Michael Bhebhe, Maud Muchuweti, Batsirai Chipurura and Abisha Kasiyamhuru
Accepted Abstracts: Biochem & Pharmacol
A vast majority of Zimbabwean plant materials and foods have not yet received much attention as sources of antioxidant phenols probably due to limited popularity or lack of commercial applications. The aim of this study was to determine phenolic content and antioxidant properties in Zimbabwean indigenous herbal teas and comparing them with at least one popular commercial exotic herbal tea Rooibos?. A total of six indigenous plants namely resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolius, Fadogia ancylantha, Lippia javanica, Ficus sycamore, Moringa oleifera leaves and Adansonia digitata fruit pulp which are consumed as herbal teas in Zimbabwe were chosen for analysis. Ultrasound solvent extraction with 50 % methanol was used to extract the phenolic compounds. Total phenolic content was determined using the Folin-Ciocalteau method. The antioxidant properties were determined through the reducing power, 2, 2 diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) antiradical scavenging activity and inhibition of phospholipid peroxidation assays. The Butanol - HCl assay was used to determine tannin content. All plant extracts exhibited in-vitro antioxidant activity. Ficus sycamore had the highest total phenolic content (14.08 g / 100 g) as gallic acid equivalents (GAE) while the lowest was recorded in Adansonia digitata (0.80 g / 100 g). The highest tannin content was found in Baobab pulp (Adansonia digitata) 1.69 g / 100 g and Ficus sycamore (1.04 g / 100 g). Total phenolic content and antioxidant activity of indigenous herbal plants in Zimbabwe is competitive to the well known commercial exotic herbal tea Rooibos? from the plant Aspalathus linearis.