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Open AccessArticle

Phytochemical Screening, Free Radical Scavenging and α-Amylase Inhibitory Activities of Selected Medicinal Plants from Western Nepal

1
School of Health and Allied Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Pokhara University, Pokhara 33700, Nepal
2
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 5-1 Oehonmachi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto 862-0973, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(2), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6020070
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 14 June 2019 / Accepted: 20 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
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Abstract

Background: More than 700 plants are reported to be used for medicinal purposes in Nepal; however, many of them are not studied for their scientific evidences. The aims of the present study were the estimation of the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, and the evaluation of the free radical scavenging and α-amylase inhibitory activities of five selected medicinal plants from western Nepal: Aeschynanthus parviflorus Wall. (Gesneriaceae), Buddleja asiatica Lour. (Loganiaceae), Carica papaya L. (Caricaceae), Drepanostachyum falcatum (Nees) Keng f. (Gramineae) and Spondias pinnata (L. f.) Kurz (Anacardiaceae). Methods: The total phenolic content (TPC) and total flavonoid content (TFC) were measured using Folin-Ciocalteu’s phenol reagent and aluminium chloride methods, respectively. A 1,1–diphenyl–2–picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay was used to evaluate the free radical scavenging activity and an α-amylase inhibitory assay was carried out to determine the in vitro antidiabetic activity. Results: The phytochemical screening of five hydroalcoholic plant extracts revealed the presence of various secondary metabolites, including alkaloids, flavonoids, reducing sugars, saponins, terpenoids and tannins. The amounts of total phenolics and flavonoids were found to be the highest in B. asiatica leaf extract, which also showed the most potent free radical scavenging activity. Extract of C. papaya fruits showed the highest α-amylase inhibitory activity, whereas the extracts of B. asiatica leaves and S. pinnata leaves exhibited moderate activity. Conclusions: Some of the medicinal plants selected in this study showed high TPC and TFC values and potent bioactivities. These results may provide the scientific evidences of the traditional uses of these plants. However, further detailed studies on bioactive compounds isolation and identification and evaluation of in vivo pharmacological activities should be performed in future. View Full-Text
Keywords: medicinal plants; Nepal; total phenolic content; total flavonoid content; DPPH; α-amylase medicinal plants; Nepal; total phenolic content; total flavonoid content; DPPH; α-amylase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sai, K.; Thapa, R.; Devkota, H.P.; Joshi, K.R. Phytochemical Screening, Free Radical Scavenging and α-Amylase Inhibitory Activities of Selected Medicinal Plants from Western Nepal. Medicines 2019, 6, 70.

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