2022 Volume 70 Issue 12 Pages 848-858
In this study, we investigated the correlation between the cultivation conditions and chemical composition of Ephedra sinica and E. sp. (denoted EP-13, which has been grown at the National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health, and Nutrition for many years). The total contents of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are specified in the Japanese Pharmacopoeia; therefore, we investigated the changes in their content under different cultivation conditions, including varying soil conditions and fertilization or the lack of fertilization. Poor growth due to low soil nutrition and lack of sunlight caused decrease of the alkaloid content. As expected, the plants accumulated proline, although the proline content varied considerably with cultivation location. The proline concentration correlated with the content of methanoproline. Moreover, a new compound, namely N,N-dimethyl-p-hydroxyphenylethylamine-O-[β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-α-L-rhamnopyranoside], was isolated from E. sinica but was absent in EP-13. This study on the correlation between cultivation methods and the alkaloid content in Ephedra is expected to assist in the future production of quality Ephedra herb.