Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Antioxidant mediated protective effect of Parthenium hysterophorus against oxidative damage using in vitro models

Shashank Kumar, Amita Mishra and Abhay K Pandey*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:120  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-120

Published: 30 May 2013



Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) is a common weed occurring throughout the globe. In traditional medicine its decoction has been used for treatment of many infectious and degenerative diseases. This work was therefore designed to assess the phytochemical constitution of P. hysterophorus flower and root extracts and to evaluate their reducing power, radical scavenging activity as well as protective efficacy against membrane lipid damage.


Dried flower and root samples were sequentially extracted with non-polar and polar solvents using Soxhlet apparatus. The phytochemical screening was done using standard chemical methods and thin layer chromatography. Total phenolic content was determined spectrophotometrically. Reducing power and hydroxyl radical scavenging activity assays were used to measure antioxidant activity. Protection against membrane damage was evaluated by inhibition of lipid peroxidation (TBARS assay) in rat kidney homogenate.


Flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides were present in all the extract. The total phenol contents in flower and root extracts were found to be in the range 86.69-320.17 mg propyl gallate equivalent (PGE)/g and 55.47-253.84 mg PGE/g, respectively. Comparatively better reducing power was observed in hexane fractions of flower (0.405) and root (0.282). Benzene extract of flower and ethyl acetate fraction of root accounted for appreciable hydroxyl radical scavenging activity (75-77%). Maximum protection against membrane lipid peroxidative damage among flower and root extracts was provided by ethanol (55.26%) and ethyl acetate (48.95%) fractions, respectively. Total phenolic content showed positive correlations with reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibition (LPOI) % in floral extracts as well as with hydroxyl radical scavenging activity and LPOI % in root extracts.


Study established that phytochemicals present in P. hysterophorus extracts have considerable antioxidant potential as well as lipo-protective activity against membrane damage.

Parthenium hysterophorus; Extracts; Phytochemicals; Phenolic; Reducing power; Hydroxyl radical scavenging activity; Lipid peroxidation