Herbal drugs are used in human and veterinary medicine as drugs, phytopharmaceuticals or
food and feed supplements. Even in traditional medicine various plants are still used.
The iridoid-glycosid aucubin is widespread in the genus Plantago and has antibacterial, antiinflammatory,
spasmolytic and liver-protective properties. In contrast to aucubin, the
iridoid-glycosid catalpol is present only in a few plantain species. The phenylpropanoid
verbascoside has been observed quite often in plantain plants and has antioxidant and
As part of this thesis twelve different Plantago species of different origins were analyzed by
GC/FID for the presence of aucubin and catalpol. For the analysis of verbascoside a HPLC
method was used.
In all available species, aucubin and catalpol as well as verbascosid were studied (Tab. 2) in
all plant parts (leaves, roots and stems with flowers/fruits).
The results showed that in ten of twelve analysed Plantago species (P. major, P. cornuti,
P. maritima, P. subulata, P. media, P. lanceolata, P. lagopus, P. albicans, P. afra and
P. sempervirens) aucubin was present in the leaves. Even in the roots of P. major, P. cornuti,
P. subulata, P. media, P. lagopus, P. albicans and P. sempervirens aucubin was present.
Catalpol could be detected only in P. lanceolata and P. lagopus in the leaves and in the roots.
In all twelve Plantago-species verbascoside could be detected both in the leaves and in the
The total amounts (mg/g dry mass) of these ingredients varied from species to species.
Aucubin ranged from 0.4 mg/g in the leaves of P. major to 14.5 mg/g in the leaves of
P. lanceolata. In the roots the content of aucubin was between 0.8 mg/g in P. sempervirens
and 42.9 mg/g in P. cornuti. Similarly verbascoside showed a wide concentration range. It
varied from 3.2 mg/g in the leaves of P. lagopus to 26.4 mg/g in the leaves of P. albicans and
in the roots from 1.1 mg/g in P. lagopus to 30.0 mg/g in P. cornuti. In the course of this thesis it was found, that the instability of aucubin in methanolic extracts
was clearly visible within 24 hours.