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Abstract

We determined the level of flavonoids, citric acid and ascorbic acid in hips of rose species from the Caninae section occurring in Poland. We performed phytochemical analyses of 75 samples representing 11 species: Rosaagrestis Savi, R. canina L., R. dumalis Bechst., R. glauca Pourret, R. inodora Fries, R. jundzillii Besser, R. rubiginosa L., R. sherardii Davies, R. tomentosa Sm., R. villosa L. and R. zalana Wiesb. Flavonoid content was determined spectrophotometrically, and organic acid concentrations by HPLC. The content of the studied compounds varied greatly. Interspecific differences in the amount of flavonoids and ascorbic acid were highly significant. The most common species, Rosa canina, showed low average content of vitamin C (0.51 g/100 g of dry matter) and flavonoids (41 mg/100 g DM) and high content of citric acid (3.48 g/100 g DM). Ascorbic acid was highest in R. villosa hips (avg. 2.25 g/100 g DM), flavonoids were highest in R. rubiginosa (72 mg/100 g DM), and citric acid was highest in R. tomentosa (4.34 g/100 g DM). Flavonoid level correlated negatively with the amount of citric acid (r=-0.47, p<0.001). Cluster analysis of rose species based on the content of the investigated compounds confirmed the validity of the division of sect. Caninae into three subsections: Rubiginosae, Vestitae and Rubrifoliae. The phytochemical variation of these roses reflects their probable phylogenetic relationships as determined from morphology.
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Abstract

Ascorbic acid is a well-known antioxidant found in plants. The content of ascorbic acid was assayed using a normal phase European Pharmacopoeia HPLC method for ascorbic acid in medicinal products. The content of ascorbic acid in herbs was calculated in % for absolutely dry drug. Ascorbic acid was not detected in the roots of Primula ueris, in aerial parts it was detected in flowers (0.43 +/- 0.034%), in blades (1.43 +/- 0.11%) and petioles (1.56 +/- 0.12%). In fresh leaves collected at weekly intervals the content of ascorbic acid varied from 1.19 to 2.39%, being highest from mid-May to mid-June. The fresh leaves contained 2.35 +/- 0.18% of ascorbic acid and when frozen its content was quite stable for one year. The content of ascorbic acid in dried leaves decreased more than ten times in three months, in twelve months it was less than 1/20th of the initial level. Compared to the analyzed common fresh fruits and salads (n = 10) the fresh leaves of common cowslip contained considerably more ascorbic acid. Commercial orange juices could be recommended as the most convenient source of ascorbic acid (8.6-50.4 mg/100 ml); 1-5 glasses of orange juice could fulfill the recommended daily intake of vitamin C (60 mg).
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