Journal of Herbal Medicine and Toxicology 4 (1) 173-177 (2010)
ISSN : 0973-4643 Original Article
CHARACTERIZATION OF POLYPHENOLS FROM CORIANDER
LEAVES (CORIANDRUM SATIVUM), RED AMARANTHUS
(A. PANICULATUS) AND GREEN AMARANTHUS
(A. FRUMENTACEUS) USING PAPER CHROMATOGRAPHY:
AND THEIR HEALTH IMPLICATIONS
Vanisha S. Nambiar1*, Mammen Daniel2, and Parul Guin1
1Department of Foods and Nutrition, A WHO collaborating Center for Health Promotion
2Department of Botany, The Maharaja SayajiRao University of Baroda, Vadodara 390002. Gujarat. India.
* Corresponding Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received- 15th Oct. 2009, Revised- 10th Nov. 2009, Accepted-23rd Dec 2009
Abstract : Plant materials, especially GLVs, are recently recommended for prevention
of several chronic degenerative disorders (CDDs) due to the antioxidant properties of
various flavonoids and phenolic acids present in them. It is therefore important to
identify the active phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables. Scanty data are
available on the characterization of polyphenols from vegetables commonly consumed
in India. Thus an attempt was made to identify various flavonoids, phenolic acids and
glycoflavones present in 3 common Indian green leafy vegetables (GLVs) namely,
Coriander leaves (Coriandrum Sativum), Red amaranthus (A. Paniculatus) and Green
amaranthus (A. Frumentaceus) leaves using paper chromatography. In Coriander
Leaves quercetin, kaempferol and acacetin flavanoids were identified. The phenolic
acids identified were vanilic acid, ferulic acid (cis and trans form) and p-coumaric
acid. Similar results from red and green amaranth emphasize the role of these GLVs
in the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases.
Keywords: polyphenols, Antioxidant, Flavonoids, Kaempferol, Polyphenols, Phenolic
compounds, Coriander leaves (Coriandrum Sativum), Green amaranthus
(A. Frumentaceus), Red amaranthus (A. Paniculatus), Quercetin.
Presence of phytochemicals in addition to vitamins/
provitamins and minerals, in fruits and vegetables has
been recently considered crucial nutritional importance
in the prevention of chronic diseases, such as cancer,
cardiovascular disease and diabetes[1,2]. A significant
inverse correlation has also been reported between
total fruits and vegetables intake and cerebrovascular
disease mortality. Thus the complex mixture of
phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables provide a
better protective effect on health than a single
phytochemical. Many of these phytochemicals have
been found to provide a much stronger antioxidant
activity than vitamin C, vitamin E and ß- carotene
within the same food. These dietary antioxidants
provide bioactive mechanisms to reduce free radical
induced oxidative stress. Oxidative stress results from
either a decrease of natural cell antioxidant capacity
or an increased amount of reactive oxygen species in
organisms. When the balance between oxidants and
antioxidants in the body is shifted by the over
production of free radical, it will lead to oxidative stress
and DNA damage . Over the past 10 years,
researchers and food manufacturers have become
increasingly interested in polyphenols. The chief
reason for this interest is the recognition of the
antioxidant properties of polyphenols, their great
Journal of Herbal Medicine & Toxicology
abundance in our diet, and their probable role in the
prevention of various diseases associated with
oxidative stress, such as cancer cardiovascular and
Our recent study showed that polyphenols, especially,
the flavonols such as kaempferol, quercetin and their
derivatives are found to be present in leafy vegetables
4. Flavonoids, as antioxidants, may inhibit the oxidation
of LDL cholesterol, reduce platelet aggregation, or
reduce ischemic damage. Major flavonoid classes
include quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, catechins and soy
isoflavones[5-8]. India’s flora comprises of 6000
species of plants used for consumption of which
around 0.70 metric tons are green leafy vegetables.
An inventory on the available green leafy vegetables
from the rural, tribal and urban areas of Vadodara
and Panchmahal districts of Gujarat, revealed a wide
array of plant foods including 37 GLVs, which could
be good sources of beta-carotene [9-10]. Twenty-five
of these GLVs were used for medicinal purposes by
the local population. These health promoting properties
along with the fact that several of these greens may
be potential sources of beta carotene along with other
micronutrients make these GLVs an important
nominee for their use in the food based approach to
combat vitamin A deficiency[11-18].
Though information is available on the nutrient profile
of most of these, there is no data available on their
polyphenols content. The literature search revealed
data on GLVs familiar to the western world such as
broccoli, lettuce, spinach, green tea. Consequently
there is a need to generate data about the polyphenol
profile of Indian GLVs so as to bridge the gap between
the known and the unknown.
The present paper highlights the results of the
polyphenol composition of three GLVs commonly
consumed in India, namely, Coriander leaves
(Coriandrum Sativum), Red amaranthus (A.
Paniculatus) and Green amaranthus (A.
Frumentaceus), which may be a repository of several
METHODS AND MATERIALS
In the present study 3 green leafy vegetables were
taken for the separation and identification of
polyphenols. They were:-
(A) Coriander leaves (Coriandrum Sativum)
(B) Red amaranthus (A. Paniculatus)
(C) Green amaranthus (A. Frumentaceus).
