The methanolic extract and its 1-butanol-soluble fraction from the flowers of Calendula officinalis were found to show a hypoglycemic effect, inhibitory activity of gastric emptying, and gastroprotective effect. From the 1-butanol-soluble fraction, four new triterpene oligoglycosides, calendasaponins A, B, C, and D, were isolated, together with eight known saponins, seven known flavonol glycosides, and a known sesquiterpene glucoside. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of chemical and physicochemical evidence. The principal saponin constituents, glycosides A, B, C, D, and F, exhibited potent inhibitory effects on an increase in serum glucose levels in glucose-loaded rats, gastric emptying in mice, and ethanol- and indomethacin-induced gastric lesions in rats. Some structure-activity relationships are discussed.
2001 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan