Antioxidant activity of the bioactive compounds from the edible fruits and leaves of Ficus sur Forssk. (Moraceae)
Keywords:flavonoid, triterpenes, epicatechin, figs, antioxidants
Ficus sur Forssk. (Moraceae) is a medicinal plant species found in Africa and the leaves are used in traditional medicine as a blood builder to boost iron levels for the treatment of anaemia, skin disorders and sexually transmitted diseases. In this study, a phytochemical investigation was conducted on F. sur and the antioxidant properties of the isolates and extracts were evaluated. The major secondary metabolites that were isolated from the fruits and leaves were the triterpenoid (lupeol), sterol (β-sitosterol), phaeophytin (phaeophytin a) and flavonoid (epicatechin). The findings reveal significantly higher (p<0.05) antioxidant activity for the methanol extract of the fruits (IC50 9.06 μg/mL), which may be attributed to the higher phenolic content and presence of epicatechin. The results show the species to be rich in pharmacologically active compounds that are documented to exhibit haematinic effects, stimulate reconstruction and cell proliferation in skin, and inhibit the growth and proliferation of pathogenic agents of sexually transmitted infections. This study therefore validates the ethnomedicinal use of the plant, and its consumption could have a profound influence on nutrition and health, especially amongst indigenous people of Africa.
- In South Africa, the use of indigenous plants for food and medicine, especially by rural populations, has increased due to availability and accessibility.
- This study highlights the benefits of the edible fruits of Ficus suras a nutraceutical.
- Ficus suris shown to contain biomolecules with well-known therapeutic value, which lends scientific credence and validity to its ethnomedicinal use.
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National Research Foundation
Grant numbers 14008, 129272