Journal article Open Access
R. Balabhaskar1, K. Vijayalakshmi2
Natural products have endless potential. Most important of such molecules are flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, saponins and other phenolic compounds. These compounds have been reported to quench or decompose free radicals and its products. Bauhinia tomentosa is one such medicinal plant belonging to Caesalpinaceae family. Various parts of this medicinal plant has been used to treat various ailments in traditional systems of medicine. The purpose of the present study is to demonstrate the phytochemical content, phytonutrients and mineral contents of ethanol extract of B. tomentosa leaves. The study also investigates the free radical scavenging potential of B.tomentosa leaf extract. The collected leaf samples was subjected to physiochemical studies and safety studies like total microbial load assay, aflatoxins assay, pesticides analysis and heavy metal analysis as per WHO guidelines. Total polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins, alkaloids, total protein sugars, fibres, fats, macro minerals (Ca, Mg, P&K) and micro minerals (Fe, Cu, Mn &Zn) were determined using standard procedures. Ethanol extract of B. tomentosa (EBT) was then subjected to DPPH, nitric oxide and superoxide radical scavenging assays and FRAP assay. From the results, it was observed that the collected leaf sample was found to be free from pesticides, aflatoxins, heavy metals and microbial contamination. The water and alcohol extractive values of B.tomentosa leaves were 9.1 ± 0.8% and 8.1 ± 0.4 % respectively. The total ash value, water soluble ash and acid insoluble ash were found to be 12.19 ± 1.1%, 3.1 ± 0.3 % and 8.5 ± 0.7% respectively. The moisture content was found to be 10.13 ± 0.9%. The results have also demonstrated the presence of appreciable amounts of phytochemicals, phytonutrients and minerals in EBT. The IC50 value of EBT for DPPH radical was found to be 59.54 μg/ml and it also exhibited appreciable activity towards other radicals as compared with the standards like BHT and curcumin. Thus, the present study justifies the traditional usage of B. tomentosa for the treatment of various ailments. From the study it can be concluded that the B. tomentosa possess significant amounts of phytochemicals and also has appreciable activity towards free radicals. Future work may be carried out to identify the active principle for the effective treatment against various diseases which involves oxidative stress in its pathogenesis.