Estimation of Total Phenols and Flavonoids in Extracts of Actaea spicata Roots and Antioxidant Activity Studies
Actaea spicata Linn. (Ranunculaceae) has been traditionally used for the treatment of various ailments such as rheumatism, inflammation, nerve diseases, lumbago, scrofula and chorea, but no systematic phytochemical and pharmacological work has ever been carried out on this potential plant. Preliminary phytochemical screening showed presence of phenols and flavonoids in A. spicata. Thus, the present investigation was undertaken to estimate total phenols and flavonoids in methanol extract of A. spicata roots, and its ethyl acetate fraction. In vitro antioxidant activity was also evaluated in the methanol extract and ethyl acetate fraction using DPPH method. Ethyl acetate fraction was found to contain twice the content of flavonoids and phenols in comparison to methanolic extract, whereas phenolic content in methanol extract was approximately similar to ethyl acetate fraction. A significant antioxidant activity, i.e., mean percentage inhibition of DPPH radical was observed in methanol extract and ethyl acetate fraction at the concentration of 10 μg/ml and 5 μg/ml respectively. Finally, it was suggested that polyphenols are responsible for antioxidant activity of A. spicata.