Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of five medicinal Libyan plants extracts


Five Libyan medicinal plants Thapsia garganica, Hammada scoparia, Euphorbia serrata, Hyoscyamus albus and Retama rateam were selected to evaluate their biological activities. Their total phenolic and flavanoid contents were assessed. The antioxidant activity was estimated using 2, 2-di- phenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) as free radical scavenger. Their crude extracts showed reducing potential proportional to their concentration. The correlation coefficient (R2) between antioxidant activity and their total phenolics and flavanoids content is 0.77 and 0.98 respectively. Crude aqueous, methanolic as well as alkaloids extracts of the five plants were tested against a number of G+ve and G-ve sensitive resistant (e.g MRSA) bacteria beside some fungal species. The aqueous extracts displayed weak antibacterial activity whereas methanolic extracts were profoundly effective against both G+ve and G-ve bacteria. The extracts of E. serrata and H. scoparia were highly effective against E. coli in particular. The alkaloid-rich extracts of H. albus and H. scoparia induced remarkable bacteriostatic and fungistatic effects. The bioactive ingredients of H. scoparia, E. serrata and R. rateam extracts are shown to be potential sources of natural antioxidant and antimicrobial ingredients favoring their possible use in industrial pharmacology on large scale.

Share and Cite:

Alghazeer, R. , El-Saltani, H. , Saleh, N. , Al-Najjar, A. and Hebail, F. (2012) Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of five medicinal Libyan plants extracts. Natural Science, 4, 324-335. doi: 10.4236/ns.2012.45045.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Burt, S. (2004) Essential oils: Their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 94, 223-253. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2004.03.022
[2] Isman, B.M. (2000) Plant essential oils for pest and disease management. Crop Protection journal, 19, 603-608.
[3] Liu, Y.J. and Zhang, K.Q. (2004) Antimicrobial activity of selected Cyathus species. Mycopathologia, 157, 185- 189. doi:10.1023/B:MYCO.0000020598.91469.d1
[4] Mares, D., Romagnoli. C., Tosi, B., Andreotti. E., Chillemi. G. and Poli, F. (2005) Chicory extracts from Cichorium intybus L. as potential antifungals. Mycopathologia, 160, 85-92. doi:10.1007/s11046-004-6635-2
[5] Soylu, E.M., Soylu, S. and Kurt, S. (2006) Antimicrobial activities of the essential oils of various plants against tomato late blight disease agent Phytophthora infestans. Mycopathologia, 161, 119-128. doi:10.1007/s11046-005-0206-z
[6] Yazaki, K., Sugiyama, A., Morita, M. and Shitan, N. (2008) Secondary transport as a efficient membrane transport mechanism for plant secondary metabolites. Phytochemistry Review, 7, 513-524. doi:10.1007/s11101-007-9079-8
[7] Akhtar, Y., Rankin, K. and Isman, M. (2008) Decreased Response to Feeding Deterrents Following Prolonged Exposure in the Larvae of a Generalist Herbivore, Trichoplusia ni (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Phytochemistry Review, 7, 77-88. doi:10.1007/s11101-006-9048-7
[8] Naili, M., Alghazeer, R., Saleh., N. and Al-Najjar, A. (2010) Evaluation of antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Artemisia campestris (Astraceae) and Ziziphus lotus (Rhamnacea). Arabian Journal of Chemistry, 3, 73- 134. doi:10.1016/j.arabjc.2010.02.002
[9] Li, J.W. and Vederas, J.C. (2009) Drug discovery and natural products: End of an era or an endless frontier? Science, 325, 161-165. doi:10.1126/science.1168243
[10] Hartmann, T. (2007) From waste products to ecochemicals: 50 years research on plant secondary metabolism. Phytochemistry, 68, 2831-2846. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2007.09.017
[11] Jenke-Kodama, H., Müller, R. and Dittmann, E. (2008) Evolutionary mechanisms underlying secondary metabolite diversity. Progress in Drug research, 65, 121-140.
[12] Suhaj, M. (2006) Spice antioxidants isolation and their antiradical activity: A review. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, 531-537. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2004.11.005
[13] Akinmoladun, A., Ibukun, E., Afor, E., Obuotor, E. and Farombi, E. (2007) Phytochemical constituent and antioxidant activity of extract from the leaves of Ocimum gratissimum. Scientific Research and Essays, 2, 163-166.
