Free radical scavenging activity of Elsholtzia densa.J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2012; 5(3):104-11JA
Medicinal plants have been used traditionally to cure a variety of diseases since ancient times. Elsholtzia densa, a rare annual herb of the Kashmir valley, was assessed for its antioxidant efficacy. Antioxidant activity of the crude extracts was evaluated using 1, 1- diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl free radical (DPPH), DNA sugar damage, lipid peroxidation, ferric thiocyanate (FTC) and hydrogen peroxide scavenging assays. The maximum percentage decrease of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl radical (DPPH) standard solution was recorded for the 50% ethanolic extract (90.48%). The extracts were further evaluated using the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay. The methanolic extract showed the highest activity (32.02%) in reducing oxidative damage to DNA. The antioxidant activity of the extracts was also determined using the linoleic acid system and the highest antioxidant activity (49.64%) was found in the 50% ethanolic extract. In the case of the FTC assay, the 50% ethanolic extract showed the highest activity (70.14%) which was comparable to that of α-tocopherol. Moreover, total phenolics concentration was found to be 62.5mg% and 77.5mg% in the cases of absolute ethanolic and 50% ethanolic extracts, respectively. These findings indicate promising antioxidant activity of crude extracts of the plant and the need for further exploration of their effective use in both modern and traditional systems of medicine.