Response surface methodology was applied to optimization of the conditions for reflux extraction of Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius Roxb.) in order to achieve a high content of total flavonoids (TF), total phenolics (TP), and high antioxidant capacity (AC) in the extracts. Central composite experimental design with three factors and three levels was employed to consider the effects of the operation parameters, including the methanol concentration (MC, 40%-80%), extraction temperature (ET, 40-70°C), and liquid-to-solid ratio (LS ratio, 20-40 mL/g) on the properties of the extracts. Response surface plots showed that increasing these operation parameters induced the responses significantly. The TF content and AC could be maximized when the extraction conditions (MC, ET, and LS ratio) were 78.8%, 69.5°C, and 32.4 mL/g, respectively, whereas the TP content was optimal when these variables were 75.1%, 70°C, and 31.8 mL/g, respectively. Under these optimum conditions, the experimental TF and TP content and AC were 1.78, 6.601 mg/g DW, and 87.38%, respectively. The optimized model was validated by a comparison of the predicted and experimental values. The experimental values were found to be in agreement with the predicted values, indicating the suitability of the model for optimizing the conditions for the reflux extraction of Pandan.
Phytochemicals and antioxidants from plant sources are of increasing interest to consumers because of their roles in the maintenance of human health. Most of the secondary metabolites of herbs are used in a number of pharmaceutical products.
An experiment was conducted to investigate and distinguish the relationships in the production of total phenolics, total flavonoids, soluble sugars, H2O2, O2-, phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) activity, leaf gas exchange, antioxidant activity, antioxidant enzyme activity [ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Lipoxygenase inhibitory activity (LOX)] under four levels of foliar abscisic acid (ABA) application (0, 2, 4, 6 µM) for 15 weeks in Orthosiphon stamineus Benth. It was found that the production of plant secondary metabolites, soluble sugars, antioxidant activity, PAL activity and LOX inhibitory activity was influenced by foliar application of ABA. As the concentration of ABA was increased from 0 to 6 µM the production of total phenolics, flavonoids, sucrose, H2O2, O2-, PAL activity and LOX inhibitory activity was enhanced. It was also observed that the antioxidant capabilities (DPPH and ORAC) were increased. This was followed by increases in production of antioxidant enzymes APX, CAT and SOD. Under high application rates of ABA the net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance was found to be reduced. The production of primary and secondary metabolites displayed a significant positive relationship with H2O2 (total phenolics, r2 = 0.877; total flavonoids, r2 = 0.812; p ≤ 0.05) and O2- (total phenolics, r2 = 0.778; total flavonoids, r2 = 0.912; p ≤ 0.05). This indicated that increased oxidative stress at high application rates of ABA, improved the production of phytochemicals.
The effect of foliar salicylic acid (SA) applications (10⁻³ and 10⁻⁵ M) on activities of nitrate reductase, guaiacol peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutases (SOD), catalase (CAT) and proline enzymes and physiological parameters was evaluated in two ginger varieties (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) under greenhouse conditions. In both varieties, tested treatments generally enhanced photosynthetic rate and total dry weight. Photosynthetic rate increases were generally accompanied by increased or unchanged stomatal conductance levels, although intercellular CO₂ concentrations of treated plants were typically lower than in controls. Lower SA concentrations were generally more effective in enhancing photosynthetic rate and plant growth. Exogenous application of SA increased antioxidant enzyme activities and proline content; the greatest responses were obtained in plants sprayed with 10⁻⁵ M SA, with significant increases observed in CAT (20.1%), POD (45.2%), SOD (44.1%) and proline (43.1%) activities. Increased CAT activity in leaves is naturally expected to increase photosynthetic efficiency and thus net photosynthesis by maintaining a constant CO₂ supply. Our results support the idea that low SA concentrations (10⁻⁵ M) may induce nitrite reductase synthesis by mobilizing intracellular NO³⁻ and can provide protection to nitrite reductase degradation in vivo in the absence of NO³⁻. Observed positive correlations among proline, SOD, CAT and POD activities in the studied varieties suggest that increased SOD activity was accompanied by increases in CAT and POD activities because of the high demands of H₂O₂ quenching.
