Abstract: Diabetes is a common chronic disease where therapeutics innovation is much needed. The search for novel antidiabetic molecules can be greatly facilitated by high throughput metabolomic characterization of herbal medicines. Cassia auriculata is a shrub used in Ayurvedic medicine and native to India and Sri Lanka. While C. auriculata has been used as a medicinal herb in diabetes, the molecular evidence for its antidiabetic medicinal potentials and components needs to be established. Moreover, the phytocomposition of the various plant parts is not fully known. We report a comprehensive metabolomic gas chromatography mass spectrometry study of the C. auriculata plant parts, including the leaf, flower, and bud. We identified a total of 102 primary and secondary metabolites in seven chemical groups, including amino acids (AA), carboxylic acids, nucleosides, fatty acids, among others. Interestingly, plant parts differed in their metabolomic signatures. While in the flowers and leaves nine and six AA were identified, respectively, no AA was detected in the buds. Some of the identified compounds have been previously noted for their antidiabetic, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic bioactivities. These findings offer a concrete metabolomic basis on the phytocomposition of individual C. auriculata plant parts. These omics data call for future research on the function of the identified compounds, and clinical studies to further evaluate their antidiabetic potentials and mechanisms of action in the clinic. Finally, we note that plant omics research offers an important avenue to inform, verify, and strengthen the evidentiary base and clinical testing of herbs with medicinal potentials.
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