Ligustrum japonicum and Olea europaea leaf extracts prepared via domestic techniques were studied for antioxidant and aldose reductase inhibitory activity (ARI) in relation to individual phenol/flavonoid composition (HPLC-various detection means) and content. On the same extract weight basis L. japonicum leaf extracts, poorer in total polar phenol (TPP) content and in most cases in flavonoids, were less efficient than olive leaf extracts in radical scavenging and in retarding lipid oxidation. On the same TPP content basis, the former were of comparable efficiency in radical scavenging but exhibited lower activity than the latter in bulk oils or liposomes. L. japonicum extracts were characterized by the presence of verbascoside and apigenin derivatives, whereas O. europaea extracts by that of oleuropein. Superiority of L. japonicum infusion versus O. europaea infusion was evidenced using the ARI activity assay either on the same extract weight or on TPP content basis. The former was also superior in comparison to oleuropein, tyrosol, and hydroxytyrosol activity. These findings suggest the presence of other active compounds besides the so far identified phenolics and enhance our view on the importance of Oleaceae plants as sources of bioactive compounds beyond O. europaea.
Practical applications: Oleaceae plants are a unique source for the secoiridoid oleuropein or verbascoside that confer well documented biological properties. On continuation of our effort to valorize plants of this family as sources for functional constituents we examined, in parallel, leaf extracts of the less investigated species Ligustrum japonicum versus those of Olea europaea L. The data presented for the extracts obtained via domestic preparations techniques (infusions, decoctions, tinctures) are expected to attract the interest of those involved in herbal teas and dietary supplements sector.