Isolation of a pentacyclic triterpenoid from Sceletium tortuosum
Traditionally, extracts from Sceletium tortuosum have been used, both as a medicine as well as for social and spiritual purposes. The genus is distributed in the south-western parts of South Africa. Methanolic extracts of S. tortuosum were prepared and fractionated using column chromatography. Indole alkaloids have been reported from S. tortuosum with mesembrine as the most abundant alkaloid and mesembrenone, 4’-odemethylmesembrenol and tortuosamine also present. A triterpenoid, novel to this genus was isolated and reported for the first time. NMR and HPLC-MS/MS analyses were used to confirm the structure of the compound.