Dragendorff's reagent

Dragendorff's reagent is a color reagent to detect alkaloids in a test sample. Alkaloids, if present in the solution of sample, will react with Dragendorff's reagent and produce an orange or orange-red precipitate.[1][2] This reagent was invented by the German pharmacologist, Johann Georg Dragendorff (18361898) at the University of Dorpat.


Dragendroff's reagent is a solution of potassium bismuth iodide prepared from basic bismuth nitrate (Bi(NO3)3), tartaric acid, and potassium iodide (KI).[3]


  1. Nayeem AA, Khatun A, Rahman MS, Rahman M (2011). "Evaluation of phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Mikania cordata (Asteraceae) leaves". Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy. 3 (8): 118–123.
  2. Ghani A. (1998). Medicinal Plants of Bangladesh (1st ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: The Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. p. 505.
  3. Khatun A, Rahman M, Jahan S (2014). "Preliminary phytochemical and pharmacological screening of Murraya exotica Linn. leaves extract". Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine. 14 (3): 223–229. doi:10.1007/s13596-014-0150-x.

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