Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access June 20, 2023

Determination of the contents of bioactive compounds in St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum): Comparison of commercial and wild samples

  • Paweł Rychlewski , Elham Kamgar , Sylwia Mildner-Szkudlarz ORCID logo , Przemysław Łukasz Kowalczewski ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Joanna Zembrzuska ORCID logo EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Chemistry


St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a medicinal plant with a rich history of traditional use. It has been shown to possess a range of beneficial health properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In this study, the content of flavonoids and the antioxidant activity of commercially available dried and wild-grown samples were analyzed using the LC–MS/MS method. In addition, these samples were evaluated for their functional constituents, such as phenolic acids (ferulic, caffeic, chlorogenic, and gallic acids), quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin using the liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method. The most important antioxidant constituents in the samples analyzed were polyphenols with chlorogenic acid as the predominant compound. The content of the most important biocomponents with antidepressant activity was also analyzed. The results suggest that wild plants exposed to more stress factors have higher amount of compounds with antidepressant effects than plants grown in controlled conditions.

1 Introduction

In the last decade, interest in a healthy lifestyle has increased significantly. Because of the ever-accelerating pace of life, many people are looking for sort of plant-inside chemicals that can raise their mood and help them with adapting stressful situations. It is well-known that in Chinese medicine many herbs were used to help people with a variety of illnesses and disorders that are an integral part of life [1]. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a medicinal plant with a rich history of traditional use that dates back to thousands of years. It is a perennial herb that belongs to the Hypericaceae family [2]. It grows up to 1 m in height and has small yellow flowers with five petals. The plant is known for its ability to grow in a wide range of conditions, from dry pastures to wetlands, and it is commonly found in fields and along roadsides. This herb is native to Europe, but is now found in many regions around the world [3].

St. John’s wort contains a diverse range of bioactive compounds, including hypericin, hyperforin, and various flavonoids such as quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol [4]. Hypericin and hyperforin are believed to be the main constituents responsible for the antidepressant activity. Hypericin is a photosensitive compound that is believed to inhibit the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline, in the brain. Hyperforin, on the other hand, has been shown to increase the levels of these neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to an improvement in mood [5].

Flavonoids are a second group of naturally occurring bioactive compounds found in St. John’s wort [68]. Flavonoids have been shown to possess a range of beneficial health properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. The antioxidant activity of flavonoids is due to their ability to scavenge free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative damage to cells and tissues. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body as a result of metabolism, but can also be generated by external factors such as pollution, radiation, and cigarette smoke [9]. When free radicals accumulate in the body, they can cause damage to DNA, proteins, and other cellular components, leading to various health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and ageing [10]. Flavonoids act as antioxidants by neutralizing free radicals and protecting cells and tissues from oxidative damage. They do this by donating an electron to the free radical, which stabilizes it and prevents it from causing further damage. In addition to their antioxidant properties, flavonoids also possess anti-inflammatory activity [11,12]. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to injury or infection, but when it becomes chronic, it can cause a range of health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease [13,14]. Flavonoids have been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory molecules such as cytokines and prostaglandins, which are responsible for the inflammatory response. Additionally, flavonoids can inhibit the activity of enzymes such as cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase, which are involved in the production of inflammatory molecules. By inhibiting these enzymes, flavonoids can reduce inflammation and alleviate associated symptoms, such as pain and swelling [15].

Taking into account the aforementioned, in this study, the content of flavonoids and the antioxidant activity of commercially available wild St. John’s wort plant were analyzed. Furthermore, these samples were evaluated for their functional constituents, such as phenolic acids (ferulic, caffeic, chlorogenic, and gallic), quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin, using the LC–MS/MS method. The antioxidant activity of the plants was also evaluated.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Plant materials and extraction procedure

The first sample (denoted as Hp1) was a wild-type plant in the Wielkopolska region in Poland (52.37466002113175, 17.03565025813746). The next samples (Hp2–Hp6) were obtained from five commercial suppliers and were available in the Polish market.

All samples were ground to powder in a laboratory mill. An amount of 250 mg of samples was then extracted with 5 mL of 99% methanol for 30 min with centrifugation at 320 rpm (Cimarec i Poly 15 Multipoint Stirrer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, USA) for the whole extraction time. The supernatants were decanted and filtered (0.22 μm). For every plant three methanol extracts were prepared, giving 18 extracts in total (Figures 1 and 2). The extracts prepared in this way were immediately used for analysis.

