Wilfortrine, wilfordine, wilforgine and wilforine are four major bioactive sesquiterpene alkaloids in Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. F. The first analytical determination of the four major bioactive alkaloids is described. The four alkaloids are well-resolved within 15 min using the developed HPLC method. The identity of the analytes was confirmed by an HPLC-MS experiment, with all compounds being clearly assignable by atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) positive mode analysis. The method was validated for limit of qualification, linearity and inter-day variation of precision and accuracy. Seven T. wilfordii samples (extracts and commercial product) were successfully analysed.