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Maeng-lak-kha or wild spikenard Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit. in the Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family] is a seasonal herb of up to 30-150 cm in height growing in open space and deserted roadside areas in every region of Thailand. According to Thai indigenous medicine, the whole plant is used as an antispasmodic poultice; its leaves and shoot tops are used as antiepileptic and antirheumatic agents, while its roots are used for excreting menstruation or for chewing to eliminate the mouth odor. The plant has been reportedly used as carminative, antibacterial, diaphoretic and lactogogue medicines. The pharmacological activities of the plant’s aqueous extract have been reported as immune stimulant, antibacterial against Salmonella, and antiviral against flu virus and HIV. Since there has been no chemical study on such an aqueous extract, it is worthwhile to study the quality control of the aqueous extract to further develop as herbal health products. Two types of aqueous extract were prepared from 15 herb samples collected from natural areas using the freeze-drying and spray drying methods. Both types of extract were studied for their chemical identification and quality evaluation using extractive values, moisture content, and pH values. The chemical qualities of both freeze-dried and spray-dried extracts were shown as follows: the percentages of water-soluble extractive, 95% ethanol-soluble extractive, and moisture content were 87.82±1.75, 88.15±2.52; 18.64±4.58, 27.97±8.90; 7.86±1.79, 6.47±1.35 %w/w, respectively, while the pH values of the extracts in the 1.0%w/v solution in water were 5.60±0.33 and 5.55±0.27, respectively. Additionally, the TLC chromatograms of both extracts showed the
compounds corresponding to 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)lactic acid, rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid standards. The results are useful for chemical quality control of maeng-lak-kha aqueous extracts.
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