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The seeds of Herpetospermum caudigerum are used in the traditional Tibetan medicine for the treatment of liver diseases.
A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method with diode array detection was established to simultaneously determine the seven bioactive lignans in <i>Herpetospermum caudigerum</i>, namely ent-isolariciresinol (<b>1</b>), dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol (<b>2</b>), herpetrione (<b>3</b>), herpetin (<b>4</b>), herpetetrone (<b>5</b>), herpetotriol (<b>6</b>) amd herpetal (<b>7</b>). The HPLC assay was performed on a Restek Pinnacle DB C<sub>18</sub> column (250 × 4.6 mm, 5 µm) with gradient elution of acetonitrile and 0.1% phosphoric acid within 65 min. The detection wavelength was 240 nm. The flow-rate was 1.0 mL/min. All calibration curves showed good linearity (<i>r</i>² > 0.9998) within test ranges. The method was reproducible with intra- and inter-day variation of less than 1.98%. The method provided good accuracy with recoveries in the range 95.19-102.64% with RSDs less than 1.52%. The method was successfully applied to the quantification of seven constituents in 15 <i>H. caudigerum</i> samples collected from different cities. The results indicated that the developed assay could be considered as a suitable quality control method for <i>H. caudigerum</i>. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.