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Phytochemistry is a branch of chemistry that deals with the study of plant secondary metabolites. This includes all aspect of chemistry from extraction and separations of plant constituents to structural elucidations using modern spectroscopic techniques.  Phytochemical methods are applied in routine herbal medicine standardisations as well as modern drug discovery researches. Recent  advances in modern analytical methods such NMR has now enabled us to isolate and characterise even minor constituents  of   purified natural  products.   Our exemplary work on phytochemical analysis is shown below - please see also  our   publication  page for various examples and  useful references.


Phytochemical Analysis of Gravel Root [Eupatorium purpureum - picture above] yielded the following compounds

R=OMe or OCOMe or Tiglate

Some relevant publications in this field....

Juan-Badaturuge, M.,  HABTEMARIAM, S.,  Thomas, M.J.K. (2011). Antioxidant compounds from a South Asian beverage and medicinal plant, Cassia auriculata. Food Chemistry 125(1), 221-225.   Available online 7 September 2010.

Motlhanka, D.,  Houghton, P., Miljkovic-Brake A. and  HABTEMARIAM, S. (2010). A novel pentacyclic triterpene glycoside from a resin of Commiphora glandulosa from Botswana. African Journal of  Pharmacy and  Pharmacology 4(8), 549 - 554. Full Text

Sánchez-Medina, A.,  Stevenson, P.C., HABTEMARIAM, S.,  Peña-Rodríguez, L.M., Corcoran, O., Mallet, A.I.,  Veitch N.C. (2009). Triterpenoid saponins from a cytotoxic root extract of Sideroxylon foetidissimum subsp. gaumeri. Phytochemistry 70(6), 765–772.

Habtemariam, S. (2008). Activity-guided Isolation and Identification of Free Radical-scavenging Components from Ethanolic Extract of Boneset (Leaves of Eupatorium perfoliatum). Natural Product Communications 3(8), 1317-1320.

Habtemariam, S. (2008). Activity-guided Isolation and Identification of Antioxidant Components from Ethanolic Extract of Peltiphyllum peltatum (Torr.) Engl. Natural Product Communications 3(8),  1321-1324.

Motlhanka, D.M.T., Habtemariam, S., Houghton, P (2008).  Free radical  scavenging activity of crude extracts and 4’-O-Methyl-(-) epigallocatechin  isolated from roots of Cassine transvaalensis from Botswana. African  Journal of Biomedical Research 11, 55-63 FULL TEXT

HABTEMARIAM, S. (2003). Cytotoxic and cytostatic activity of erlangerins from Commiphora erlangeriana. Toxicon, 41, 723-727.

 HABTEMARIAM, S. (2002). Hamamelitannin from Hamamelis virginiana inhibits the tumour necrosis factor-a (TNF)-induced endothelial cell death in vitro. Toxicon 40, 83-88.

 HABTEMARIAM, S. (2001). Antiinflammatory activity of the antirheumatic herbal drug, gravel root (Eupatorium purpureum): further biological activities and constituents. Phytotherapy Res. 15, 697-690.

 HABTEMARIAM, S., Skelton, B.W., Waterman, P.G. and White, A.  (2000). 17-Epi-acnistin-A, a further withanolide from the leaves of Discopodium penninervium.  J. Nat. Prod. 63, 512-513.

HABTEMARIAM, S., MacPherson, A.M. (2000). Cytotoxicity and antibacterial activity of ethanolic axtract from leaves of a herbal drug, Bonset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). Phytotherapy Res. 14, 575-577.

HABTEMARIAM, S. (1998). Cistifolin, an integrin-dependent cell adhesion blocker from the anti-rheumatic herbal drug, gravel root (rhyzome of Eupatorium purpureum). Planta Med. 683-685.

HABTEMARIAM, S. and Gray, A.I. (1998). Withanolides from the roots of Discopodium penninervium. Planta Med. 64, 275-276.

Habtemariam S. (1997). Cytotoxicity and immunosuppressive activity of withanolides from Discopodium penninervium. Planta Med., 63, 15-17.

Habtemariam S. and P.G. Waterman (1996). Fareanine and Fareanol from the leaves of Medicosma fareana. Phytochemistry 43, 291-294.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I., and Waterman, P.G. (1995).  Lignans from the leaves of Premna recinosa. Biochem. Ecol. Syst. 23, 109.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I., and Waterman, P.G. (1994).  Diterpenes from the leaves of Leonotis ocymifolia var raineriana. J. Nat. Prod. 57, 1570-1574.

Habtemariam S., Gray, A.I. and Waterman, P.G. (1993). 16-oxygenated withanolides from the leaves of Discopodium penninervium. Phytochemistry 34, 807-811.

Habtemariam, S., Harvey, A.L. and Waterman, P.G. (1993). The muscle relaxant properties of Portulaca oleracea are associated with high concentrations of potassium ions. J. Ethnopharmacol. 40, 195-200.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I., and Waterman, P.G. (1992). A novel antibacterial sesquiterpene from Premna oligotricha J. Nat. Prod. 56, 140-143.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I. and Waterman, P.G.(1992). Antibacterial diterpenes from the aerial parts of Premna oligotricha. Planta Med.  58, 109-110.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I. and Waterman, P.G. (1991). Flavonoids from three Ethiopian species of  Premna. Z. Naturforsch., 47b, 144-147

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I., Lavaud, C., Massiot, G., Skelton, B.W., Waterman, P.G. and White, A.H. (1991).  ent-12-Oxolabda-8,13(16)-dien-15-oic acid and  ent-8b,12a-epidioxy-12b-hydroxylabda-9(11),13-dien-15-oic acid g-lactone: Two new diterpenes from the aerial parts of  Premna oligotricha. J. Chem. Soc. Perkin Trans. I , 893-896.

Habtemariam, S., Gray, A.I., Halbert, G.W. and Waterman, P.G. (1990). A novel antibacterial diterpene from Premna schimperi.  Planta Med. 56, 187-189. 

 ....please also visit our publications' page for more references or

 contact the site owner  for any enquiry or   collaborative studies.



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The Site Owner

Dr Habtemariam BSc, MSc, PhD........FRSM, FRSC. .... With a Principal Lecturer post at Greenwich, Dr Habtemariam is a leader of the BSc Pharmaceutical Science programme and researches on bioassay & natural products-based drug development. ....More



In addition to our fully equipped tissue culture facilities, we have  access to various state-of-the-art equipment including ICP-MS, LC-MS, MALDI-TOF-MS, FABS-MS, FTIR, Laser-Raman,  scanning  and transmission  electron microscopes, flow cytometer, NMR (270, 300 and 500MHz),  automated DNA sequencers, various HPLC systems,  capillary electrophersis and ABI PRCmate DNA synthetisers.










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