Figure 1 
                  Methanol extracts of H. perforatum. Samples 1–6 represent Hp1–Hp6, respectively.
Figure 1

Methanol extracts of H. perforatum. Samples 1–6 represent Hp1–Hp6, respectively.

Figure 2 
                  Comparison of methanol extracts with drought product. Samples 1–6 represent Hp1–Hp6, respectively.
Figure 2

Comparison of methanol extracts with drought product. Samples 1–6 represent Hp1–Hp6, respectively.

2.2 Total flavonoid content

The total content of flavonoids was determined by the method described by Dalli et al. [16]. A 1 mL of distilled water and 50 μL of NaNO3 (5%, w/v) were added to 200 μL of the extract and waited for 5 min. Then 120 μL of AlCl3 (10%, w/v) was added and a further 6 min was allowed. After this, 400 μL of NaOH (1 M) was added. Finally, water was added to the samples so that their final volume was 3 mL. The amount of flavonoids was determined by the standard curve technique, which was prepared for the quercetin solution. A standard was prepared in the concentration range of 4–73 µg/mL. Prior to analysis, the standard solutions were subjected to the same procedure as the extracts. The results were presented as mg per g of dry plants [17].

2.3 Antioxidant activity

The antioxidant activity was assessed with the ABTS radical (2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)) [18,19]. To generate the radical cation, potassium persulfate (66.3 mg) was mixed with a solution of ABTS (360.3 mg) in 100 mL of distilled water and left for 48 h in the dark. The standard solution from which the curve was made was Trolox (16.3 mg/5 mL of methanol) prepared in the concentration range of 0.005–0.12 µmol/5 mL. The absorbance corresponding to the Trolox content was calculated from the formula:

A = A 1 A 0 ,

where A1 is the absorbance of sample and A0 is the absorbance of control.

From the methanolic extracts, 100 µL were taken into 5 mL flasks, 150 µL of ABTS*+ were introduced, and then supplemented with distilled water. After 6 min of storage in the dark, the absorbance of solutions was measured at 725 nm. On the basis of the equation of the obtained standard curve, the concentration of antioxidants in the extracts was calculated and expressed in µg of Trolox per 5 mL, which was converted to the weight of dried linden.

2.4 Determination of phenolic acids by LC–MS/MS

The determination of phenolic acids (ferulic, caffeic, chlorogenic, and gallic), as well as quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin was performed with a UltiMate 3000 RSLC (Dionex, Thermo, USA) coupled with an API 4000 QTRAP triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization (from AB Sciex, Foster City, CA, USA) in negative ionization modes (LC–MS/MS). A Luna C18 analytical column [20,21] (150 mm × 2.0 mm, particle size 3 μm particle size) from Phenomenex, USA was used for the chromatographic separation of these compounds [16,22]. The column temperature was maintained at 35°C and the injection volume was 5.0 μL. For the LC–MS/MS analysis of caffeic, ferulic, chlorogenic, and gallic acids, the mobile phase was prepared from Milli-Q water containing 5 mmol/L ammonium acetate (component A) and methanol (component B). The gradient program was 50% B from 0 to 2.5 min, increased to 100% B in 3 min and lasted 0.5 min; the flow rate was 0.20 mL/min. For the analysis of quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin, the mobile phase was a gradient prepared from water with 0.8% CH3COOH and 5 mM CH3COONH4 (component A) and acetonitrile (component B). The gradient program was 20% B from 0 min, increased to 100% B in 25 min and lasted 10 min; the flow rate was 0.2 mL/min. A post-run time was set at 4.0 min for column equilibration before the next injection. The operating conditions for mass spectrometry for all acids were as follows: curtain gas 10 psi, nebulizer gas and auxiliary gas 40 psi, source temperature 400°C (500°C for quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin), ion spray voltage −4,500 V, and collision gas set to medium. Quantitative analysis of the compounds was performed in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. For analytes, one transitions of the deprotonated molecular ion and their respective ion product. These transitions (m/z) with associated declustering potentials (DP), collision energies (CE), and collision cell exit potential (CXP) are shown in Table 1. The quantification of phenolic acids was made by comparing the peak areas with those of the standards. The phenolic acid content in methanol extracts was determined by the multiple standard addition technique. For this purpose, four solutions of the sample were prepared for each of the extracts, one without the addition of standard and three with the addition of standard at three concentration levels. For methanolic extracts, the concentrations of the standard solutions of phenolic acids added (ferulic, caffeic, and gallic) were, respectively, 0.005, 0.01, and 0.025 µg/mL. In the case of chlorogenic acid, standard additions of the mixture of chlorogenic acid were used with the following concentrations: 0.025, 0.05, and 0.1 µg/mL. The content of quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin in methanol extracts was calculated using a standard calibration curve [23,24].

