Quality characteristics, phytochemical analysis, and antioxidant of extract Cuscuta reflexa (Roxb.)
Keywords:antimicrobial activity, gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, phytochemical analysis, radical scavenging activity
Cuscuta reflexa is an extensive leafless, parasitic climber that has been used since ancient times for various purposes and as a therapeutic plant in different areas of Pakistan. The phytochemical, antibacterial, antioxidant, and fatty acid investigations were carried out on the leaves, stems, and fruit extracts of C. reflexa. Preliminary phytochemical screening has shown the presence of various phytochemicals such as carbohydrates, protein, amino acids, alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, glycosides, saponins, tannins, terpenoids, steroids, and phenolic compounds. The percentage variation of some components fluctuated like moisture (6.85-10.34%), ash (5.38-7.83%), acid insoluble ash (0.28-0.71%), water-soluble ash (0.78-0.96%), hexane extractives (1.23-1.91%), alcohol extractives (10.39-12.23%), water extractives (25.34-30.35%), loss on drying (1.16-1.47%) and crude fiber (15.04-18.26%) for leaves, stems, and fruits respectively. The level of free fatty acid was different as follows: leaves (2.37%), stems (2.16%), and fruits (2.94%); a high value of peroxide was observed in stems, followed by leaves and fruits. The iodine and saponification values in leaves, stems, and fruits were found in the range of 105-116 g I2/100 g, and 165-175 mg KOH/g. The antibacterial activity was carried out by the disc diffusion method against gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria. It was found that all extracts of the selected plant were most active against E. coli with a zone of inhibition of 4, 4, and 6 at MIC 250 as compared to S. aureus, which showed a zone of inhibition of 3, 4, and 5 at MIC 250 µg/ml. The antioxidant potential of the leaves, stems, and fruit extracts, examined on the basis of their scavenging activity of free radicals, was found to be good. The result of the gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis reveals that linoleic acid (38.10–40.53%) is the most abundant fatty acid of C. reflexa and the smallest amount was found in tricosanoic acid (0.12-0.19%). In general, the isolated compounds were reported to possess anticarcinogenic, antitumor, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It was concluded that C. reflexa has a markedly therapeutic potential to heal wounds and may provide the pharmacological basis for its folk uses.
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