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Artur Adamczak, Agnieszka Gryszczyńska and Waldemar Buchwald


Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea L.) is an adaptogenic plant, widely used in the traditional medicine of Scandinavia, Russia, China and Mongolia. The aim of the study was to determine the biometric and phytochemical co-variability of this species under field cultivation in western Poland (Plewiska near Poznań). The plant material originated from four-year-old cultivation established twice by rhizome division in autumn 2007 and 2008. In the study, 46 individuals (23 plants in 2011 and in 2012) were used. The biometric analysis included measurements of the basic characteristics of plants related to the size (luxuriance) of clumps, shoots, leaves and rhizomes with roots (raw material). The amounts of total polyphenols (expressed as gallic acid), tannins (expressed as pyrogallol) and flavonoids (expressed as quercetin) were determined spectrophotometrically. The obtained results showed high variation of Rh. rosea, especially in the level of flavonoids (0.01-0.20% DM) and in the weight of raw material (113-1156 g FM/plant). There were observed correlations between the phytochemical (flavonoid and total phenolic content) and biometric (water content, leaf number, shoot and clump size) features.

Open access

Artur Adamczak, Waldemar Buchwald, Jerzy Zieliński and Sebastian Mielcarek

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: Rosa agrestis 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.

Open access

Marcin Ożarowski, Jędrzej Przystanowicz and Artur Adamczak


Preparations from rhizomes of Petasites hybridus (L.) Gaertn., B. Mey. & Scherb. (common butterbur) have a long history of use in folk medicine in treatment of several diseases as anti-inflammatory and spasmolytic drugs. Extracts from this species are of interest to researchers in the field of phytopharmacology due to their biologically active compounds, particularly two eremophilane sesquiterpenes (petasin and isopetasin), which are contained not only in rhizomes and roots, but also in leaves. Moreover, P. hybridusa contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which showed hepatotoxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic properties. Hence, special extracts devoid of alkaloids obtained by sub- and super-critic carbon dioxide extraction were used in the preclinical, clinical studies and phytotherapy. Our review aims to provide a literature survey of pharmacological as well as clinical trials of P. hybridus, carried out in 2000-2013. Also several studies of other species used in non-European countries have been included. Besides, the botanical description of Petasites genus and phytochemical characteristic of P. hybridus and toxicological studies of pyrrolizidine alkaloids as well as chemical profile of patented commercial extracts from rhizomes, roots and leaves of this species used in European phytotherapy have been performed. In this review, attention has also been paid to the promising and potential application of special extracts of P. hybridus not only in the prevention of migraine, treatment of allergic rhinitis symptoms, asthma and hypertension, but also in prevention and slowing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases developing with the inflammatory process in the CNS as a new therapeutic strategy. In fact, there is already an evidence of promising properties of P. hybridus extracts and sesquiterpens - decrease in the prostaglandins and leukotrienes release, inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activity, as well as antagonism of L-type voltage-gated calcium channels. In order to explain the new mechanisms of action of P. hybridus extracts in the CNS and their future application in phytotherapy of diseases with neuroinflammatory process, further studies should be performed.

Open access

Tomasz M. Karpiński and Artur Adamczak


Introduction: For centuries, mosses have been used in traditional medicine due to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities. Objective: The present study was designed to evaluate the antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts obtained from 12 moss species: Brachythecium albicans, Bryum argenteum, Ceratodon purpureus, Dicranum scoparium, Dryptodon pulvinatus, Orthotrichum anomalum, Oxyrrhynchium hians, Plagiomnium undulatum, Polytrichum juniperinum, P. piliferum, Schistidium crassipilum, and Syntrichia ruralis. Methods: The antimicrobial activity of extracts was investigated against three Gram(+) bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus pyogenes) and two Gram(-) bacteria (Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae), using the agar disc-diffusion method. Results: The high activity against all investigated bacteria was determined for extracts of D. pulvinatus, P. undulatum, B. argenteum, S. crassipilum, O. anomalum (mean inhibition zone: 11.3-13.1 mm) and to a lesser extent in the case of D. scoparium (8.3 mm). Extracts from P. juniperinum and P. piliferum showed activity only against Gram-positive bacteria, with an inhibition zone from 7.3 to 9.7 mm. Four species: B. albicans, C. purpureus, O. hians, and S. ruralis had not antibacterial properties. Conclusions: The obtained results indicate that mosses could be a significant source of antibacterial agents. For the first time, we presented antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts from S. crassipilum and O. anomalum.

Open access

Anna Forycka, Artur Adamczak, Bogna Opala, Agnieszka Gryszczyńska and Waldemar Buchwald


Introduction: The inflorescence of Helichrysum arenarium (L.) Moench shows anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying properties and is traditionally used in liver and biliary tract diseases. Because of its difficult and expensive cultivation, the plant raw material is mainly harvested from natural sites.

Objective: The research aimed to determine the local variation in yield and content of flavonoids and phenolic acids in the yellow everlasting inflorescence against the background of the layer structure of vegetation as the rate of plant succession.

Methods: The plant raw material was collected from 30 plots of 1 m2, established for three separate populations developing on sandy fallows near Zielona Góra (western Poland). For each study area, percentage cover of the moss-lichen and herb layers, the height, cover and yield of H. arenarium as well as the height and cover of other herbaceous plants were determined. Total contents of flavonoids (expressed as quercetin) and phenolic acids (calculated as caffeic acid) were measured spectrophotometrically, according to Polish Pharmacopoeia.

Results: Everlastings reached a cover of up to 70% and the maximum air-dry matter yield of 46.42 g/m2. The height, coverage and yield of H. arenarium were correlated with the parameters describing the herb layer. The content of flavonoids ranged from 0.56 to 0.99%, while that of phenolic acids from 0.82 to 1.80% DM.

Conclusions: Yellow everlasting is an important species of early fallows on poor sandy soils and these habitats constitute a rich natural source of herbal raw material. Inflorescences harvested from natural sites are distinguished by a high and similar content of polyphenols and usually meet the requirements of Polish Pharmacopoeia.