approach complements the first goal, aimed at the profiling of secondary metabolites of the roots/rhizomes, by taking into account unknown/unidentified compounds. The third step was to evaluate the biological potential of Cimicifuga racemosa aerial parts extract and compounds in terms of safety and efficacy parameters, including chemoprevention, estrogenicity, serotonergic activity, and drug interactions. In conclusion, it was determined that aerial C. racemosa does have potential to be developed into a botanical dietary supplement that may be able to substitute black cohosh products that are currently produced from wild-crafted below-ground parts.



Pauli, Guido F.


Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Orjala, Jimmy van Breemen, Richard B. Lankin, David C. Che, Chun-Tao Friesen, John B. Seigler, David S.

Submitted date



  • en

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