Table 1

Optimal MS/MS working parameters for compounds

Compound [M–H] DP [V] MRM1/MRM2* CE (V) CXP (V)
Chlorogenic acid 353 −65 353→19 −24 −9
353→85 −64 −5
Ferulic acid 193 −55 193→134 −20 −7
193→178 −18 −9
Caffeic acid 179 −51 179→135 −22 −7
179→106 −32 −7
Gallic acid 169 −55 169→125 −22 −9
169→79 −32 −5
Quercetin 301 −85 301→151 −32 −7
301→179 −32 −7
Rutin 609 −125 609→300 −52 −5
609→271 −82 −45
Hypericin 503 −43 503→405 −76 −9
503→433 −62 −11
Pseudohypericin 519 −43 519→487 −68 −11
519→475 −62 −11
  1. *MRM1 for quantitative analysis; MRM2 to confirm identification.

2.5 Validation of the LC–MS/MS methods

For the LC–MS/MS method, validation parameters were determined, i.e., limit of detection (LOD), limit of quantification (LOQ), and the linearity range. The LOD for all analytes was defined as the concentration that yielded S/N (signal/noise) ratio greater than or equal to 5, and the LOQ defined as the concentration that yielded S/N ratio greater than or equal to 10. Linearity was determined for a series of standard solutions of all analyzed compounds’ content in the concentration range from 0.000025 to 1 μg/mL

2.6 Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis of the data was performed with Statistica 13 (Dell Software Inc., USA) software. All measurements were studied using one-way analysis of variance independently for each dependent variable. A post hoc Tukey honest significant difference multiple comparison tests were used to identify statistically homogeneous subsets at α = 0.05.

3 Results

The total flavonoids in the analyzed extracts showed that the highest content was found in Hp1, sample taken from the wild environment (Table 2). Most commercial samples contained similar amounts of flavonoids, ranging from 13.04 to 9.52 mg/g, but the content in Hp2 was much lower and amounted to only 5.38 mg/g of dry mass. Surprisingly, however, it turned out that the highest antioxidant activity was shown by the Hp2 extract (53.74 ± 1.49 mg/g), which contained the least flavonoids. The richest in antioxidants was the extract made from the Hp2 sample (53.74 ± 1.49 mg/g). The lowest values for this detection for extracts were designated for an extract made from sample Hp5 (14.70 ± 2.03 mg/g). The complete result of this research is presented in Table 2.

Table 2

Flavonoid content and antioxidant activity of analyzed samples

Sample Flavonoid content (mg/g) Antioxidant activity (mg/g)
Hp1 19.96 ± 0.38a 38.69 ± 1.30b
Hp2 5.38 ± 0.11e 53.74 ± 1.49a
Hp3 10.20 ± 0.22c 30.85 ± 1.49c
Hp4 9.52 ± 0.08d 35.12 ± 1.74bc
Hp5 9.14 ± 0.35d 14.70 ± 2.03d
Hp6 13.04 ± 0.33b 50.52 ± 1.61a

Values marked with the same letter do not differ significantly p > 0.05.

For the applied methods for the determination of phenolic acids and quercetin, rutin, pseudohypericin, and hypericin, the LOD, LOQ, and linearity range were determined based on the data contained in Section 2.4 The equation of the calibration curves, as well as the LOD and the LOQ are shown in Table 3. Good linearity was achieved with correlation coefficients of no less than 0.9794.

