Nat Prod Sci.  2019 Sep;25(3):222-227. 10.20307/nps.2019.25.3.222.

Assessment of the Purity of Emodin by Quantitative Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Mass Balance

  • 1Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea.


Quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance (qNMR) is a well-established method adopted by international pharmacopoeia for quantitative and purity analyses. Emodin is a type of anthraquinone, well known as the main active component of Fabaceae, Polygonaceae and Rhamnaceae. Purity analysis of emodin is usually performed by using the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-UV method. However, it cannot detect impurities such as salts, volatile matter, and trace elements. Using the qNMR method, it is possible to determine the compound content as well as the nature of the impurities. Several experimental parameters were optimized for the quantification, such as relaxation delay, spectral width, number of scans, temperature, pulse width, and acquisition time. The method was validated, and the results of the qNMR method were compared with those obtained by the HPLC and mass balance analysis methods. The qNMR method is specific, rapid, simple, and therefore, a valuable and reliable method for the purity analysis of emodin.


qNMR; Emodin; HPLC-UV; Mass balance

MeSH Terms

Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
Chromatography, Liquid
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
Spectrum Analysis*
Trace Elements
Trace Elements


  • Fig. 1 The structure of emodin.

  • Fig. 2 The 1H NMR spectrum of emodin and DMSO2 in DMSO-d6.

  • Fig. 3 Test of linearity: gravimetric method and qNMR method of standard solution.


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