Comparative Studies of Antioxidant and Toxiological Properties of Methanol Extracts of Uvaria Chamae Leaves and Roots.


The efficacy of Uvaria chamae plant species in herbal remedies may have come as a result of trial and error. This could be as a result of poor information on the phytochemistry, antioxidant and toxicity of this plant parts. The present study compares the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant potentials and toxicities of methanol extracts of Uvaria chamae leaves and roots.

Results of in vitro antioxidant potentials revealed that the methanol extract of Uvaria chamae leaves contains vitamin A (4871±79.21 I.U) and vitamin C (1.72±0.02%) while the root extract contains vitamin A (673.28±0.00I.U) and vitamin C (1.66±0.01%). Both extracts had equal contents of vitamin E (8.83±0.04 mg/100g).

The leaf extract scavenged 1,1- diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) in a concentration dependent manner with the correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.839 and effective concentration (EC50) of 31.19 µg/ml, while the root extract scavenged DPPH with R2, 0.778 and EC50, 14.00 µg/ml. These results were compared to the EC50 of ascorbic acid standard (25.29 µg/ml).

The leaf and root extracts scavenged superoxide radical in a concentration dependent manner with EC50 of 5.93 µg/ml and 719.45 µg/ml, respectively, compared to the EC50 of ascorbic standard (30.27 µg/ml). Both the leaf and root extracts scavenged hydroxyl radical in a concentration dependent manner with EC50 of 107.89 µg/ml and 912.01 µg/ml, respectively, compared to the EC50 of vitamin E standard (106.66µg/ml).

The result of the study revealed that the 1000 µg/ml root extract scavenged nitric oxide radical more than the leaf extract and vitamin E standard at the same concentration. At 500 µg/ml, the leaf extract was more effective at scavenging nitric oxide radical compared to the root extract and vitamin E standard. The leaf extract showed significantly higher (p<0.05) anti radical power (ARP) of superoxide (0.17) compared to the root extract (0.0014).


Over the years, man has been facing with the challenges of preventing and eliminating diseases in the body. The discovery of the efficacy of certain plant species in herbal remedies by man, might have come as a result of trial and error. This however, has created some gaps in common beliefs on the treatment of ailments among some related and unrelated human societies of the world.

Phytochemical analysis on certain plant species by modern practitioners have shown some corresponding results with already existing tradomedical information while in some cases, has differed completely thereby causing doubt in herbal treatment (Nwachukwu et al., 2011). In recent times, some plants including Uvaria chamae, have been used as herbal medicines due to the presence of phytochemicals and antioxidants in them (Riby et al., 2006).

These Antioxidants are vital substances which protect the body from damages caused by free radical-induced oxidative stress (Awah et al., 2010). However, the herb can display some toxicological properties. The assay of enzyme activities in the body fluid of any model in question, aids the diagnosis of the damages on the vital organs and as well, assists in the determination of its toxicity (Ajiboye et al., 2010). 


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