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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Antioxidant activities of Lampaya medicinalis extracts and their main chemical constituents

Glauco Morales12* and Adrián Paredes1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratorio de Química Biológica, Instituto Antofagasta (IA), Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile

2 Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad de Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:259  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-259

Published: 21 July 2014



Lampaya medicinalis Phil. (Verbenaceae) is a plant used by Aymara and Quechua ethnic groups from Northern Chile as folk medicine in the treatment and cure of various diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro antioxidant activity, total phenols content, total flavonoids content, total antioxidant activity, reducing power, brine shrimp cytotoxicity and identify the principal chemical constituents.


The crude hydroethanolic extract (HEE) and its partitioned fraction: hexane (HF), dichloromethane (DF), ethyl acetate (EAF), n-butanol (BF) and soluble residual aqueous fraction (RWF) were evaluated for their antioxidant activity using different assays namely, DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, β-carotene bleaching assay. The content of total phenolics and total flavonoids were measured by Folin-Ciocalteau and by the AlCl3 colorimetric method, respectively. Reducing power was determined by phosphomolybdate and hexacyanoferrate (III) methods. Biotoxicity assays were performed on shrimps of Artemia salina. The EAF was fractionated using chromatographic methods.


Considerable amount of phenolic and flavonoid contents were recorded in the hydroethanolic extract (HEE) and its derived fractions. Although HEE and all its derived fractions exhibited good antioxidant activities, the most distinguished radical scavenging potential was observed for ethyl acetate fraction (EAF). EAF showed the higher radical scavenging activity by DPPH (95%) and by ABTS (98%), antioxidant activity by FRAP (158.18 ± 5.79 mg equivalent Trolox/g fraction), β-carotene bleaching assay (86.8%), the highest total phenols content (101.26 ± 1.07 mg GAE/g fraction), the highest total flavonoids content (66.26 ± 3.31 μg quercetin/g fraction). The EAF extract showed an reducing power of 78% and 65% using the phosphomolybdate and hexacyanoferrate (III) assays, respectively.

Four flavonoids, two p-hydroxyacetophenone derivatives and one iridoid were isolated from Lampaya medicinalis for the first time.


EtOAc soluble fraction (EAF) shows the strongest antioxidant activity, and it can be attributed to its high content in phenolic and flavonoid compounds. It can be concluded that L.medicinalis can be used as an effective natural source of antioxidant, as ethnomedicine and as a commercial basis for the development of nutraceuticals.

Lampaya medicinalis; Hydroethanolic extract; Antioxidant activity; Flavonoids