A randomized complete block design experiment was designed to characterize the relationship between production of total flavonoids and phenolics, anthocyanin, photosynthesis, maximum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), electron transfer rate (Fm/Fo), phenyl alanine lyase activity (PAL) and antioxidant (DPPH) in Labisia pumila var. alata, under four levels of irradiance (225, 500, 625 and 900 μmol/m(2)/s) for 16 weeks. As irradiance levels increased from 225 to 900 μmol/m(2)/s, the production of plant secondary metabolites (total flavonoids, phenolics and antocyanin) was found to decrease steadily. Production of total flavonoids and phenolics reached their peaks under 225 followed by 500, 625 and 900 μmol/m(2)/s irradiances. Significant positive correlation of production of total phenolics, flavonoids and antocyanin content with Fv/Fm, Fm/Fo and photosynthesis indicated up-regulation of carbon-based secondary metabolites (CBSM) under reduced photoinhibition on the under low light levels condition. At the lowest irradiance levels, Labisia pumila extracts also exhibited a significantly higher antioxidant activity (DPPH) than under high irradiance. The improved antioxidative activity under low light levels might be due to high availability of total flavonoids, phenolics and anthocyanin content in the plant extract. It was also found that an increase in the production of CBSM was due to high PAL activity under low light, probably signifying more availability of phenylalanine (Phe) under this condition.
A split plot 3 by 3 experiment was designed to investigate the relationships among production of primary metabolites (soluble sugar and starch), secondary metabolites (total flavonoids, TF; total phenolics, TP), phenylalanine lyase (PAL) activity (EC 126.96.36.199), protein and antioxidant activity (FRAP) of three progenies of oil palm seedlings, namely Deli AVROS, Deli Yangambi and Deli URT, under three levels of CO₂ enrichment (400, 800 and 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹) for 15 weeks of exposure. During the study, the treatment effects were solely contributed by CO₂ enrichment levels; no progenies and interaction effects were observed. As CO₂ levels increased from 400 to 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹, the production of carbohydrate increased steadily, especially for starch more than soluble sugar. The production of total flavonoids and phenolics contents, were the highest under 1,200 and lowest at 400 μmol·mol⁻¹. It was found that PAL activity was peaked under 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹ followed by 800 μmol·mol⁻¹ and 400 μmol·mol⁻¹. However, soluble protein was highest under 400 μmol·mol⁻¹ and lowest under 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹. The sucrose/starch ratio, i.e., the indication of sucrose phosphate synthase actvity (EC 188.8.131.52) was found to be lowest as CO₂ concentration increased from 400 > 800 > 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹. The antioxidant activity, as determined by the ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity, increased with increasing CO₂ levels, and was significantly lower than vitamin C and α-tocopherol but higher than butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). Correlation analysis revealed that nitrogen has a significant negative correlation with carbohydrate, secondary metabolites and FRAP activity indicating up-regulation of production of carbohydrate, secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity of oil palm seedling under elevated CO₂ was due to reduction in nitrogen content in oil palm seedling expose to high CO₂ levels.
Microwave extraction of phytochemicals from medicinal plant materials has generated tremendous research interest and shown great potential. This research highlights the importance of microwave extraction in the analysis of flavonoids, isoflavonoid and phenolics and the antioxidant properties of extracts from three varieties of the Malaysian medicinal herb, Labisia pumila Benth. High and fast extraction performance ability, equal or higher extraction efficiencies than other methods, and the need for small samples and reagent volumes are some of the attractive features of this new promising microwave assisted extraction (MAE) technique. The aims of the present research were to determine the foliar phenolics and flavonoids contents of extracts of three varieties of L. pumila obtained by a microwave extraction method while flavonoid, isoflavonoid and phenolic compounds were analyzed using RP-HPLC. Furthermore, the antioxidant activities were measured by the DPPH and FRAP methods and finally, the chemical composition of the crude methanolic extracts of the leaves of all three varieties were analyzed by GS-MS.
The resource availability hypothesis predicts an increase in the allocation to secondary metabolites when carbon gain is improved relative to nutrient availability, which normally occurs during periods of low irradiance. The present work was carried out to confirm this hypothesis by investigating the effects of decreasing irradiance on the production of plant secondary metabolites (flavonoids and phenolics) in the herbal plant Orthosiphon stamineus, and to characterize this production by carbohydrate, H(2)O(2), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, net photosynthesis, leaf chlorophyll content and carbon to nitrogen ratio (C/N). Four levels of irradiance (225, 500, 625 and 900 µmol/m(2)/s) were imposed onto two-week old seedlings for 12 weeks in a randomized complete block design experiment. Peak production of total flavonoids, phenolics, soluble sugar, starch and total non-structural carbohydrate ocurred under low irradiance of 225 µmol/m(2)/s, and decreased with increasing irradiance. The up-regulation of secondary metabolites could be explained by the concomitant increases in H(2)O(2) and MDA activities under low irradiance. This condition also resulted in enhanced C/N ratio signifying a reduction in nitrogen levels, which had established significant negative correlations with net photosynthesis, total biomass and total chlorophyll content, indicating the possible existence of a trade-off between growth and secondary metabolism under low irradiance with reduced nitrogen content. The competition between total chlorophyll and secondary metabolites production, as exhibited by the negative correlation coefficient under low irradiance, also suggests a sign of gradual switch of investment from chlorophyll to polyphenols production.
Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila Blume), one of the most famous and widely used herbs, especially in Southeast Asia, is found to have interesting bioactive compounds and displays health promoting properties. In this study, the antioxidant activities of the methanol extracts of leaves, stems and roots of three varieties of L. pumila (var. alata, pumila and lanceolata) were evaluated in an effort to compare and validate the medicinal potential of this indigenous Malaysian herb species. The antioxidant activity determined by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, as well as the total amount of phenolics and flavonoids were the highest in the leaves, followed by the stems and roots in all the varieties. A similar trend was displayed by the ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity, suggesting that the L. pumila varieties possess high foliar antioxidant properties. At low FRAP activity concentrations, the values of the leaves' inhibition activity in the three varieties were significantly higher than those of the stems and roots, with var. alata exhibiting higher antioxidant activities and total contents of phenolics and flavonoids compared to the varieties pumila and lanceolata. The high production of secondary metabolites and antioxidant activities in var. alata were firmly related to low nitrogen content and high C/N ratio in plant parts. The study also demonstrated a positive correlation between secondary metabolite content and antioxidant activities, and revealed that the consumption of L. pumila could exert several beneficial effects by virtue of its antioxidant activity.
A split plot 3 by 3 experiment was designed to investigate and distinguish the relationships among production of primary metabolites (soluble sugar and starch), secondary metabolites (total phenolics, TP; total flavonoids, TF) and leaf gas exchange of three varieties of the Malaysian medicinal herb Labisia pumila Blume, namely the varieties alata, pumila and lanceolata, under three levels of CO₂ enrichment (400, 800 and 1,200 µmol mol⁻¹) for 15 weeks. The treatment effects were solely contributed by CO₂ enrichment levels; no varietal differences were observed. As CO₂ levels increased from 400 to 1,200 µmol mol⁻¹, the production of carbohydrates also increased steadily, especially for starch more than soluble sugar (sucrose). TF and TP content, simultaneously, reached their peaks under 1,200 µmol exposure, followed by 800 and 400 µmol mol⁻¹. Net photosynthesis (A) and quantum efficiency of photosystem II (f(v)/f(m)) were also enhanced as CO₂ increased from 400 to 1,200 µmol mol⁻¹. Leaf gas exchange characteristics displayed a significant positive relationship with the production of secondary metabolites and carbohydrate contents. The increase in production of TP and TFs were manifested by high C/N ratio and low protein content in L. pumila seedlings, and accompanied by reduction in cholorophyll content that exhibited very significant negative relationships with total soluble sugar, starch and total non structural carbohydrate.
The effect of two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) on the photosynthesis rate, primary and secondary metabolite syntheses and the antioxidant activities of the leaves, stems and rhizomes of two Zingiber officinale varieties (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) were assessed in an effort to compare and validate the medicinal potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. High photosynthesis rate (10.05 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (83.4 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 800 μmol mol(-1) CO(2). Stomatal conductance decreased and water use efficiency increased with elevated CO(2) concentration. Total flavonoids (TF), total phenolics (TP), total soluble carbohydrates (TSC), starch and plant biomass increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) in all parts of the ginger varieties under elevated CO(2) (800 μmol mol(-1)). The order of the TF and TP increment in the parts of the plant was rhizomes > stems > leaves. More specifically, Halia Bara had a greater increase of TF (2.05 mg/g dry weight) and TP (14.31 mg/g dry weight) compared to Halia Bentong (TF: 1.42 mg/g dry weight; TP: 9.11 mg/g dry weight) in average over the whole plant. Furthermore, plants with the highest rate of photosynthesis had the highest TSC and phenolics content. Significant differences between treatments and species were observed for TF and TP production. Correlation coefficient showed that TSC and TP content are positively correlated in both varieties. The antioxidant activity, as determined by the ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity, increased in young ginger grown under elevated CO(2). The FRAP values for the leaves, rhizomes and stems extracts of both varieties grown under two different CO(2) concentrations (400 and 800 μmol mol(-1)) were significantly lower than those of vitamin C (3107.28 μmol Fe (II)/g) and α-tocopherol (953 μmol Fe (II)/g), but higher than that of BHT (74.31 μmol Fe (II)/g). These results indicate that the plant biomass, primary and secondary metabolite synthesis, and following that, antioxidant activities of Malaysian young ginger varieties can be enhanced through controlled environment (CE) and CO(2) enrichment.
