Abstract: Aloe greatheadii var. davyana (Asphodelaceae) is used among rural South African communities to treat arthritis, skin cancer, burns, eczema, psoriasis, digestive problems, high blood pressure and diabetes, despite very little supporting scientific evidence. Due to increased interest by both the scientific community and industry regarding the medicinal uses of this plant species, we identified, quantified and compared the phytochemical contents and antioxidant capacities of two extracts of A. greatheadii; a leaf gel extract (LGE) and a 95 % aqueous ethanol leaf gel extract (ELGE), using various modified extraction procedures, GC-MS and spectrophotometry. Apart from extensively characterizing this medicinal plant with regards to its organic acid, polyphenols/phenolic acid, alcohol, aldehyde, ketone, alkane, pyrimidine, indole, alkaloid, phytosterol, fatty acid and dicarboxylic acid contents and antioxidant capacities, we describe a modified extraction procedure for the purpose of general phytochemical characterization, and compare this to a 95 % aqueous ethanol extraction technique. From the results it is clear that A. greatheadii contains a variety of compounds with confirmed antioxidant capacity and other putative health benefits (such as blood glucose, cholesterol and cortisol lowering properties) relating to the prevention or treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and hypertension. The results also indicate that separate ethyl acetate/diethyl ether and hexane extractions of the LGE, better serve for general phytochemical characterization purposes, and 95 % aqueous ethanol extraction for concentrating selective groups of health related compounds, hence justifying its use for biological in vivo efficacy studies.
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Botes, L.; Van der Westhuizen, F.H.; Loots, D.T. Phytochemical Contents and Antioxidant Capacities of Two Aloe greatheadii var. davyana Extracts. Molecules 2008, 13, 2169-2180.
Botes L, Van der Westhuizen FH, Loots DT. Phytochemical Contents and Antioxidant Capacities of Two Aloe greatheadii var. davyana Extracts. Molecules. 2008; 13(9):2169-2180.
Botes, Lisa; Van der Westhuizen, Francois H.; Loots, Du T. 2008. "Phytochemical Contents and Antioxidant Capacities of Two Aloe greatheadii var. davyana Extracts." Molecules 13, no. 9: 2169-2180.