Accumulation of phenolic compounds in the purple betony herb (Stachys officinalis L.) originated from cultivation
Introduction: Purple betony (Stachys officinalis L., Lamiaceae) is a perennial of versatile medicinal usage. Nowadays, in Poland betony herb is collected exclusively from wild growing plants. Decreasing number of its natural sites results in lack of the herb supply and thus, in its limited usage. Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the effects of the age of plant and term of raw material harvest on its yield and quality in cultivation conditions. Methods: The observations were carried out on 2- and 3-year-old plants. During vegetation the herb was collected for four times. The raw material was subjected to chemical analysis. Tannins (as pyrogallol equivalent) were determined according to Polish Pharmacopoeia, phenolic acids and flavonoids – by HPLC. Results: The mass of herb, both in the second and third year, had increased from the beginning of vegetation up to seed setting. The highest content of tannins was found in the herb collected at the vegetative stage of plant development (2.05% in the second and 2.91% in the third year). Four phenolic acids (chlorogenic, ferulic, caffeic and rosmarinic acids) and five flavonoid compounds (orientin, luteolin-7-glucoside, apigenin-7-glucoside, apigenin-3-glucoside, apigenin) were identified in the obtained raw materials. In these groups, the dominant compounds were caffeic acid and apigenin. The highest content of caffeic acid was found at the beginning of plant vegetation, whereas apigenin – at the stage of full blooming and seed setting. Conclusion: In cultivation conditions, purple betony produces high mass of herb which may be used as a valuable raw material in herbal industry.