[14] Alghazeer, R., Gao, H. and Howell, N.K. (2008) Cytotoxicity of oxidised lipids in cultured colonal human intestinal cancer cells (caco-2 cells). Toxicology Letters, 180, 202-211. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2008.06.859
[15] Nychas, G.J.E. (1995) Natural antimicrobial from plants. In: Gould, G.W., Ed., New Method of Food Preservation, Chapman and Hall, Glasgow, 58-89. doi:10.1007/978-1-4615-2105-1_4
[16] Gül?in, I., Oktay, M., Küfrevio?lu, O.I. and Aslan, A. (2002) Determination of antioxidant activity of lichens Cetraria islandica (L) Ach. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 79, 325-329. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00396-8
[17] Jayaprakasha, G.K., Jaganmohan Rao, L. and Sakariah, K.K. (2006) Antioxidant activities of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Food Chemistry, 98, 720-724. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.06.037
[18] Lindsay, D.G. and Astley, S.B. (2002) European research on the functional effects of dietary antioxidants. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 23, 1-38. doi:10.1016/S0098-2997(02)00005-5
[19] Fadeyi, M.G., Adeoye, A.E. and Olowokodejo, J.D. (1989) Epidermal and phytochemical studies with genus of Boerhavia (Nyetanginaceae). International Journal of Crude Drug Research, 29, 178-184.
[20] Odebiyi, A. and Sofowora, A.E. (1990) Phytochemical screening of nigerian medicinal plants. Part III. Lloydia, 41, 234-246.
[21] Harborne, J.B. (1992) Phytochemical methods. Chapman and Hall Publications, London, 7-8.
[22] Abulude, F.O., Onibon, V.O. and Oluwatoba, F. (2004) Nutrition and nutritional composition of some tree barks. Nigerian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 13, 43- 49.
[23] Abulude, F.O. (2007) Phytochemical screening and mineral contents of leaves of some Nigerian woody plants. Research Journal of Phytochemistry, 1, 33-39. doi:10.3923/rjphyto.2007.33.39
[24] Hadi, S. and Bremner, B. (2001) Initial studies on alkaloids from Lombok medicinal plants. Molecules, 6, 117- 129. doi:10.3390/60100117
[25] Marinova, D., Ribarova, F. and Atanassova, M. (2005) Total phenolics and total flavonoids in Bulgarian fruits and vegetables. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 40, 255-260.
[26] Oyaizu, M. (1986) Studies on product of browning reaction prepared from glucose amine. Japanese Journal of Nutrition, 44, 307-315. doi:10.5264/eiyogakuzashi.44.307
[27] Singleton, V.L., Orthofer, R. and Lamuela-Raventos, R.M. (1999) Analysis of total phenols and oxidization substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Methods in Enzymology, 299, 152-177. doi:10.1016/S0076-6879(99)99017-1
[28] Wong, C., Li, H. and Cheng, F. (2006) A systematic survey of antioxidant activity of 30 Chinese medicinal plants using the ferric reducing antioxidant power assay. Food Chemistry, 97, 705-711. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.05.049
[29] Daud, A., Gallo, A. and Sanchez, A. (2005) Antimicrobial properties of Phrygilanthus acutifolius. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 99, 193-197. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.01.043
[30] CLSI (2008) Reference method for broth dilution antifungal susceptibility testing of filamentous fungi. Approved Standard M38-A2, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, Wayne.
[31] Romero, C., Medina, E., Vargas, J., Brenes, M. and De, Castro (2007) Activity of olive polyphenols against Helicobactor pylori. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 680-686. doi:10.1021/jf0630217
[32] Irith, W., Kai, H. and Robert, E.W.H. (2008) Agar and broth dilution methods to determine the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of antimicrobial substances. Nature Protocols, 3, 163-175. doi:10.1038/nprot.2007.521
[33] Ayoola, G.A., Sofidiya, T., Odukoya, O. and Coker, A.B. (2006) Phytochemical screening and free radical scavenging activity of some Nigerian medicinal plants. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Practice, 8, 133-136.
[34] Zheng, X., Liu, B., Li, L. and Zhu, Z. (2011) Microwave-assisted extraction and antioxidant activity of total phenolic compounds from pomegranate peel. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 15, 1004-1011.
[35] Esmaeili, M.A. and Sonboli, A. (2010) Antioxidant, free radical scavenging activities of Salvia brachyantha and its protective effect against oxidative cardiac cell injury. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 48, 846-853. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2009.12.020
[36] Leake, D. (2001) Flavonoids and the oxidation of low- density lipoprotein. Nutrition, 17, 59-63. doi:10.1016/S0899-9007(00)00485-8
[37] Aviram, M. and Fuhrman, B. (1998) Polyphenolic flavonoids inhibit macrophage-mediated oxidation of LDL and attenuate atherogenesis. Atherosclerosis, 137, S45- S50. doi:10.1016/S0021-9150(97)00306-7
[38] Reddy, L., Odhav, B. and Bhoola, K.D. (2003) Natural products for cancer prevention: A global perspective. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 99, 1-13. doi:10.1016/S0163-7258(03)00042-1
[39] Kandaswami, C., Lee, L.T., Lee, P.P., Hwang, J.J., Ke, F.C., Huang, Y.T. and Lee, M.T. (2005). The antitumor activities of flavonoids. In Vivo, 19, 895-909.
