Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are produced by numerous plant species throughout the world. Numerous intoxications in animals and humans caused by the consumption of certain plants were attributed from the middle of this century to compounds of vegetable origin, the pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Daun dewa (Gynura pseudo-china (L.) DC.) is one of Indonesian medicinal plant which also a native plant of India, Thailand and China. The tuber of this plant is commonly used in Indonesian traditional medicine such as for treatments of uterine hemorrhages, dysentery, and inflamed wounds. Although its medicinal value, it is reported that leaves of this plant and other Gynura species content pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). There are concern about the present of PAs in medicinal plants because of the toxicity of this compounds to human and animal. It is reported that PAs are hepatotoxic, pneumotoxic, genotoxic, neurotoxic, and cytotoxic. The purpose of this study is to study the PAs content of G. pseudochina tuber. The structures-were elucidated using spectral data of Infra Red, Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy and a combination of one- and two dimensional 1H and 13C- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. In this study, two pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine (Compound 1) and senkirkine (Compound 2) were isolated from the tuber of G. pseudo-china. This results suggest that it should be a safety consideration in consuming this plant for traditional medicine because it is also contains PAs which are toxic compounds.
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