Table 3

Linearity range, detection, and quantification of selected phenolic acids and salvianolic acids

Compound Linearity range (µg/mL) Curve equation Correlation coefficient (R 2) LOD (µg/mL) LOQ (µg/mL)
Ferulic acid 0.00025–1 y = 4 × 106 x + 40,149 0.997 0.0001 0.00025
Gallic acid 0.0005–1 y = 2 × 107 x + 11,213 0.996 0.0001 0.0005
Caffeic acid 0.001–0.5 y = 3 × 107 x + 41,456 0.988 0.0005 0.001
Chlorogenic acid 0.0025–0.5 y = 7 × 107 x + 15,626 0.983 0.001 0.0025
Quercetin 0.025–1 y = 2 × 106 x − 74,716 0.994 0.0025 0.025
Rutin 0.0025–1 y = 4 × 106 x − 30,174 0.9995 0.0005 0.0025
Pseudohypericin 0.01–0.5 y = 282,675x − 30,595 0.9794 0.001 0.01
Hypericin 0.01–0.25 y = 5 × 107 x − 442,488 0.9955 0.0005 0.01

LOD, limit of detection; LOQ, limit of quantification.

To determine the amounts of quercetin, rutin, hypericin, and pseudohypericin, LC–MS/MS methods have been used. The highest amounts of hypericin and pseudohypericin had been found in a sample collected from a natural environment, Hp1. Quercetin and rutin have been found in every sample, but in very low concentration in comparison with pseudohypericin. The highest concentrations of rutin have been found in Hp4 and Hp1. For quercetin, the highest concentrations were found in the Hp5 samples. The results are presented in Table 4.

Table 4

Contents of quercetin, rutin, hypericin, and pseudohypericin

Sample Quercetin (mg/g) Rutin (mg/g) Hypericin (mg/g) Pseudohypericin (mg/g)
Hp1 1.51 ± 0.01b 12.10 ± 1.12b 1.59 ± 0.04a 201.84 ± 4.44a
Hp2 0.35 ± 0.06e 0.98 ± 0.10f 0.25 ± 0.01ef 17.30 ± 1.15e
Hp3 0.62 ± 0.01d 6.81 ± 0.71d 0.28 ± 0.05de 49.91 ± 3.68d
Hp4 1.12 ± 0.08c 15.34 ± 0.09a 0.49 ± 0.08c 71.68 ± 1.27b
Hp5 2.10 ± 0.28a 8.53 ± 0.11c 0.78 ± 0.03b 64.81 ± 3.18c
Hp6 1.07 ± 0.01c 4.74 ± 0.05e 0.21 ± 0.03f 43.20 ± 0.70d

Values marked with the same letter do not differ significantly p > 0.05.

The content of four phenolic acids found in St. John’s wort was also determined, and the results are presented in Table 5. In each of the extracts analyzed, the dominant acid was chlorogenic acid, and its content was characterized by high variability, from 99.20 µg/g for Hp2 to 3,550 µg/g for Hp5. The largest total quantity of phenolic acids was found in Hp5 and the lowest in Hp2.

Table 5

Phenolic acid content

Sample Gallic acid (µg/g) Caffeic acid (µg/g) Ferulic acid (µg/g) Chlorogenic acid (µg/g) Sum of phenolic acids (µg/g)
Hp1 5.79 ± 2.28d 44.90 ± 9.67c 23.26 ± 2.43b 2549.70 ± 89.38b 2623.65
Hp2 35.56 ± 7.75b 22.65 ± 12.22d 29.34 ± 2.87b 99.20 ± 5.52e 186.75
Hp3 35.47 ± 2.21b 72.77 ± 19.04ab 41.30 ± 15.86a 1992.05 ± 7.94c 2141.59
Hp4 40.39 ± 7.25a 50.42 ± 5.02bc 24.93 ± 2.33b 1077.63 ± 144.79d 1193.37
Hp5 19.23 ± 3.13c 109.16 ± 15.09a 13.31 ± 0.54c 3550.04 ± 193.31a 3691.74
Hp6 41.75 ± 4.49a 55.95 ± 13.06b 48.95 ± 13.43a 988.50 ± 88.66d 1135.15

Values marked with the same letter do not differ significantly p > 0.05.