Five kg of each type of leaves were obtained from 3
different vegetable markets of Vadodara city, mixed,
cleaned, shade dried and powdered using a laboratory
blender, stored under refrigeration and used in
triplicates for the identification of the polyphenols by
paper chromatpgraphy as described in our earlier
The Polyphenol separation included the isolation and
(a) Flavonoids (b) Phenolic Acids (c) Glycoflavones
The standard analytical procedures involving
interaction with diagnostic reagents and paper
chromatographic separation of compounds and their
UV/Visible spectroscopic studies including
hypsochromic and bathochromic shifts with reagents
such as AlCl3, AlCl3/HCl, NaOMe, NaOAc and
NaOAc/H3PO3 were followed for the identification
of flavonoids and other phenolics. The identities of all
the compounds were confirmed by co-chromatogaphy
(paper and thin-layer chromatography) with authentic
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In Coriander Leaves the flavonoids that were
identified are quercetin, kaempferol and acacetin. The
phenolic acids that were identified vanilic acid, ferulic
acid (cis and trans form) and p-coumaric acid as can
be seen from Table 1. No glycoflavones were
detected. No literature is available regarding the
polyphenol composition of coriander leaves, red or
green amaranth by other investigators. Quercetin is
found in abundance in onions, apples, broccoli and
berries. Thus coriander leaves, rich in quercetin, can
be an important food source for the prevention of
chronic degenerative diseases. The flavonol quercetin
(3, 3’, 4’, 5, 7- pentahydroxyflavone) is one of the
most abundant dietary flavonoids. Quercetin and other
flavonoids have been shown to modify eicosanoid
biosynthesis (antiprostanoid and anti-inflammatory
responses), protect low density lipoprotein (LDL) from
oxidation (prevention of atherosclerotic plaque
formation) and promote relaxation of cardiovascular
Nambiar et al.
smooth muscle (antihypertensive, antiarrythemic
effects). In addition, flavonoids have been shown to
have antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.
Several flavonoids, including quercetin results in a
reduction in the ischemia-reperfusion injury by
interfering with inducible nitric-oxide synthase activity.
Table 1 : Polyphenol content of three Green leafy vegetables
Name of the compounds Coriander leaves Green amaranthus leaves Red amaranthus leaves
Apigenin - - -
3’,4’-di-OMe luteolin - - -
Kaempferol + - -
4’-OMe kaempferol - - -
7’4’-di-OMe kaempferol - - -
Quercetin + - -
3’-OMe quercetin + - -
4’-OMe quercetin + - -
3’,4’-di-OMe quercetin - - -
Acacetin + - -
Gossypetin - - -
Quercetagetin - - -
Proanthocyanidins - - -
Anthocyanins - - -
Coumarins - - -
+ : Present; - : Absent
Table 2 : Phenolic acids content of three Green leafy vegetables
Name of the compounds Coriander leaves Green amaranthus leaves Red amaranthus leaves
Vanillic acid + + +
Syringic acid - - +
p-OH benzoic acid - + +
Melilotic acid - - -
Gentisic acid - - -
o-Coumaric acid - - -
p-Coumaric acid + + -
Cis-Ferulic acid + + +
Trans-Ferulic acid + +
Phloretic acid - - -
Chlorogenic acid - - -
Resorcylic acid - - -
+ : Present ; - : Absent
Journal of Herbal Medicine & Toxicology
Nitric oxide reacts with free radicals, thereby
producing peroxynitrite can directly oxidize LDL,
resulting in irreversible damage to the cell membrane.
When flavonoids are used as antioxidants, free
radicals are scavenged and, therefore can no longer
react with nitric oxide, resulting in less damage.
Coriander is also reported to be a chelating agent and
reported to be effective as pharmaceutical agents in
removing heavy metals.
Results of the Green Amaranthus reveled no presence
of either flavonoids or glycoflavones. However several
phenolic acids were identified, namely: vanillic acid,
cis and trans ferulic acid, p- OH benzoic acid, o-
coumaric acid, p- coumaric acid and melilotic acid as
can be seen from Table 1. In Red Amaranths also no
flavonoids or glycoflavones were detected. The
phenolic acids that were identified were vanilic acid,
p- OH benzoic acid, p-coumaric acid and syringic acid.
Two classes of phenolic acids can be distinguished:
derivatives of benzoic acid and derivatives of cinnamic
acids. The hydroxybenzoic acid content of edible plants
is generally very low, with the exception of certain
red fruits, black radish and onions. The
hydroxylcinnamic acids are more common than the
hydroxybenzoic acids and consist chiefly of p-
coumaric, caffeic, ferulic and sinapic acids. These
acids are rarely found in the free form, except in
processed food that has undergone freezing,
sterilization or fermentation. Phenolic compound
ferulic acid has added health benefits as it battles
cancer. Ferulic acid is the predominant bound phenolic
form. The fact that ferulic acid could be identified in
all the three GLVs, emphasizes their potential role in
the fight against cancer[24-29].
These results emphasize that food-based approaches
are more practical and sustainable to combat various
health or nutritional disorders. Inclusion of these
greens in the daily diet will not only add on to the
nutritional value of the diet, but also serve as an
additional advantage of being functional foods, which
would maintain heart health due to their high
antioxidant activity. These green could also be teamed
up with several other functional foods such as foods
containing plant sterols and stanols, fatty fish, foods
containing fiber, nuts, and flaxseed, garlic, tea, grapes,
dark chocolates and many more. Inclusion of these
foods along with healthy dietary patterns and lifestyle
can help fight against obesity, diabetes and heart
disease. Further studies are suggested to quantify these
polyphenols and assess their health benefits by
conducting clinical trials.
We thank all the staff and students of the
phytochemistry laboratory, Department of Botany for
their cooperation and support towards completion of
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