Insecticidal, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity and elemental analysis of Cochlospermum religiosum (L.) Alston (Bixaceae)
Objectives: Cochlospermum religiosum (L.) Alston is one of the extensively used medicinal plant belonging to the family Bixaceae. In the present study, we determined antimicrobial, antioxidant, and insecticidal activity and elemental analysis of C. religiosum flowers.
Methods: Shade dried and powdered flower material was extracted by maceration process using methanol. Antibacterial activity of flower extract was determined by agar well diffusion assay against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Antifungal activity was tested against two molds namely Rhizopus sp. and Curvularia sp. by poisoned food technique. Antioxidant activity was evaluated by DPPH free radical scavenging and ABTS free radical scavenging assays and ferric reducing assay. Insecticidal activity was assessed in terms of larvicidal activity against I, II and III instar larvae of Aedes species and Anopheles species. Elemental analysis was carried out to estimate the content of major and minor elements.
Results: The flower extract was effective in inhibiting all test bacteria. Overall, the flower extract was effective against gram positive bacteria to higher extent when compared to gram negative bacteria. Flower extract showed dose dependent scavenging of DPPH and ABTS radicals with an EC50 value of 2.72 and 1.50µg/ml, respectively. In ferric reducing assay, an increase in the absorbance with increase in concentration indicated reducing potential of flower extract. At 1mg/ml concentration, the flower extract caused 100% mortality of I, II and III instar larvae of Aedes species and Anopheles species. The flower was shown to contain potassium and iron in highest quantity among major and minor elements, respectively while magnesium and chromium content was least among major and minor elements, respectively.
Conclusions: The results are promising and the study highlights the possible utilization of the C. religiosum flowers against pathogenic microorganisms and oxidative stress and to manage mosquito-borne diseases. The flower can be used as a food supplement as it is shown to contain various mineral elements that are required.
Key words: Cochlospermum religiosum, Maceration, Agar well diffusion assay, DPPH, ABTS, Ferric reducing
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