4 Discussion

As mentioned above, H. perforatum L. is a source of many bioactive compounds, making it an interesting raw material widely used in the food industry [25]. The development and health of crops can be affected by different stress factors. These factors can be abiotic, such as temperature and water availability, or biotic, such as pests and diseases [26]. Plants have a natural defense against biotic stress through secondary metabolites that help protect them from damage and negative effects on their growth. Plants can produce secondary metabolites, which are compounds that are not essential for their basic metabolism but can help protect them from harm. These include alkaloids, terpenoids, and phenolic compounds. Flavonoids and, in general, polyphenolic compounds are such metabolites that are responsible for protecting plants against adverse external conditions and pathogenic infections [27]; therefore, the highest content was observed in the Hp1 sample. Other plants, grown under controlled conditions, are not exposed to numerous stress factors, so the synthesis of compounds responsible for protection was at a lower level [28]. Cultivation in controlled conditions, providing protection against various pests, but also ensuring optimal watering, means that plants synthesize the aforementioned secondary metabolites to a lesser extent, and their content is varietal-dependent [29]. However, no relationship was found between the total content of flavonoids and the antioxidant activity. Despite the lowest flavonoid content, Hp2 was characterized by the highest antioxidant activity. The use of the popular ABTS reagent allows the study of total antioxidant activity [19]. The radicals generated during the reaction are blue-green in color and show maximum absorbance at the following wavelengths: 417, 645, 734, and 815 nm. The antioxidants present in the test sample reduce the cation radical depending on the reaction time, as well as their activity and concentration, as a consequence, a decrease in color intensity can be observed in proportion to the content of antioxidants. The advantage of this method is that it allows the determination of the antioxidant capacity of both hydrophilic and hydrophobic products in aqueous and anhydrous solvents [30]. However, as reported by Arts et al. [31] the disadvantage is that the reagent in combination with flavonoids forms strong antioxidant complexes, resulting in a much higher antioxidant potential. Importantly, different flavonoids form complexes with different activity [32,33], so despite its low content in Hp2, this sample showed the highest antioxidant capacity.

Reactive oxygen species are influential factors that are essential in the progression of chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders related to obesity, cancers, gastrointestinal disorders, and neurodegenerative dysfunctions [34]. John’s wort contains many different phytocomponents that have multidirectional effects [35], including antioxidant. The analysis of bioactive compounds in St. John’s wort extracts of various origins was performed using the LC–MS/MS method, which is characterized by high sensitivity. The main antioxidant constituents of the samples analyzed are polyphenols with chlorogenic acid as the predominant compound. Chlorogenic acids make up a significant proportion, up to 90%, of the soluble phenolics present in St. John’s wort, with 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid being the predominant [36,37]. These compounds are easily absorbed by the human body and may offer significant benefits in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases [38]. According to the literature, consuming as little as 5 mg of chlorogenic acids per day can have many health benefits, such as reduce fasting blood glucose, improve glucose tolerance, enable weight loss or prevent weight gain, and improve blood pressure in hypertensive patients [39]. A much higher intake, above 200 mg per day, indicates a stronger health-promoting effect. For the preparation of one infusion, about 2 g of dried herbs are usually used, so the consumption of just one infusion a day can bring measurable health benefits.

The second most abundant phenolic acid in St. John’s wort is caffeic acid. Like other polyphenols, it is believed to have many health benefits related to its antioxidant properties, including the prevention of inflammation, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes [40]. Nevertheless, according to published data, the therapeutic dose for caffeic acid is from 1 mg per day, and the recommended intake doses vary significantly between different diseases [41,42]. In the case of the analyzed samples of St. John’s wort, the highest content was found in Hp5, but even in this case, one infusion will provide only about 20% of the above-mentioned requirement.

St. John’s wort in natural medicine is associated with neurological activity. The most important compound in this work was pseudohypericin and hypericin, which have antidepressant properties. The content of these two chemicals depends not only on the variety of St. John’s wort, but also to a large extent on the environmental conditions in which St. John’s wort was grown [43]. Wild St. John’s wort has been found to be the best source of pseudohypericin and hypericin. Like flavonoids, both compounds are secondary metabolites, and their biosynthesis takes place on the polyketide pathway. In addition to oxidation, light also plays an important role in this reaction [44,45]. St. John’s wort that grows in the wild is exposed to a greater number of stress factors, including abiotic stress related to light and drought, which probably increased the content of pseudohypericin and hypericin. Consumption of 0.4–2.5 mg of hypericin has an antidepressant effect documented in clinical trials [46], so the consumption of one infusion of each analyzed herb can provide a therapeutic dose of this compound. It is worth noting, however, that the highest content was recorded for wild-growing St. John’s wort, so it seems reasonable to obtain this raw material from natural habitats.

