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Phytochemical constituents and antioxidant properties of extracts from the leaves of Chromolaena odorata



Aqueous and methanolic extracts of Chromolaena odorata were screened for phytochemical consti-tuents. The evaluation of the antioxidant potential of the methanolic extract was also carried out. Tests for tannins, steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids and cardiac glycosides were positive in both methanolic and aqueous extracts. Alkaloids were detected only in the methanolic extract. The total phenolic content, reducing power and percent DPPH scavenging effect were 0.01 ± ± ± ± 0.00 mg/g GAE, 0.22 ± ± ± ± 0.01 and 28.85 ± ± ± ± 0.99%, respectively. Against the backdrop of many known medicinal properties of this plant, results from the present work suggest that relatively low values of antioxidant indices may not imply a low medicinal value.
Scientific Research and Essay Vol. 2 (6), pp. 191-194, June 2007
Available online at
ISSN 1992-2248 © 2007 Academic Journals
Full Length Research Paper
Phytochemical constituents and antioxidant properties
of extracts from the leaves of Chromolaena odorata
Afolabi C. Akinmoladun
, E.O. Ibukun
and I.A.
Biochemistry Department, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.
Department of Fisheries, College of Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.
Accepted 16 April, 2007
Aqueous and methanolic extracts of Chromolaena odorata were screened for phytochemical consti-
tuents. The evaluation of the antioxidant potential of the methanolic extract was also carried out. Tests
for tannins, steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids and cardiac glycosides were positive in both methanolic
and aqueous extracts. Alkaloids were detected only in the methanolic extract. The total phenolic
content, reducing power and percent DPPH scavenging effect were 0.01 ±
± 0.00 mg/g GAE, 0.22 ±
± 0.01
and 28.85 ±
± 0.99%, respectively. Against the backdrop of many known medicinal properties of this plant,
results from the present work suggest that relatively low values of antioxidant indices may not imply a
low medicinal value.
Key words: Chromolaena odorata, phytochemicals, antioxidant activity, reductive potential, medicinal plants
Chromolaena odorata (L) King and Robinson Asteraceae
commonly known as Siam weed, is a fast-growing pere-
nnial and invasive weed native to South and Central
America. It has been introduced into the tropical regions
of Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. It is an aggre-
ssive competitor that occupies different types of lands
where it forms dense strands that prevents the establish-
ment of other flora. It is a menace in plantations and
other ecosystems. It suppresses young plantations, agri-
cultural crops and smothers vegetation as it possesses
allelopathic potentialities and growth inhibitors (Ambika
and Jayachandra, 1980; Ambika and Jayachandra, 1982;
Muniappan and Marutani, 1988). The economic value of
C. odorata is low. Consequently, there is a relative pau-
city of research works on it. It is a perennial shrub native
of South and Central America. In recent decades, it has
become a serious pest in the humid tropics of South East
Asia, Africa and Pacific Islands. It spreads rapidly in
lands used for forestry, pasture and plantation crops such
as rubber, coffee, coconut, cocoa and cashew. The plant
can be poisonous to livestock as it has exceptionally high
level of nitrate (5 to 6 times above the toxic level) in the
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
leaves and young shoots; the cattle feeding on these die
of tissue anoxia (Sajise et al., 1974).
Despite the negative sides to the plant, it still has patro-
nage from practitioners of traditional medicine. It has
been reported to have antispasmodic, aniprotozoal, anti-
trypanosomal, antibacterial and antihypertensive active-
ties. It has also been reported to possess anti-inflamma-
tory, astringent, diuretic and hepatotropic activities (Watt
and Brandwijk, 1962; Feng et al, 1964; Weniger and
Robinean, 1988; Iwu, 1993). In the southern part of Nige-
ria, the leaves are used for wound dressing, skin infection
and to stop bleeding. Some specific phenolic compounds
have been isolated from the plant (Metwally and Ekejuba,
The medicinal values of plants lie in their component
phytochemicals such as alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids
and other phenolic compounds, which produce a definite
physiological action on the human body (Hill, 1952). A
systematic search for useful bioactivities from medicinal
plants is now considered to be a rational approach in
nutraceutical and drug research. Therefore, the present
work has been designed to evaluate the antioxidant pot-
ential of C. odorata with a view to contributing to the
search for beneficial uses of this invasive plant which is a
menace to farmers.
