This report outlines a rapid, reproducible method for the determination of beta-asarone, a known carcinogen, using micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography (MEKC)-UV-vis absorbance and a simple alcohol extraction. The MEKC method is based on a running buffer comprised of 100 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), pH 10. The method is reproducible and provides baseline separation of alpha-asarone and beta-asarone. This protocol was used to determine the beta-asarone content of Acorus calamus rhizome of a diploid variety harvested from the wetlands of the United States and the triploid variety from India obtained commercially. The results indicate raw product that originated from India contained 4.4% w/w beta-asarone, while that from the United States contained 0.2% w/w beta-asarone. Neither sample contained detectable concentrations of alpha-asarone. This is the first report of the use of MEKC to determine asarone in a natural source.
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