5 Conclusions

St. John’s wort (H. perforatum) is a medicinal plant with a rich history of traditional use and contains a diverse range of bioactive compounds, including hypericin, hyperforin, and various flavonoids such as quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol. The study found that wild plants exposed to more stress factors have higher amounts of compounds with antidepressant effects than plants grown in controlled conditions. The most important antioxidant constituents in the samples analyzed were polyphenols with chlorogenic acid as the predominant compound. It may be beneficial to obtain St. John’s wort from natural habitats as they have been found to have higher contents of pseudohypericin and hypericin. Moreover, consuming St. John’s wort in the form of an infusion can provide therapeutic doses of hypericin and other beneficial phytocompounds.


The article is co-financed by the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland.

  1. Funding information: This research was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science in Poland (0911/SBAD/2304).

  2. Author contributions: P.R. – data curation, investigation, writing – original draft; E.K. – investigation; S.M.-S. – writing – review and editing; P.Ł.K. – data curation, writing – original draft, writing – review and editing; J.Z. – conceptualization, data curation, formal analysis, investigation, methodology, supervision, validation, writing – original draft, writing – review and editing. All authors took an active part in the collection, processing, and description of the presented literature data.

  3. Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  4. Ethics approval: The conducted research is not related to either human or animal use.

  5. Data availability statement: The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


[1] Qiu J. “Back to the future” for Chinese herbal medicines. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2007;6:506–7. 10.1038/nrd2350.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[2] Russo E, Scicchitano F, Whalley BJ, Mazzitello C, Ciriaco M, Esposito S, et al. Hypericum perforatum: pharmacokinetic, mechanism of action, tolerability, and clinical drug–drug interactions. Phyther Res. 2014;28:643–55. 10.1002/ptr.5050.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[3] Linde K. St. John’s Wort – an overview. Forschende Komplementärmedizin/Res Complement Med. 2009;16:1. 10.1159/000209290.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[4] Greeson JM, Sanford B, Monti DA. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum): a review of the current pharmacological, toxicological, and clinical literature. Psychopharmacology (Berlin). 2001;153:402–14. 10.1007/s002130000625.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[5] Miller AL. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): clinical effects on depression and other conditions. Altern Med Rev. 1998;3:18–26.Search in Google Scholar

[6] Butterweck V, Schmidt M. St. John’s wort: role of active compounds for its mechanism of action and efficacy. Wien Medizinische Wochenschr. 2007;157:356–61. 10.1007/s10354-007-0440-8.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[7] Paulke A, Schubert-Zsilavecz M, Wurglics M. Determination of St. John’s wort flavonoid-metabolites in rat brain through high performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection. J Chromatogr B. 2006;832:109–13. 10.1016/j.jchromb.2005.12.043.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[8] Mullaicharam A, Halligudi N. St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.): a review of its chemistry, pharmacology and clinical properties. Int J Res Phytochem Pharmacol Sci. 2018;1:5–11. 10.33974/ijrpps.v1i1.7.Search in Google Scholar

[9] Sundaram Sanjay S, Shukla AK. Free radicals versus antioxidants. Potential therapeutic applications of nano-antioxidants. Singapore: Springer Singapore; 2021. p. 1–17.10.1007/978-981-16-1143-8_1Search in Google Scholar

[10] Jamshidi-kia F, Wibowo JP, Elachouri M, Masumi R, Salehifard-Jouneghani A, Abolhasanzadeh Z, et al. Battle between plants as antioxidants with free radicals in human body. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9:191–9. 10.34172/jhp.2020.25.Search in Google Scholar

[11] Zheng Y-Z, Deng G, Zhang Y-C. Multiple free radical scavenging reactions of flavonoids. Dye Pigment. 2022;198:109877. 10.1016/j.dyepig.2021.109877.Search in Google Scholar

[12] Zheng Y-Z, Fu Z-M, Deng G, Guo R, Chen D-F. Free radical scavenging potency of ellagic acid and its derivatives in multiple H+/e‒ processes. Phytochemistry. 2020;180:112517. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112517.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[13] Semb AG, Ikdahl E, Wibetoe G, Crowson C, Rollefstad S. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease prevention in rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2020;16:361–79. 10.1038/s41584-020-0428-y.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[14] Ahmad A, Ahsan H. Biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in ophthalmic disorders. J Immunoass Immunochem. 2020;41:257–71. 10.1080/15321819.2020.1726774.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[15] Williamson G, Kay CD, Crozier A. The bioavailability, transport, and bioactivity of dietary flavonoids: a review from a historical perspective. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2018;17:1054–112. 10.1111/1541-4337.12351.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[16] Dalli M, Azizi S, Kandsi F, Gseyra N. Evaluation of the in vitro antioxidant activity of different extracts of Nigella sativa L. seeds, and the quantification of their bioactive compounds. Mater Today Proc. 2021;45:7259–63. 10.1016/j.matpr.2020.12.743.Search in Google Scholar

