Phytochemical studies of Rubia cordifolia showed positive for alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, tannins, flavonoids, phenols, anthraquinones and very trace for steroids. The ruberythric acid is one of the major constituents of the Rubia cordifolia root as well as various chemical constituents like anthraquinones, iridoid glycoside, bicyclic hexapeptides, and triterpenes have been isolated and identified from the plant (1). Anthraquinone, anthraquinone glycoside, naphthoquinone, naphthoquinone glycoside, furomollugin, mollugin, alizarin, lucidin pimeveroside, ruberythric acid, purpurin, xanthopurpurin, cyclohexapeptide, alkaloid and lignan have been also reported from Rubia species.
Four naphthohydroquinones and their glycosides, and 11 anthraquinones and their glycosides were isolated from the dried roots of Rubia cordifolia. Six of them, dihydromollugin, 2-carbomethoxy-3-(3′- hydroxy)isopentyl-1,4-naphthohydroquinone 4-O-β-glucoside, 2-methyl-1,3,6-trihydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone 3-O-β-glucoside, 2-methyl-1,3,6-trihydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone 3-O-(3′-O-acetyl)-α-rhamnosyl (1→2)-β-glucoside, 2-methyl- 1,3,6-trihydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone 3-O-(3′,6′-O-diacetyl)-α-rhamnosyl(1→2)-β-glucoside and 2-methyl-1,3,6-tri- hydroxy-9,10-anthraquinone 3-O-(4′,6′-O-diacetyl)-α-rhamnosyl(1→2)-β-glucoside, were isolated for the first time from a natural source. The structures were established by various chemical and spectroscopic methods.