Stem bark extracts of Boerhavia erecta L. (erect spiderling) and Amaranthus spinosus L. (spiny amaranth), two wild growing weed plants used in traditional African medicine, were characterized with respect to their phenolic profile including the betalains. While the main betalains in A. spinosus were identified as amaranthine and isoamaranthine, the major betacyanins in B. erecta were betanin, isobetanin together with neobetanin. The latter showed higher betalain concentrations amounting to 186 mg/100 g, while the former contained 24 mg betacyanins in 100 g of the ground plant material. Extracts of A. spinosus were found to contain hydroxycinnamates, quercetin and kaempferol glycosides, whereas catechins, procyanidins and quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin glycosides were detected in B. erecta. The amounts of these compounds ranged from 305 mg/100 g for A. spinosus to 329 mg/100 g for B. erecta.
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