192 Sci. Res. Essays
Table 1. Phytochemicals detected in extracts of Chromolaena odorata.
Phytochemicals Methanolic extracts Aqueous extracts
Alkaloids + -
Saponins - +
Tannins + +
Phlobatannins + +
Anthraquinones - +
Steroids + +
Terpenoids + +
Flavonoids + +
Cardiac glycosides
With steroidal ring + +
With deoxy – sugar + +
+ = Present
- = Absent
DPPH (2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical, gallic acid, ascorbic
acid and Folin-Ciocalteau reagent were obtained from Sigma-Ald-
rich, USA. All other chemicals and reagents used were of analytical
Plant materials
Leaves of C. odoarata were collected from a farmland in Akure,
South-Western Nigeria and identified at the Department of Crop,
Soil and Pest Management, Federal University of Technology,
Akure. They were air dried, packed in paper bags and stored. The
dried leaves were pulverized and 196 g of the pulverized sample
was extracted with 500 ml of 80% methanol by maceration for 72 h.
The methanolic extract was concentrated in a rotary evaporator,
lyophilized and thereafter preserved for further use. An aqueous
extract was also prepared from the pulverized sample for the
purpose of comparison of the phytochemical constituents with that
of the methanolic extract.
Phytochemical screening
Chemical tests were carried out on the aqueous and methanolic
extracts for the qualitative determination of phytochemical
constituents as described by Harborne (1973), Trease and Evans
(1989) and Sofowora (1993). Total phenolic content was
determined using Folin-Ciocalteau reagent as previously described
(McDonald et al., 2001). Total phenol value was expressed as mg/g
gallic acid equivalent.
DPPH radical scavenging activity
The ability of the extract to scavenge DPPH radical was determined
according to the method described by Mensor et al. (2001). One ml
of a 0.3 mM DPPH methanol solution was added to a solution of the
extract or standard (250 µg/ml, 2.5 ml) and allowed to react at room
temperature for 30 min. The absorbance of the resulting mixture
was measured at 518 nm and converted to percentage antioxidant
activity (AA %). Methanol (1.0 ml) plus extract solution (2.5 ml) was
used as a blank. 1 ml of 0.3 mM DPPH plus methanol (2.5 ml) was
used as a negative control. Solution of gallic acid served as positive
Reductive potential
This was determined according to the method of Oyaizu (1986).
The extract or standard (100 µg/ml) was mixed with phosphate
buffer and potassium ferricyanide. The mixture was incubated at
50˚C for 20 min. Tricloroacetic acid (10%, 2.5 ml) was added to the
mixture. A portion of the resulting mixture was mixed with FeCl
(0.1%, 0.5 ml) and the absorbance was measured at 700 nm in a
spectrophotometer. Higher absorbance of the reaction mixture
indicates higher reductive potential.
Statistical analysis
Data were expressed as mean ± SEM. A one-way analysis of
variance was used to analyze data. P<0.5 represented significant
difference between means (Duncan’s multiple range test).
Table 1 shows the phytochemicals detected in C. odorata
leaf extract. Tests for tannins, steroids, terpenoids, flavor-
noids and cardiac glycosides were positive in both met-
hanolic and aqueous extracts. Alkaloids were detected
only in the methanolic extract. Phenolics, alkaloids, terpe-
noids and cardiac glycosides detected in the extracts are
compounds that have been documented to possess
medicinal properties and health-promoting effects (Salah
et al., 1995; Del-Rio et al., 1997; Okwu, 2004; Liu, 2004).
The total phenolic content in the methanolic extract was
0.01 ± 0.00 mg/gGAE; a rather low value. Phenolics are
the largest group of phytochemicals and have been said
to account for most of the antioxidant activity of plant
extracts (Thabrew et al., 1998).
The result of the DPPH scavenging assay is shown in
Figure 1. The percentage antioxidant activity of C. odora-
Akinmoladun et al 193
% AA
# #
Figure 1. Antioxidant activity of CO compared with some standards. CO,
Chromolaena odorata; GA, gallic acid; and AA, ascorbic acid.
