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High catechin concentrations detected in Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) by high performance liquid chromatography analysis

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Author(s): Alam Nadia | Hossain Monzur | Khalil Md Ibrahim | Moniruzzaman Mohammed | Sulaiman Siti | Gan Siew

Journal: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
ISSN 1472-6882

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 65;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Withania somnifera | spectrophotometry | HPLC | polyphenols | antioxidant | free radical scavenging activity

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Withania somnifera is an important medicinal plant traditionally used in the treatment of many diseases. The present study was carried out to characterize the phenolic acids, flavonoids and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) scavenging activities in methanolic extracts of W. somnifera fruits, roots and leaves (WSFEt, WSREt and WSLEt). Methods WSFEt, WSREt and WSLEt was prepared by using 80% aqueous methanol and total polyphenols, flavonoids as well as DPPH radical scavenging activities were determined by spectrophotometric methods and phenolic acid profiles were determined by HPLC methods. Results High concentrations of both phenolics and flavonoids were detected in all parts of the plant with the former ranging between 17.80 ± 5.80 and 32.58 ± 3.16 mg/g (dry weight) and the latter ranging between 15.49 ± 1.02 and 31.58 ± 5.07 mg/g. All of the three different plant parts showed strong DPPH radical scavenging activities (59.16 ± 1.20 to 91.84 ± 0.38%). Eight polyphenols (gallic, syringic, benzoic, p-coumaric and vanillic acids as well as catechin, kaempferol and naringenin) have been identified by HPLC in parts of the plant as well. Among all the polyphenols, catechin was detected in the highest concentration (13.01 ± 8.93 to 30.61 ± 11.41 mg/g). Conclusion The results indicating that W. somnifera is a plant with strong therapeutic properties thus further supporting its traditional claims. All major parts of W. somnifera such as the roots, fruits and leaves provide potential benefits for human health because of its high content of polyphenols and antioxidant activities with the leaves containing the highest amounts of polyphenols specially catechin with strong antioxidant properties.

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