Phytochemical Profiling and Antioxidant Potential of Ailanthus Excelsa Roxb. Extracts
The stem bark of Ailanthes excelsa Roxb., known as Aralu, is commonly used as a substitute in trade and raw drug market for several other important medicinal plants like Oroxylum indicum and Holarrhena antidysenterica. In the present study, its physicochemical parameters, preliminary phytochemical screening, HPTLC fingerprinting and assessment of its antioxidant potential were carried out. The different extracts were analyzed for their total phenolic and flavonoid contents and subjected to phytochemical analysis using HPTLC and the chemical markers lupeol and stigmasterol were quantified. Lupeol and stigmasterol were found to be present only in the methanolic extract (5.3 µg/mg and 8.1 µg/mg extract respectively). Results indicated that the 50% aqueous methanolic extract contained the highest content of phenolics and flavonoids. The methanolic extract exhibited the best antioxidant potential in both the in vitro test models used viz. DPPH radical scavenging activity as well as the Total Antioxidant Capacity. The analysis results may thus be used for the routine analysis of the raw drug samples and formulations for the presence of A. excelsa. The HPTLC fingerprint profiles are especially useful as they provide a fingerprint of the various phytoconstituents present in the crude drug and can be essentially used for quality control and assessment. They may also be used for confirming the presence of authentic plant material and monitoring the consistency of different batches of finished products where A. excelsa has been used as an ingredient.
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