Not significantly
different, P>0.05 and *Significantly different, P<0.001.
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Reductive Potential
Figure 2. Reductive potential of Chromolaena odorata. AA, Ascorbic acid; and
CO, Chromolaena odorata. *
Significantly different (P<0.001).
ta is about a third of the value for gallic acid and ascorbic
acid while the reductive potential is about a fifth of the
value for ascorbic acid. These values are appreciable
enough for a plant that has been tagged as an obnoxious
The relatively low values for the percentage antioxidant
activity (Figure 1) and the reductive potential (Figure 2)
are in harmony with the finding that a strong positive
association exists between total phenolic content and
DPPH scavenging effect and also between total phenolic
content and reductive potential (Miliauskas et al., 2004) ).
Low values in some antioxidant assays do not imply low
value in all other assays since many antioxidant assays
show no correlation (Schaich, 2006). Result of a parti-
cular antioxidant assay depends on the chemistry of the
assay and the nature and combination of bioactive princi-
194 Sci. Res. Essays
ples in the material under investigation.
Emerging trends in antioxidant research point to the
fact that low levels of phenolics (and other phytochemi-
cals) and low values of antioxidant indices in plants do
not translate to poor medicinal properties. Mineral ele-
ments, other secondary plant metabolites not detected or
evaluated and vitamins contribute to the synergy of phy-
tochemicals that confer medicinal properties on plants.
The present investigation indicates that though C. odora-
ta has been described as a plant of low economic value,
it is not worthless. Its use in traditional medicine attests to
this. There are prospects for its commercial utilization
especially in view of its abundant and widespread nature.
The toxic compounds in the plant could be removed
through appropriate extraction and processing methods
making extracts and products from the plant safe for the
utilization of animal and man. Control of this invasive and
notorious weed has been unsuccessful. Finding ways of
profitably utilizing it may be the best option left. Further
work is in progress in our laboratory along these lines.
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... 23 Many researchers have reported that these allelochemicals secreted by different parts of Chromolaena were phytotoxic and cause significant effect on seed germination in various crops. 24,25,26 Similar results were reported in case of other weeds and crops. 27,28,29,30,31 Among the three test crops Mothbeans were more affected than Horsegram and Lentil seeds. ...
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Description of the subject: The dried fig and olive oil are consumed because of their high nutritional value in the essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the nutritional and therapeutic intake of dried figs in their native state, extra virgin olive oil as is and figs soaked in olive oil after 90 days of maceration.. Methods: The methodology consists in studying the characterization of physicochemical parameters, the determination of phenolic compounds, the evaluation of the antioxidant activity and the anti-inflammatory activity of two varieties of dried figs (Abrkane and Taamrioute), and extra virgin olive oil. Results: The results of the chemical indices allowed to classify the control oil and the two remaining macerate oils in the category "extra virgin" in relation to the standards of the International Olive Oil Council COI, 2018, an increase in the level of phenolic compounds in the macerates but on the other hand its decrease is remarkable in the remaining oils. Macerates have the best reducing power and the best antiradical activity with a highly significant decrease (p<0.001) of the oedema of albino mice at the dose (200 mg/kg) compared to the control oil and figs only (74.62%) at the 4 th hour. Conclusion: The results show that macerates have been nutritionally enriched including black fig macerates. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could justify their use against oxidative and inflammatory stress-related diseases. Description du sujet : La figue sèche, l'huile d'olive sont consommées par la haute valeur nutritionnelle grâce aux acides gras essentiels oméga-3 et oméga-6 que contiennent. Objectifs : La présente étude a pour objectif d'évaluer l'apport nutritionnel et thérapeutique des figues sèches à l'état natif, l'huile d'olive extra vierge telle quelle et les figues imprégnées dans l'huile d'olive après 90 jours de macération Méthodes : La méthodologie consiste à étudier la caractérisation des paramètres physicochimiques, la détermination des composés phénoliques, évaluation de l'activité anti-oxydante et l'activité antiinflammatoire de deux variétés des figues sèches (Abrkane et Taamrioute), de l'huile d'olive extra vierge. Résultats : les résultats des indices chimiques ont permis de classer l'huile témoin et les deux huiles restantes de macérât dans la catégorie « extra vierge » par rapport aux normes du conseil oléicole international COI, 2018, une augmentation de taux en composés phénoliques des macérâtes par contre son diminution est remarquable dans les huiles restantes. Les macérâtes possèdent le meilleur pouvoir réducteur et la meilleure activité anti-radicalaires avec une diminution hautement significative (p<0,001) de l'oedème des souris albinos a la dose (200 mg/kg) par rapport à l'huile témoin et les figues uniquement (74,62%) à la 4 ème heure Conclusion : Les résultats montrent que les macérâtes ont étaient enrichies sur le plan nutritionnel notamment la macérâtes des figues noires ont des propriétés anti-inflammatoires et antioxydantes qui pourraient justifier leur utilisation contre les maladies lies au stress oxydant et inflammatoires.
