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1  Centro de Ciências da Saúde
2  Universidade Federal da Paraíba


Euphorbiaceae is one of the largest families among angiosperms, being found in several distinct habitats and vegetation types, mainly in tropical and subtropical áreas of America and Africa. Despite its notable economic importance, as well as its abundant occurrence in northeastern Brazil, few reports have been made about its metabolites and its pharmacological activities. The genus Euphorbia L. is globaly distributed, but specially abundant in arid and semi-arid regions, where its occurrence is mostly as succulent xerophytes. As reported by previous studies, constituents from species of the genus euphorbia, such as tannins and flavonoids, have shown relevant activity in wound healing, conferring the genus therapeutical potential. This study conducted phytochemical investigations on the species Euphorbia phosphorea, obtained from the semi-arid region of Paraíba. Aerial parts of E. phosphorea were collected from Serra Branca, Paraíba, Brazil. The fresh material was dried in a circulating air oven, pulverized and macerated with etanol, yielding an ethanol extract. The obtained extract was then partitioned with the organic solvents hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and n-butanol to obtain the respective soluble fractions. The ethyl acetate fraction was submitted to sephadex LH-20 column chromatography with metanol as eluent. The 88 sufractions obtained were then analysed in thin layer chromatography and gathered according to their retention factor similarity. 1H NMR spectrum of fraction 47-51 revealed characteristics of polyphenolic compounds, being confirmed later by analysing its 13C-APT NMR and LC-MS data. Applying chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques, the study of Euphorbia phosphorea led to the obtaining of ellagic acid and corilagin, contributing to the phytochemical knowledge of the genus Euphorbia.

Keywords: Euphorbiaceae; Euphorbia; Tannins; Polyphenols.