Print version ISSN 0100-8358
RODRIGUES, I.M.C.; SOUZA FILHO, A.P.S. and FERREIRA, F.A.. Phytochemical study of Senna alata using two methodologies. Planta daninha [online]. 2009, vol.27, n.3, pp. 507-513. ISSN 0100-8358. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-83582009000300011.
Senna alata, known as mata-pasto in northern Brazil, is a plant used in popular medicine in several parts of the world, and considered harmful to pastures in the state of Pará. In this study, two different methodologies are compared to determine the main classes of potential allelochemicals of different fractions (stems, flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and pods) of S. alata. The plant material was dried and submitted to exhaustive extraction with hydromethanolic solvent to obtain the crude extracts, with a small part being solubilized in methanol to obtain the test solutions. The following methods were used: thin-layer chromatography (TLC), to determine the qualitative chromatographic profile, and preliminary detection tests of the distinct chemical constituents, based on their extraction with appropriate solvents and application of color testing. The results of both methods showed few similarities, with the TLC being the simplest, most inexpensive, fastest, and most appropriate for preliminary analysis of plant-derived chemical compounds, despite being a qualitative method. This method was more sensitive for flavonoid detection, although the Bouchardat reactive was more sensitive to alkaloid detection than the Dragendorff. Ammonium hydroxide 10% was more sensitive to anthraquinones than Potassium hydroxide. The study showed the high diversity of the chemical compounds present in Senna alata, justifying its extensive use in popular medicine and even indicating its potential allelopathic use.
Keywords : Allelochemicals; Thin-layer chromatography; Phytochemistry; Leguminosae.