Methylxanthines in 100 Brazilian herbs and infusions: determination and consumption
The contents of caffeine, theophylline and theobromine were studied in 100 plants commercialized in Brazil to investigate new sources of these compounds, and evaluate the consumption of these compounds when these plants are used as infusions (teas). Therefore, two extraction methods were performed, one used an ethanol solution and one used an aqueous infusion process. The extracts were analyzed by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography. White, green, and black tea (Camellia sinensis) and yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) can be considered as potential sources of both caffeine and theobromine. Boldo (Peumus boldus) was a source of theobromine, and small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), stonebreaker (Phylantus niruri), cow’s foot (Bauhinia forficata) and calendula (Calendula officinalis) presented the highest contents of theophylline. This study highlighted herbs not yet investigated for these compounds. The results obtained may be useful in future studies to evaluate the use of these plants as sources of methylxanthines in foods or drugs.