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Chrysophyllum albidum (African star apple) fruits and fresh leaves have been used as food widely. The mature leaves, bark, seeds and roots are used as folk medicine for the treatment and management of various ailments, hence the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Chrysophyllum albidumon inflammation and pain were investigated. Thirty five male wistar rats weighing 150.41±13.27g were randomly placed in seven (I-VII) groups. Group I (normal control), group II (diclofenac), group III(positive control), groups IV and V received 200mg and 400mg/Kg bodyweight of methanolic extract; groups VI and VII received 200mg and 400mg/Kg bodyweight of aqueous extract, respectively. 0.1ml of 2.5% of acetic acid was injected into the hind paw of rats to induce inflammation and pain, and then treated for 14 days. Severity of pain was quantified using Likert scale. Standard biochemical and phytochemical parameters were determined. Statistical differences in the mean between groups was compared using one way analysis of variance at p<0.05. The extract had inhibition of edema at 92%, 95% and 92%, 93% at doses of 200mg/kg, 400mg/kg bodyweights of methanolic and aqueous extracts, respectively. The yield from quantitative analysis ranged from Cardiac glycosides>Saponins>flavonoids>alkaloids>phenols; 42.6% vs. 38.1% for methanolic vs. aqueous extracts, respectively. Animals treated with both extracts had significant increase in weights and white blood cells compared to the standard and normal control group (p<0.05). These suggest that the extract had ameliorative, preventive and curative potency on inflammation which may be attributed to the presence of glycosides, saponins and other phytoconstituents.
Conference Paper
Epidemiological studies have consistently shown that regular consumption of fruits and vegetables is strongly associated with reduced risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is now widely believed that the actions of the antioxidant nutrients alone do not explain the observed health benefits of diets rich in fruits and vegetables, because taken alone, the individual antioxidants studied in clinical trials do not appear to have consistent preventive effects. Work performed by our group and others has shown that fruits and vegetable phytochemical extracts exhibit strong antioxidant and anti proliferative activities and that the major part of total antioxidant activity is from the combination of phytochemicals. We proposed that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables are responsible for these potent antioxidant and anticancer activities and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods. This explains why no single antioxidant can replace the combination of natural phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables to achieve the health benefits. The evidence suggests that antioxidants or bioactive compounds are best acquired through whole-food consumption, not from expensive dietary supplements. We believe that a recommendation that consumers eat 5 to 10 servings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily is an appropriate strategy for significantly reducing the risk of chronic diseases and to meet their nutrient requirements for optimum health.