[40] Kassem, M., Mosharrafa, S.A., Saleh, N.A. and Abdel- Wahab, S.M. (2000) Two new flavonoids from Retama raetam. Fitoterapia, 71, 649-654. doi:10.1016/S0367-326X(00)00224-0
[41] Djeridane, A., Yousfi, M., Nadjemi, B., Boutassouna, D., Stocker, P. and Vidal, N. (2006) Antioxidant activity of some Algerian medicinal plants extracts containing phenolic compounds. Food Chemistry, 97, 654-660. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.04.028
[42] Zou Y., Lu, Y. and Wei, D. (2004) Antioxidant activity of a flavonoid-rich extract of Hypericum perforatum L. in vitro. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52, 5032-5039. doi:10.1021/jf049571r
[43] Molyneux, P. (2004) The use of the stable free radical diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) for estimating antioxidant activity. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology, 26, 211-219.
[44] Katalinic, V., Milos, M., Kulisic, T. and Jukic, M. (2006) Screening of 70 medicinal plant extracts for antioxidant capacity and total phenols. Food Chemistry, 94, 550-557. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.12.004
[45] Brighente, I.M.C., Dias, M., Verdi, L.G. and Pizzolatti, M.G. (2007) Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of some Brazilian species. Pharmaceutical Biology, 45, 156-161. doi:10.1080/13880200601113131
[46] Rastogi, R.P. and Mehrotra, B.N. (2002) Glossary of Indian medicinal plants. National Institute of Science Communication, New Delhi.
[47] Parekh, J., Jadeja, D. and Chanda, S. (2005) Efficacy of Aqueous and Methanol extracts of some medicinal plants for potential antibacterial activity. Turkish Journal of Biology, 29, 203-210.
[48] Edziri, H., Mastouri, M., Chéraif, I. and Aouini, M. (2010) Chemical composition and antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities of the flower oil of Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb from Tunisia. Natural Product Research, 24, 789-796. doi:10.1080/14786410802529190
[49] Abutbul, S., Golan-Goldhirsh, A. Barazani, O. Ofir, R. and Zilberg, D. (2005). Sscreening of the desert plants for use against bacterial pathogens in fish. The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture—Bamidgeh, 57, 71-80.
[50] Nikaido, H. (2003) Molecular basis of bacterial outer membrane permeability revisited. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, 67, 593-656. doi:10.1128/MMBR.67.4.593-656.2003
[51] Matias, V.R. and Beveridge, T.J. (2006) Native cell wall organization shown by cryoelectron microscopy confirms the existence of a periplasmic space in Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Bacteriology, 188, 1011-1021. doi:10.1128/JB.188.3.1011-1021.2006
[52] Hayder, N., Bouhlel, I., Skandrani, I., Kadri, M., Steiman, R., Guiraud, P., Mariotte, A.M., Ghedira, K., Dijoux-Franca, M.G. and Chekir-Ghedira, L. (2008) In vitro antioxidant and antigenotoxic potentials of myricetin-3- o-galactoside and myricetin-3-o-rhamnoside from Myrtus communis: modulation of expression of genes involved in cell defense system using cDNA microarray. Toxicology in Vitro, 22, 567-581. doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2007.11.015
[53] Rahman, A. (2000) Studies in natural products chemistry. Bioactive Natural Products (Part B), 21, 3-122.
[54] Dawidar, A.M., Abdel-Mogib, M., El-Ghorab, A.H. and Hussien, Kh. (2009) Chemical composition and effect of photooxygenation on biological activities of Egyptian commercial spearmint and dill essential oils. Mansoura Journal of Chemistry, 36, 49-60.
[55] Budzanivska, I.G. and Demyanenko, F. (2002) Inhibition of Solanaceae plants by combined effect of increased concentrations of heavy metals and viral infection. Plant Protection Science, 38, 452-454.
[56] Merghoub, N., Benbacer, L., Amzazi, S., Morjani, H. and El Mzibri, M. (2009) Cytotoxic effect of some Moroccan medicinal plant extracts on human cervical cell lines. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 3, 1045-1050.
[57] Mezghani-Jarraya, R., Hammami, H., Ayadi, A. and Damak, M. (2009) Molluscicidal activity of Hammada scoparia (Pomel) Iljin leaf extracts and the principal alkaloids isolated from them against Galba truncatula. Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 104, 1035-1038. doi:10.1590/S0074-02762009000700017

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.