Medicinal herbs are potential sources of biomolecules and their analogues that have great relevance in the preparation of modern medicines. Calligonum crinitum
, a perennial shrub growing in the United Arab Emirates, has been utilized in the study to validate the therapeutic properties exploited in the traditional medicinal system of UAE. The phytochemical screening of the plant employing different solvents of methanolics and ethyl-acetates, expressed varied proportions of monosaccharides and carbohydrates along with tannins and saponins, which are high potency molecules for therapeutic applications. The presence of total phenol and flavonoid contents derived from methanolic extracts indicates antioxidant potentials and the defense mechanisms of the plant. Proximate and mineral nutrient analysis validates the significance of the extracts with a high amount of carbohydrates and proteins along with significantly high amounts of Zn, Fe, Mn, Ca, Mg and K involved in various metabolic reactions. Similarly, the ABTS radical scavenging activity varied significantly (p
< 0.05) and ranged from 10 to 160 µg GAE/g in the methanolic extract. DPPH free radical scavenging activity exhibited a significantly high DPPH activity in methanolic extracts with free radical scavenging activity of 72%. Hydroxyl radicals scavenging activity was also found to be high in the Calligonum
extracts along with SOD (49–83%, compared to the standard GAE 37–58%). Nitric oxide scavenging was also found to be high in the extracts, thereby decreasing the content of NO. Thus, our results confirm that the derived extracts have potential antioxidants, and this legitimizes their use in folkloric medicine. These results are highly significant as they can pave the way for future scientific validation of the traditional knowledge of this important medicinal plant.
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