Retronecine-obtained from the herbs of Heliotropium europaeum L

A. Retronecine 

The most common base portion of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids is retronecine.
The ‘Necine’ bases are 1-methylpyrrolizidines of different stereochemical configurations and degree of hydroxylation which invariably occur as esters in alkaloids of SenecioCrotalaria and a plethora of genera of the Boraginaceae as stated earlier.
Biological Source It is obtained from the herbs of Heliotropium europaeum L. (Boraginaceae) (Heliotrope, Turnsole).
Chemical Structure

(1R-trans)-2, 3, 5, 7, a-Tetrahydro-1-hydroxy-1 H-pyrrolizine-7-methanol; (C8H13NO2).
Characteristic Features
1. It is obtained as crystals from acetone having mp 119-120°C.
2. It has the specific optical rotation [α]D20  +4.950 (C = 0.58 in ethanol).
Identification Test It gives the racemic mixture i.e., (±) form as crystals from acetone having mp 130-131°C.
1. The plant is used for cancer and is popularly known as “Herbe Du Cancer” in Europe.
2. It is also used for snakebite and scorpion stings.
Source:Pharmacognosy And Pharmacobiotechnology By Ashutosh Kar

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