As pharmaceutical and nutraceutical interest in natural antioxidants has skyrocketed in the past few years, a plethora of methods have come into common use for screening antioxidant content of natural materials and for comparing antioxidant activity of various classes of compounds. These include ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), TEAC (Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity), FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power), TOSC (Total Oxidant Scavenging Capacity), TRAP (Total Radical-Trapping Antioxidant Parameter), DPPH reactivity, croton bleaching, LDL oxidation, liposome oxidation, and total phenolics analyses. For the most part, assay selection is based on ease of use and availability of instrumentation, and very often there is lack of correlation between is activity assays and phenolic content, between activities determined on the same material by different assays, and between activities determined by the same assay in different laboratories. The need for standardization of procedures is being addressed in a series of International Congresses on Antioxidant Methods. Perhaps more importantly, however, the assays listed above do not all measure the same chemical action. Some assays measure hydrogen atom transfer capability (classical radical quenching), some measure electron transfer propensity, and others measure a variety of other actions. The basic chemistry dominant in the assays and also active in the system of application must be considered as a basis for appropriate application of assays, accurate interpretation of results, and evaluation of antioxidant effectiveness for different end uses. This paper reviews mechanisms and effects of environment on the dominant antioxidant assays and recommends a new integrative approach using a panel of assays and conditions to provide more complete and accurate information during antioxidant testing.
The macromolecules of plants are distinguished from all other constituents by their high molecular weight. This may vary from 10000 to over 1000000, whereas in other plant metabolites the molecular weight is rarely above 1000. Chemically, macromolecules consist of long chains of small structural units or ‘building blocks’, linked covalently in a number of different ways. Chemical characterization in the first instance therefore depends on identifying these smaller units. Proteins, for example, are long chains of amino acids (up to twenty different ones) joined together through peptide (—CO—NH—) links. Polysaccharides are similarly derived from the union of simple sugar units, such as glucose, joined through ether (—O—) links. The nucleic acids, by contrast, are more complex and have three types of structural unit: purine and pyrimidine bases, pentose sugars and phosphate groups. The three main classes of macromolecules found in plants are thus proteins, polysaccharides and nucleic acids. However, mixed polymers are also known. such as the glycoproteins, which contain both sugars and amino acids in covalent linkage.
Plants of the Osbeckia family have been shown to possess hepatoprotective properties, which could be due to the presence of antioxidant compounds. The plant extract was shown to inhibit significantly in a dose-dependent manner, the activities of the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) free radical (EC50 of 27.5 μg/mL), xanthine oxidase (EC50 of 1.16 mg/mL) and demonstrate a scavenging effect on hydroxyl radical mediated damage to deoxyribose (EC50 of 140 μg/mL). The plant extract possessed some prooxidant activity from the effect on bleomycin-induced DNA damage, but this was less than that shown by comparable concentrations of (+)-catechin or silymarin. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Flavonoids are a widely distributed group of polyphenolic compounds with health-related properties, which are based in their antioxidant activity. These properties have been found to include anticancer, antiviral, antiinflammatory activities, effects on capillary fragility, and an ability to inhibit human platelet aggregation. The antioxidant capacity of any flavonoid will be determined by a combination of the O-dihydroxy structure in the B-ring, the 2,3-double bond in conjugation with a 4-oxo function and the presence of both hydroxyl groups in positions 3 and 5. Flavanones, flavones, and flavonols are the flavonoids present in Citrus, and although flavones and flavonols have been found in low concentrations in Citrus tissues, in relationship to flavanones, these types of compounds have been show to be powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Some Citrus flavonoids can be used directly as repellents or toxins or be used in plant improvement programs to obtain more resistant crops. In addition, some Citrus flavonoids and their derivates, in the field of food technology, are principally known for their ability to provide a bitter or sweet taste and as bitterness inhibitor. Keywords: Free radicals, antioxidant; anticarcinogenic; antiinflammatory; platelet aggregation; antiallergic; analgesic; antimicrobial; food additives
The phenolic component of freeze-dried olive fruit was fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography using ultraviolet, atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (APCI) and electrospray ionisation (ESI) detection. The fractions together with several standards were tested for antioxidant activity in an aqueous and a lipid system. The negative ion mode of APCI and ESI showed less fragmentation than positive ion mode. The latter was generally more useful in obtaining fragmentation data and hence structural information. Some olive phenolics notably tyrosol exhibited a low ionisation efficiency in both APCI and ESI. There was no simple relationship between antioxidant activity and chemical structure. The ranking of antioxidant activity was strongly dependent on both the test system and on the substrate demonstrating the need to examine activity in both aqueous and lipid systems. Significant antioxidant activity was seen in most olive fractions and this was related to phenolic content. The kinetics of the oxidation process are complex and suggest that multiple pathways may be involved at different antioxidant concentrations.