[17] Makarova K, Sajkowska-Kozielewicz JJ, Zawada K, Olchowik-Grabarek E, Ciach MA, Gogolewski K, et al. Harvest time affects antioxidant capacity, total polyphenol and flavonoid content of Polish St John’s wort’s (Hypericum perforatum L.) flowers. Sci Rep. 2021;11:3989. 10.1038/s41598-021-83409-4.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[18] Chen G-L, Chen S-G, Xie Y-Q, Chen F, Zhao Y-Y, Luo C-X, et al. Total phenolic, flavonoid and antioxidant activity of 23 edible flowers subjected to in vitro digestion. J Funct Foods. 2015;17:243–59. 10.1016/j.jff.2015.05.028.Search in Google Scholar

[19] Re R, Pellegrini N, Proteggente A, Pannala A, Yang M, Rice-Evans C. Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Radic Biol Med. 1999;26:1231–7. 10.1016/S0891-5849(98)00315-3.Search in Google Scholar

[20] de Jager LS, Perfetti GA, Diachenko GW. Liquid chromatographic determination of St. John’s wort components in functional foods. J AOAC Int. 2004;87:1042–8.10.1093/jaoac/87.5.1042Search in Google Scholar

[21] Zorzetto C, Sánchez-Mateo CC, Rabanal RM, Lupidi G, Petrelli D, Vitali LA, et al. Phytochemical analysis and in vitro biological activity of three Hypericum species from the Canary Islands (Hypericum reflexum, Hypericum canariense and Hypericum grandifolium). Fitoterapia. 2015;100:95–109. 10.1016/j.fitote.2014.11.013.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[22] Doležal R, Houdková I, Kalász H, Andrýs R, Novák M, Maltsevskaya NV, et al. Determination of hypericin in Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) using classical C18 and pentafluorophenyl stationary phases: contribution of Pi–Pi interactions to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Anal Lett. 2019;52:1788–812. 10.1080/00032719.2019.1571076.Search in Google Scholar

[23] Smelcerovic A, Spiteller M, Zuehlke S. Comparison of methods for the exhaustive extraction of hypericins, flavonoids, and hyperforin from Hypericum perforatum L. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:2750–3. 10.1021/jf0527246.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[24] Zhang J, Feng C, Ge P, Wang Q, Liu Y, Xu H, et al. High purity separation of hypericin from Hypericum perforatum L. extract with macroporous resin column coupling preparative liquid chromatography. Process Biochem. 2021;103:107–13. 10.1016/j.procbio.2021.02.012.Search in Google Scholar

[25] Jarzębski M, Smułek W, Baranowska HM, Masewicz Ł, Kobus-Cisowska J, Ligaj M, et al. Characterization of St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) and the impact of filtration process on bioactive extracts incorporated into carbohydrate-based hydrogels. Food Hydrocoll. 2020;104:105748. 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.105748.Search in Google Scholar

[26] Gull A, Lone AA, Wani NUI. Biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Abiotic and biotic stress in plants. London, UK: IntechOpen Limited; 2019. p. 1–19.10.5772/intechopen.85832Search in Google Scholar

[27] Khalid M, Saeed-ur-Rahman, Bilal M, HUANG D. Role of flavonoids in plant interactions with the environment and against human pathogens — a review. J Integr Agric. 2019;18:211–30. 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62555-4.Search in Google Scholar

[28] Biswas K, Adhikari S, Tarafdar A, Kumar R, Saha S, Ghosh P. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defence systems in plants: role and crosstalk under biotic stress. Sustainable Agriculture in the Era of Climate Change. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2020. p. 265–92.10.1007/978-3-030-45669-6_12Search in Google Scholar

