Objective: The present study details the phytochemical constituents and in vitro antioxidant activity of different extracts of dried Heracleum afghanicum Kitamura leaves belonging to the genus Heracleum, family Umbelliferae. It is an endemic plant of Afghanistan and grows wildly in different cold and mountainous regions of the country and very common in Afghanistan. It helps to prevent premature aging of the skin. Methods: Preliminary phytochemical screening was carried out for the identification of various secondary metabolites such as phenols, tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, sterols, terpenoids, resins, amino acids, gum mucilage, furanocoumarin, carbohydrates, and saponins. In vitro antioxidant activity was investigated by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl method (DPPH). The total phenolic (TPC) and flavonoid (TFC) content of the extracts was determind by established methods. Results: The phytochemical screening of H. afghanicum Kitamura revealed the presence of phenolic compounds (flavonoids and total phenols), carbohydrates, resins, sterols while alkaloids and saponins were not detected. DPPH method reveals the extracts of the leaves possess free radical scavenging potential. Conclusions: All the results of the in vitro antioxidant assays revealed antioxidant and free radical scavenging potential of Heracleum afghanicum leaves as compared with standard antioxidants. This antioxidant activity may be endorsed to its high phenolic content. Thus, our findings provide evidence that Heracleum afghanicum is a potential source of natural antioxidants. The study suggests the possibility of using dry leaves extracts of H. afghanicum Kitamura for the prevention of cell aging, as it was shown to have significant antioxidant activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology (medical)