Salam, A.M., J.T. Lyles, and C.L. Quave. (2019). Methods in the Extraction and Chemical Analysis of Medicinal Plants. In: Methods and Techniques in Ethnobiology and Ethnoecology. U.P. Albuquerque, L.V.F.C. da Cunha, R.F.P de Lucena, R.R.N. Alves (Eds.). Springer Press Pp. 257-283 , https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8919-5_17 [Link]
This chapter aims to give an overview of advanced techniques for the extraction, isolation, and analysis of natural products from medicinal plants. It is of great pharmacological interest to isolate and study bioactive natural products. Although sometimes the plants selected for study are chosen based on their traditional medicinal uses, this need not be the case as other attributes may justify study, such as chemical diversity and lack of previous study. Extraction techniques represent one of the earliest steps in natural products isolation, and as such can greatly impact results. Once a crude extract is obtained, compound isolation is achieved through the framework of bioassay-guided fractionation. Under this framework, chromatographic separations are used to iteratively generate fractions, each enriched with a compound or set of compounds of a certain attribute, until finally single compounds are isolated. Analysis of extracts, fractions, and single compounds is performed via spectroscopy, through which the chemical character of fractions and structural attributes of compounds of interest can be elucidated.