Studies in New Zealand natural products
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The roots of a species of New Zealand native flax, Phonnium tenax and a commercial herbal preparation of the root were examined for novel or biologically active compounds. The species Phormium tenax has been examined chemically in the past and has yielded a number of novel and biologically active compounds. Missing from this body of work was an investigation into an aqueous extract of the roots of the plant. The commercial herbal preparation, "Fluid of Flax, Manaaki Huia" was such an extract and from this three novel aromatic glycosides were isolated. The herbal preparation was found to contain one biologically active compound, 1- 0-[β- glucopyranosyl-(16)-O-β-xylopyranosyl]-4-hydroxymusizin. The structure was identified by mass spectrometry and NMR techniques which included HMBC, HSQC, ID TOCSY and nOe enhancements. Two related glycosides, 1- 0-[β- glucopyranosyl-(16)-O-6-deoxy-β-mannopyranosyl]-4-hydroxymusizin and 1- 0-[β- glucopyranosyl-(16)-O-6-deoxy-β-mannopyranosyl]-musizin were isolated from a methanol extract directly from the roots of Phormium tenax. Both of these compounds were present as minor components in the herbal preparation. Neither of these glycosides showed any significant bioactivity in the in-house bioassays available.