[29] Kowalczewski PŁ, Zembrzuska J, Drożdżyńska A, Smarzyński K, Radzikowska D, Kieliszek M, et al. Influence of potato variety on polyphenol profile composition and glycoalcaloid contents of potato juice. Open Chem. 2021;19:1225–32. 10.1515/chem-2021-0109.Search in Google Scholar

[30] Schaich KM, Tian X, Xie J. Hurdles and pitfalls in measuring antioxidant efficacy: a critical evaluation of ABTS, DPPH, and ORAC assays. J Funct Foods. 2015;14:111–25. 10.1016/j.jff.2015.01.043.Search in Google Scholar

[31] Arts MJT, Haenen GRM, Voss H-P, Bast A. Antioxidant capacity of reaction products limits the applicability of the Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) assay. Food Chem Toxicol. 2004;42:45–9. 10.1016/j.fct.2003.08.004.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[32] Ilyasov IR, Beloborodov VL, Selivanova IA, Terekhov RP. ABTS/PP decolorization assay of antioxidant capacity reaction pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21:1131. 10.3390/ijms21031131.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[33] Parcheta M, Świsłocka R, Orzechowska S, Akimowicz M, Choińska R, Lewandowski W. Recent developments in effective antioxidants: the structure and antioxidant properties. Materials (Basel). 2021;14:1984. 10.3390/ma14081984.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[34] Liu Z, Ren Z, Zhang J, Chuang C-C, Kandaswamy E, Zhou T, et al. Role of ROS and nutritional antioxidants in human diseases. Front Physiol. 2018;9:477. 10.3389/fphys.2018.00477.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[35] Milevskaya VV, Prasad S, Temerdashev ZA. Extraction and chromatographic determination of phenolic compounds from medicinal herbs in the Lamiaceae and Hypericaceae families: a review. Microchem J. 2019;145:1036–49. 10.1016/j.microc.2018.11.041.Search in Google Scholar

[36] Barnes J, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.): a review of its chemistry, pharmacology and clinical properties. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2010;53:583–600. 10.1211/0022357011775910.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[37] Stojanovic G, Dordevic A, Smelcerovic A. Do other Hypericum species have medical potential as St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)? Curr Med Chem. 2013;20:2273–95.10.2174/0929867311320180001Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[38] Lu H, Tian Z, Cui Y, Liu Z, Ma X. Chlorogenic acid: a comprehensive review of the dietary sources, processing effects, bioavailability, beneficial properties, mechanisms of action, and future directions. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2020;19:3130–58. 10.1111/1541-4337.12620.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[39] Yu Y, Zhang Z, Chang C. Chlorogenic acid intake guidance: sources, health benefits, and safety. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2022;31:602–10.Search in Google Scholar

[40] Birková A. Caffeic acid: a brief overview of its presence, metabolism, and bioactivity. Bioact Compd Heal Dis. 2020;3:74. 10.31989/bchd.v3i4.692.Search in Google Scholar

[41] Silva H, Lopes NMF. Cardiovascular effects of caffeic acid and its derivatives: a comprehensive review. Front Physiol. 2020;11:595516. 10.3389/fphys.2020.595516.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[42] Muhammad Abdul Kadar NN, Ahmad F, Teoh SL, Yahaya MF. Caffeic acid on metabolic syndrome: a review. Molecules. 2021;26:5490. 10.3390/molecules26185490.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[43] Karioti A, Bilia AR. Hypericins as potential leads for new therapeutics. Int J Mol Sci. 2010;11:562–94. 10.3390/ijms11020562.Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

[44] Murthy HN, Kim Y-S, Park S-Y, Paek K-Y. Hypericins: biotechnological production from cell and organ cultures. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014;98:9187–98. 10.1007/s00253-014-6119-3.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[45] Michalska K, Fernandes H, Sikorski M, Jaskolski M. Crystal structure of Hyp-1, a St. John’s wort protein implicated in the biosynthesis of hypericin. J Struct Biol. 2010;169:161–71. 10.1016/j.jsb.2009.10.008.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

[46] Bennett DA, Phun L, Polk JF, Voglino SA, Zlotnik V, Raffa RB. Neuropharmacology of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum). Ann Pharmacother. 1998;32:1201–8. 10.1345/aph.18026.Search in Google Scholar PubMed

Received: 2023-04-21
Revised: 2023-05-23
Accepted: 2023-05-25
Published Online: 2023-06-20

© 2023 the author(s), published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Downloaded on 9.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button