Research article

Chemical composition and toxicity of extracts of Fouquieria splendens against Artemia salina

  • Received: 13 December 2021 Revised: 19 April 2022 Accepted: 27 April 2022 Published: 06 June 2022
  • Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) has been used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of blood circulation problems, swelling, and prostatic hyperplasia, among others. The objective of this study was to use different extraction methods (soxhlet, hydrodistillation and ultrasound) and solvents with different polarities (hexane, methyl chloride, ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol) to determine volatile compounds contained in ocotillo stems. Solvents used were water in hydrodistillation; hexane, methyl chloride, ethyl acetate, acetone, and methanol in soxhlet; and a solvent mixture of water acidified with methanol, acetone, and 1% acetic acid at a 50:35:15 ratio in the ultrasound method. The major components identified were bis (2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate, bis (2-Ethylhexyl) ester, butyl acetate, palmitic acid, and myristic acid. A toxicity assay on Artemia salina was conducted and the median lethal concentration was quantified. The bioassay showed that extracts isolated by non-polar solvents are extremely toxic because they were lethal at concentrations lower than 100 ppm, while polar extracts were innocuous. However, in polar extracts were found compounds that suggest their use in traditional medicine, the most relevant being 2-butoxyethanol, pentadecanol, and undecanal.

    Citation: Lenin O. Nevárez-Prado, Nubia Amaya-Olivas, Alejandro Sustaita-Rodriguez, Jesús Rodríguez-Zapién, Erick Zúñiga-Rodríguez, María Cordova-Lozoya, Antonio García-Triana, Fabiola Sandoval-Salas, León Hernández-Ochoa. Chemical composition and toxicity of extracts of Fouquieria splendens against Artemia salina[J]. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 2022, 7(2): 357-369. doi: 10.3934/agrfood.2022023

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  • Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) has been used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of blood circulation problems, swelling, and prostatic hyperplasia, among others. The objective of this study was to use different extraction methods (soxhlet, hydrodistillation and ultrasound) and solvents with different polarities (hexane, methyl chloride, ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol) to determine volatile compounds contained in ocotillo stems. Solvents used were water in hydrodistillation; hexane, methyl chloride, ethyl acetate, acetone, and methanol in soxhlet; and a solvent mixture of water acidified with methanol, acetone, and 1% acetic acid at a 50:35:15 ratio in the ultrasound method. The major components identified were bis (2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate, bis (2-Ethylhexyl) ester, butyl acetate, palmitic acid, and myristic acid. A toxicity assay on Artemia salina was conducted and the median lethal concentration was quantified. The bioassay showed that extracts isolated by non-polar solvents are extremely toxic because they were lethal at concentrations lower than 100 ppm, while polar extracts were innocuous. However, in polar extracts were found compounds that suggest their use in traditional medicine, the most relevant being 2-butoxyethanol, pentadecanol, and undecanal.



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