Mineral Elements and Active Ingredients in Root of Wild Paeonia lactiflora Growing at Duolun County, Inner Mongolia

  • Zongtai Li
  • Dexi Liu
  • Lijie Zhan
  • Linghao LiEmail author


Roots of wild Paeonia lactiflora are often used as herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. In this study, the contents of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) and the concentrations of three active ingredients such as paeoniflorin (PF), catechin (CA) and benzoic acid (BA) in roots of wild P. lactiflora collected from Duolun County of Inner Mongolia in China were evaluated. The results showed that the mean contents of eight elements followed the following order: Ca > K > P > Mg > Fe > Zn > Mn > Cu, and the concentrations of three active ingredients decreased in the order: PF > CA > BA. It was found that PF concentration was positively correlated with the contents of Fe and Mn. However, the concentration of CA was linearly decreased with Mg content. Moreover, BA concentration showed positive linear dependence upon the contents of P and Mn. Results of stepwise regression analyses showed that 39.2% of the variance in PF concentration could be explained by Fe content, whereas 28.1% of the CA concentration changes could be explained by Mg content; moreover, 42.5% of the variance in BA concentration could be accounted for by the combination of Mn and P contents. In a word, the concentrations of active ingredients in roots of P. lactiflora can be changed by adjusting mineral elements levels in roots to meet the need of appropriate quality control of P. lactiflora.


Chinese medicinal herbs Mineral elements Active ingredients Wild Paeonia lactiflora 



We appreciate Lifei Ren, Liyue Gou, and Min Liu for collecting samples and performing experimental assistance.

Funding Information

This work was funded by the Knowledge Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Science (15228G1002).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shandong Academy of ForestryJinanChina
  2. 2.Cotton Research CenterShandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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