Pulastilla is a group of flowering plants that belong to the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family. The genus contains about 70 species, and some of these are used medicinally. Some common species of Pulsatilla plants include Pulsatilla nemorosa, Pulsatilla patens, Pulsatilla vulgaris and Pulsatilla nigricans. Some evidence suggests that certain of these plants may possess mood elevating properties because of the phytochemicals they contain. A number of studies have investigated the chemical composition of the phytochemicals in Pulastilla plants and these have been reported. The main phytochemicals in Pulsatilla plants include triterpenoid saponins and flavonoids, both of which have been shown to positively affect mood and mental state. Over 20 different triterpenoid saponins have been isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis alone. The flavonoids present may include kaempferol and quercetin, that belong to the flavonol group of flavonoids. Triterpenoid saponins include pulsatilosides, lentenosides, caulosides and calcosides.
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