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Open Access Research article

Comprehensive assessment of phenolics and antiradical potential of Rumex hastatus D. Don. roots

Sumaira Sahreen12*, Muhammad Rashid Khan2 and Rahmat Ali Khan23*

Author Affiliations

1 Botanical Sciences Division, Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, Islamabad, Pakistan

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan

3 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 20100, Pakistan

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:47  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-47

Published: 8 February 2014



Roots of Rumex hastatus (Polygonaceae) are traditionally used for the treatment of various ailments including liver and lung diseases. In this study, various solvent extracts of R. hastatus roots, like methanolic, n-hexane, ethyl acetate, chloroform, butanol and aqueous fractions were assessed through their antioxidant properties in vitro and determination of phenolic contents.


Several parameters like DPPH˙, ABTS˙+, ˙OH, H2O2, superoxide free radical scavenging, iron chelating power, reducing power, β-carotene bleaching power, antioxidant capacity and total phenolics and flavonoids were evaluated. High Performance liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was also considered.


Though all the fractions exhibited dose dependant activity. The samples with the highest activity were the butanol and methanol fractions in all the assays except hydrogen peroxide radical scavenging assay where chloroform fraction showed the highest scavenging aptitude. On the other hand, aquous fraction showed significant beta carotene linoleic acid, while n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions exhibited a lesser antioxidant activity in all the assays. HPLC revealed the presence of rutin, luteolin-7-glucoside, vitexin and luteolin.


These results have to some extent substantiated the use of R. hastatus roots against different diseases, as an excellent basis of potential antioxidant due to the presence of sufficient amount of phenolics such as rutin and luteolin.

Rumex hastatus; Antioxidant activity; Solvent extraction; Phenolics; HPLC