Four species of Prunella L. (Prunella vulgaris L., Prunella laciniata L., Prunella grand:flora L. and Prunella orientalis Bornm.) belong to the family of Lamiaceae and representing popular Western and Chinese herbal medicine were examined for the content of phenolic compounds. Phenolic acids (rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, protocatechuic acid), flavonoids (rutin, quercetin) in different quantitative proportions depending on extracts were determined by the rapid, selective and accurate method combining solvent/acid hydrolysis extraction and high performance liquid chromatographydiode array detection (HPLC-DAD). Water, methanol, butanol, acetonitrile, ethyl acetate, hexane and their acidic solutions were used to examine the efficiency of different solvent systems for the extraction of phenolic compounds. Acid hydrolysis extraction was established as the most suitable extraction method for phenolic compounds. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.