Antioxidant Capacities, Phenolic Contents, and GC/MS Analysis of Rhodiola imbricata Edgew. Root Extracts from Trans-Himalaya


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 Our aim was to assess the antioxidant capacities and phenolic constituents of methanol and aqueous extracts of Rhodiola imbricata Edgew. root from Trans-Himalayan cold desert of Ladakh. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radical scavenging capacity of the root extracts increased in a dose-dependent manner (up to 0.1 mg/mL) and root extract concentrations required for 50% inhibition of radical scavenging effect (IC50) were recorded as 0.013 and 0.014 mg/mL (for DPPH) and 0.016 and 0.017 mg/mL (for ABTS) for methanol and aqueous extracts, respectively. The total antioxidant power of the extract was determined by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Total polyphenol and phenolic acid content of methanol and aqueous extracts were 112.24, 59.06, 39.02, and 16.95 mg gallic acid equivalent/g of extract, respectively. Total flavonoid and flavonol contents were estimated to be 30.2, 17.67, 20.68, and 7.38 mg quercetin equivalent/g of extract, respectively. In all antioxidant capacity assays, the methanol extract exhibited significantly higher antioxidant capacity than that of aqueous extract due to the presence of significantly higher amount of vital phytoconstitiuents, viz. polyphenol, phenolic acid, and flavonol. GC/MS analysis showed that phytosterols, alkyl halide, phenols, and fatty acid esters were major phytochemical clusters. On the other hand, monoterpenes, fatty acids, tocopherols, aliphatic hydrocarbons, and ethers were found to be present in comparatively less amount in the methanol extract. Hence, our study signifies that this high-altitude medicinal herb could be used as the natural source of antioxidants and supports its use in traditional system of medicine to ameliorate oxidative stress and high-altitude maladies.