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of Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC
Besides general chemical constituents usually found in plants, quinovic acid glycosides, plant sterols and catechins have been isolated from Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC to date, for which pharmacological actions have been described. However, the therapeutic relevance of these constituents remains to be discussed.
In addition to the substances cited above, two groups of oxindole alkaloids have also been isolated: the group of pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POA) and the group of tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOA). Interesting pharmacological activities have been documented for both groups, which are therefore used as the leading candidate substances for standardisation.
When growing naturally the plant Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC occurs in two chemically different variants, also known as chemotypes. One chemotype contains predominantly POA, the second predominantly TOA. Differentiation of the two chemotypes is not only interesting from the scientific point of view, but also of essential importance for the production of high-quality medicinal drugs from the plant:
Products manufactured from Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC should be chosen with care to ensure that these preparations have been tested for the absence of TOA and that the POA content is standardised. The effect documented in the experiments can only be expected from products that meet these stringent quality criteria.