BACKGROUND: Orthosiphon aristatus (Blume) Miq. is a medicinal herb which is traditionally used for the treatment of diabetes and kidney diseases in South East Asia. Previous studies reported higher concentration of antioxidative phytochemicals, especially rosmarinic acid (ester of caffeic acid) and other caffeic acid derivatives in this plant extract than the other herbs such as rosemary and sage which are usually used as raw materials to produce rosmarinic acid supplement in the market.
PURPOSE: The phytochemical profile of O. aristatus was investigated at different storage durations for quality comparison.
METHODS: The phytochemicals were extracted from the leaves and stems of O. aristatus using a reflux reactor. The extracts were examined for total phenolic and flavonoid contents, as well as their antioxidant capacities, in terms of radical scavenging, metal chelating and reducing power. The phytochemical profiles were also analyzed by unsupervised principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis, in relation to the factor of storage at 4 °C for 5 weeks.
RESULTS: The leaf extract was likely to have more phytochemicals than stem extract, particularly caffeic acid derivatives including glycosylated and alkylated caffeic acids. This explains higher ratio of total phenolic content to total flavonoid content with higher antioxidant capacities for the leaf extracts. Rosmarinic acid dimer and salvianolic acid B appeared to be the major constituents, possibly contributing to the previously reported pharmacological properties. However, the phytochemical profiles were found changing, even though the extracts were stored in the refrigerator (4 °C). The change was significantly observed at the fifth week based on the statistical pattern recognition technique.
CONCLUSION: O. aristatus could be a promising source of rosmarinic acid and its dimer, as well as salvianolic acid B with remarkably antioxidant properties. The phytochemical profile was at least stable for a month stored at 4 °C. It is likely to be a good choice of herbal tea with comparable radical scavenging activity, but lower caffeine content than other tea samples.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.