Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 757–767 | Cite as

Impact of different post-harvest processing methods on the chemical compositions of peony root

  • Shu ZhuEmail author
  • Aimi Shirakawa
  • Yanhong Shi
  • Xiaoli Yu
  • Takayuki Tamura
  • Naotoshi Shibahara
  • Kayo Yoshimatsu
  • Katsuko KomatsuEmail author
Original Paper


The impact of key processing steps such as boiling, peeling, drying and storing on chemical compositions and morphologic features of the produced peony root was investigated in detail by applying 15 processing methods to fresh roots of Paeonia lactiflora and then monitoring contents of eight main components, as well as internal root color. The results showed that low temperature (4 °C) storage of fresh roots for approximately 1 month after harvest resulted in slightly increased and stable content of paeoniflorin, which might be due to suppression of enzymatic degradation. This storage also prevented roots from discoloring, facilitating production of favorable bright color roots. Boiling process triggered decomposition of polygalloylglucoses, thereby leading to a significant increase in contents of pentagalloylglucose and gallic acid. Peeling process resulted in a decrease of albiflorin and catechin contents. As a result, an optimized and practicable processing method ensuring high contents of the main active components in the produced root was developed.


Peony root Post-harvest processing method Chemical composition Paeoniflorin Pentagalloylglucose 



This work was supported by the MHLW Health Labor Sciences Research [Grant number H24-SOYAKUSOGO-General-007], the Research on Development of New Drugs from Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, AMED [Grant number JP16ak0101034h0003], JSPS KAKENHI [Grant number JP15H05268], Wakanyaku-Biotechnology Research Grant from Toyama prefecture and in part by 2017 Director Leadership Expenses, University of Toyama and JSPS Core-to-Core Program, B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms.

Supplementary material

11418_2018_1214_MOESM1_ESM.docx (81 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 80 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shu Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aimi Shirakawa
    • 1
  • Yanhong Shi
    • 1
  • Xiaoli Yu
    • 1
  • Takayuki Tamura
    • 2
  • Naotoshi Shibahara
    • 3
  • Kayo Yoshimatsu
    • 4
  • Katsuko Komatsu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacognosy, Department of Medicinal Resources, Institute of Natural MedicineUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Medicinal Plants CenterToyama Prefectural Institute for Pharmaceutical ResearchToyamaJapan
  3. 3.Division of Kampo Diagnostics, Institute of Natural MedicineUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  4. 4.Research Center for Medicinal Plant Resources, National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation, Health and NutritionTsukubaJapan

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