Phytochemical evaluation of selected antioxidant-containing medicinal plants for use in the preparation of a herbal formula--a preliminary study.Chem Biodivers. 2005 Jul; 2(7):917-22.CB
Oxidative damage is implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. Scientific research shows positive links between accumulated free-radical damage and age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, Alzheimer, and osteoarthritis. There are reports that plant-derived phenolic compounds such as flavonoids have antioxidant properties capable of reducing the risk of developing these diseases. This work aims to evaluate the antioxidant activity of selected medicinal plants traditionally used by herbalists, in particular for the treatment of arthritis, with a view to developing a formula for treating age and age-related diseases. Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analyses of each plant confirmed the presence of a number of flavonoids reported in the literature, as well as unidentified compounds. The antioxidant activities of these plants were determined by DPPH (= '1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl') radical scavenging, and by inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation. All the crude plant extracts showed marked antioxidant activities in both assays. The extracts' inhibitory effects on linoleic acid peroxidation was concentration-dependent, with the highest activity shown at 0.1% (w/v). These results suggest that the phenolic compounds, particularly the flavonoids, may, in part, be responsible for the antioxidant activity of traditional plant extracts.