Preliminary investigation of Herniaria incana Lam. Determination of the total flavonoid content, antioxidant properties and free radical scavenging capacity.
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In traditional medicine, herbs with antioxidant properties have been used to treat various conditions. Promising results of antioxidant capacity, may suggest that further investigations might lead to development of new prophylactic and therapeutic drugs for a numerous of oxidative diseases. The aim of this master thesis is to evaluate some of the antioxidant properties of Herniaria incana Lam.. This is the first time the plant is being investigated with respect to potential antioxidant effect, but several of its close relatives have been used in traditional medicine in treatment of various diseases. The total flavonoid content and the antioxidant capacity of the methanolic extract of H. incana, were determined using UV-VIS spectroscopy by the aluminum nitrate method, the Folin-Ciocalteu reducing capacity assay, the phosphomolybdenum assay and the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay, respectively. The results are presented as the mean and the standard deviation of the parellels performed. The total flavonoid content was estimated to be 20.46 ± 0.07 microgram quercetin equivalents per milligram of dry weight plant extract. The Folin-Ciocalteu reducing capacity was estimated to be 35.0 ± 1.6 microgram gallic acid equivalents per milligram of the dry weight plant extract. The phosphomolybdenum reducing capacity was estimated to be 0.84 ± 0.25 millimol α-tocopherol equivalents per gram of the dry weight plant extract, or 362 ± 106 microgram α-tocopherol equivalents per milligram of the dry weight plant extract. The DPPH free radical scavenging capacity was presented as the concentration of reductant necessary to decrease the initial DPPH concentration by fifty percent. (EC50). The EC50 of H. incana was determined to 71.1 ± 8.6 microgram per milliliter, compared to that of 6.6 ± 1.0 microgram per milliliter for ascorbic acid. These preliminary investigations, showed that H. incana has a moderate content of flavonoids and a moderate antioxidant capacity. Since these are the first results of this kind for H. incana, they represent a contribution to better understanding of its chemical composition, pointing the direction for future studies.