Background: Chinese materia medica processing is a distinguished and unique pharmaceutical technique in traditional Chinese Medicien (TCM), which has played an important role in reducing side effects, increasing medical potencies, altering the properties and even changing the curative effects of raw herbs.The efficacy improvement in medicinal plants is mainly caused by changes in the key substances through an optimized processing procedure.The effect of invigorating the kidney-yang for rice wine-steamed Cistancha deserticola was more strengthened than raw C. deserticola (CD).
Methods: To evaluate the effect of processing, a comparative analysis was conducted by utilizing the UPLC-Q-TOF-MSE with the UNIFI informatics platform. In vitro studies were performed for the characterization of constituents as well as metabolites in vivo , and chemical components were determined in CD and its processed products. The multivariate statistical analyses were conducted to evaluate variations between them. OPLS-DA was used for pairwise comparison which revealed their marked differences.
Results: In this study, the obtained results revealed considerable variations in phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs) and iridoids after processing. The detection of 97 compounds was carried out in the extracts of CD and its processed product. In an in-vivo study, 10 prototype components and 44 metabolites were evaluated in rat plasma, feces, and urine. The obtained results revealed that processing leads to the considerable variation in the chemical constituents of CD and affects the disposition of the compounds in-vivo, and phase II metabolic processes were the key cascades of each compound and most of the metabolites were associated with echinacoside or acteoside.
Conclusions: According to our literature search, the existing study reveals a comparative study of raw and processed CD for the first time. The obtained data help us to understand the impact of CD processing for further studies.