EVALUATION OF PHYTOCHEMICALS AND ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF SEEDS USED IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
Phytochemicals are secondary metabolites of plants which are non-nutritive chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. It is well known that plants produce these metabolites to protect itself but recent research demonstrates that many phytochemicals can protect humans against diseases. The seeds of Cucumis sativus, Citrullus lanatus and Cucurbita pepo are used in herbal medicine as such or in the form of seed oil. They have various medicinal properties. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of phytochemicals and their antioxidative property is evaluated. Antioxidants are beneficial in oxidative stress related diseases. Acetone extracts of all the three seeds showed the presence of phenols, flavonoids and carbohydrates. Saponins, alkaloids, steroids, tannins and anthocyanins were absent in all the three extracts. Citrullus lanatus seeds with 7.5mg and 92.6mg GA equivalent/g of extract powder showed maximum amount of Phenolics and flavonoids. The total sugars and proanthocyanidins was maximum in Cucurbita pepo seeds with 3.6 Âµg glucose equivalent/g of extract powder and 171mg GA equivalent/g of extract powder. Citrullus lanatus seed extract showed the highest reducing power activity, Free radical scavenging potential and inhibition of lipid peroxidation.
Key Words: Phytochemicals, Antioxidant activity, Lipid peroxidation, Reducing power activity,Cucumis sativus, Citrullus lanatus and Cucurbita pepo
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