Dear visitor, this is a machine-translated article. It makes perfect sense in its original language (Czech), and is fully backed by independent scientific literature. The translation, though, is far from perfect and takes patience and imagination, if you decide to read it.

Drobečková navigace

Phytochemical terminology

I remember the first time I came across a phytochemical terminology, when I read as a child, Atlas of Medicinal Plants (Macku, tailor, of SAV). Then I took unintelligible words as just another confirmation of expertise otherwise pleasant and logical text. I expected that words such as alkaloids and saponins will be part of a precise system of naming botanicals do not understand. Intimidated me so much that I have to study phytochemical definition of terms like dared to experienced goat.

Phytochemical terminology quickly and napkins

Dates of the phyto-chemical nomenclature based mostly on the working methods phytochemistry:

  • alkaloids - substances containing nitrogen base character
  • glycosides - substances which are linked sugar residues
  • saponins - substance that forms a foam when shaken
  • bitter - bitter taste substances (like acids are substances taste sour žeano)
  • tannins - a substance that precipitates of proteins
  • oils - volatile nonpolar fractions separable from plant material by distillation
  • flavonoids - substances with a certain type of aromatic skeletons
  • etc. (lignans, fytosteroidy ...)

This jargon, which I kind of forgiveness fytochemiků called "brazenly Latin", is undoubtedly useful in the first stage of research because it allows to speak on crop yields, even when they still know almost nothing. Another advantage of this terminology is then that we lay people, regardless of the fact gives the impression of a deep state of knowledge of the substance or plant.

Another specialty of the phyto-chemical nomenclature is the naming of vegetable substances, a combination of scientific names, and standard extensions (Nicotiana - nicotine, coffee - caffeine, Erythroxylon coca - cocaine, etc.). The first problem here is that such terminology is not clear. For example., Caffeine was also baptized as TEIN (if it was extracted from the tea plant) matein (from yerba mate) guaranin (from guarana), etc. To us laymen it takes a while to fully deal with the fact that despite the many different names to really is the exact same substance.

Different suffixes are used to denote the substance belonging to the above described fytochemickým categories. E.g. ginseng (Panax) except we panaxosidů (saponins, have the extension -osid because they are also glycosides) even panaxynol , panaxydol , panaxan, panaxyn acid panaxovou (or so it has to translate acid ginseng?) and many others.

It melts phytochemical nomenclature ginseng and Siberian ginseng

Ginseng and eleutherocok well illustrate the problems of the phyto-chemical terminology - in this respect towards them critically expresses eloquent overview Davidovové ( davydov2000es ).

"Panaxosidy" versus "ginsenoside" - my view of things

Ginseng saponins in the literature as well panaxosidy ginsenosides. Numerically more common today is the name ginsenoside. In my view, but to highlight the unique ginseng saponins typical for the genus Ginseng (Panax) etymologically much more acceptable generic name panaxosid than the name of ginsenoside. Panaxosid name is justified because these substances are quite typical genus Panax and besides it is in the plant kingdom almost nowhere else. Ginsenoside name gives the impression that the true ginseng (P. ginseng) is in terms of content "ginsenosides" somehow distinguished. This is not true - even if P ginseng really the "most traditional" ginseng, ginseng saponins are present in almost equal quantities (though in other circumstances) even American ginseng (P. quinquefolius) and qualitatively represented in all other species of the genus Ginseng , including at least phylogenetically related trifoliate ginseng (Panax trifolius).

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that many specific ginseng saponins were baptized name "ginsenoside Rx n" where x is the small letter of the alphabet and n = 1, 2, 3, ... Choosing a name for the chemical and its discoverers collide if with different names You can not argue against it nothing. Therefore, in these cases the word "ginsenoside" acceptable, as in the phrase, "ginsenoside Rb 1, belonging to the group panaxosidů".

Names of specific panaxosidů

The resolution of a large number of similar compounds hiding under the name panaxosid / ginsenoside again for historical reasons, that title based on the extraction methods - panaxosidy sprawled on chromatography are called "RF" (relative to front - that is due to face chromatography) alphabetically Ra Rb, Rc etc., or ginsenoside A, B, ginsenoside, ginsenoside C, etc. This labeling system seems well served fytochemikům himself, for us laymen but it is too patchy.

"Eleuterosidy" - an inappropriate name for the content of the substance eleuthero ostnitého

Regarding eleutherocok (Eleutherococcus senticosus) , incorrectly Siberian ginseng , well-intentioned effort to identify complex Brechmanovu its active substances "eleuterosidy" modeled ginseng panaxosidů / ginsenosides considered Davidovová ( davydov2000es ) as particularly inappropriate. "Eleuterosidy" little merit as a prefix eleutero- because unlike panaxosidů previously described from other plants, such -osid extension, since it is not specific glycosides, but a group of chemically diverse substances. Unlike ginseng, adaptogenic properties of Siberian ginseng is not a thing of unique chemical compounds, but a combination of substances otherwise known from other plants - such syringin (lilac, Syringa) daukosterol (carrot, Daucus) hederasaponin (ivy, Hedera) sezamin (sesame, Sesamum ) and more.

| 24.1.2009