• HPLC;
  • matrix solid-phase dispersion;
  • labdane diterpenoids;
  • Coleus forskohlii



The quality of Coleus forskohlii is often evaluated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), using bioactive labdane diterpenoids as chemical markers. However, the existing sample preparation methods for the analysis of diterpenoids in C. forskohlii are generally labour-intensive, time-consuming and require large volumes of solvents.


To establish an efficient matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) extraction method for the simultaneous analysis of five bioactive diterpenoids in C. forskohlii by HPLC.


Herbal samples were prepared by an optimised MSPD procedure using C18 as the sorbent. The quantification of the diterpenoids was achieved by HPLC with evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD), and the identification of the five compounds was performed by HPLC with tandem mass detector (MS/MS). The efficiency of the MSPD method was also compared with other extraction techniques including Soxhlet extraction, heat reflux extraction, ultrasonic-assisted extraction and microwave-assisted extraction.


The MSPD extracted five diterpenoids with satisfactory recoveries ranging from 98.36% to 102.08%. Compared with other extraction methods, the proposed MSPD method had the advantages of combining extraction and clean-up into a single step, consuming less time and requiring lower solvent volumes.


The MSPD method is simple, rapid and efficient for the extraction of labdane diterpenoids from C. forskohlii. The MSPD procedure coupled with HPLC–ELSD or HPLC–MS/MS is suitable for the quantification and identification of the diterpenoids in C. forskohlii. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.