A randomized complete randomized design (RCBD) 3 by 3 experiment was designed to investigate and distinguish the relationships among production of secondary metabolites (total phenolics, TP; total flavonoids, TF), gluthatione (GSH), oxidized gluthatione (GSSG), soluble carbohydrate and antioxidant activities of the Malaysian medicinal herb Labisia pumila Blume under three levels of CO₂ enrichment (400, 800 and 1,200 µmol mol⁻¹) for 15 weeks. It was found that the treatment effects were solely contributed by interaction of CO₂ levels and secondary metabolites distribution in plant parts, GSH, GSHH and antioxidant activities (peroxyl radicals (ROO), superoxide radicals (O₂), hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) and hydroxyl radicals (OH). The records of secondary metabolites, glutahione, oxidized gluthathione and antioxidant activities in a descending manner came from the leaf enriched with 1,200 µmol/mol CO₂ > leaf 800 µmol/mol CO₂ > leaf 400 µmol/mol CO₂ > stem 1,200 µmol/mol CO₂ > stem 800 µmol/mol CO₂ > stem 400 µmol/mol CO₂ > root 1,200 µmol/mol CO₂ > root 800 µmol/mol CO₂ > root 400 µmol/mol CO₂. Correlation analyses revealed strong significant positive coefficients of antioxidant activities with total phenolics, flavonoids, GSH and GSHH indicating that an increase in antioxidative activity of L. pumila under elevated CO₂ might be up-regulated by the increase in production of total phenolics, total flavonoids, GSH, GSHH and soluble sugar. This study implied that the medicinal potential of herbal plant such as L. pumila can be enhanced under elevated CO₂, which had simultaneously improved the antioxidative activity that indicated by the high oxygen radical absorbance activity against ROO, O₂, H₂O₂, and OH radicals.
The effects of different drying methods (freeze drying, vacuum oven drying, and shade drying) on the phytochemical constituents associated with the antioxidant activities of Z. officinale var. rubrum Theilade were evaluated to determine the optimal drying process for these rhizomes. Total flavonoid content (TFC), total phenolic content (TPC), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activity were measured using the spectrophotometric method. Individual phenolic acids and flavonoids, 6- and 8-gingerol and shogaol were identified by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography method. Ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays were used for the evaluation of antioxidant activities. The highest reduction in moisture content was observed after freeze drying (82.97%), followed by vacuum oven drying (80.43%) and shade drying (72.65%). The highest TPC, TFC, and 6- and 8-shogaol contents were observed in samples dried by the vacuum oven drying method compared to other drying methods. The highest content of 6- and 8-gingerol was observed after freeze drying, followed by vacuum oven drying and shade drying methods. Fresh samples had the highest PPO activity and lowest content of flavonoid and phenolic acid compounds compared to dried samples. Rhizomes dried by the vacuum oven drying method represent the highest DPPH (52.9%) and FRAP activities (566.5 μM of Fe (II)/g DM), followed by freeze drying (48.3% and 527.1 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) and shade drying methods (37.64% and 471.8 μM of Fe (II)/g DM, respectively) with IC50 values of 27.2, 29.1, and 34.8 μg/mL, respectively. Negative and significant correlations were observed between PPO and antioxidant activity of rhizomes. Vacuum oven dried rhizomes can be utilized as an ingredient for the development of value-added food products as they contain high contents of phytochemicals with valuable antioxidant potential.
Strobilanthes crispus is a well-known herb in Malaysia with various pharmaceutical properties. S. crispus is known to contain several biologically active chemical constituents which are responsible for its pharmaceutical quality.
A split plot 3 × 3 experiment was designed to examine the impact of three concentrations of CO₂ (400, 800 and 1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹) on the phenolic and flavonoid compound profiles, phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and antioxidant activity in three varieties of Labisia pumila Benth. (var. alata, pumila and lanceolata) after 15 weeks of exposure. HPLC analysis revealed a strong influence of increased CO₂ concentration on the modification of phenolic and flavonoid profiles, whose intensity depended on the interaction between CO₂ levels and L. pumila varieties. Gallic acid and quercetin were the most abundant phenolics and flavonoids commonly present in all the varieties. With elevated CO₂ (1,200 μmol·mol⁻¹) exposure, gallic acid increased tremendously, especially in var. alata and pumila (101-111%), whilst a large quercetin increase was noted in var. lanceolata (260%), followed closely by alata (201%). Kaempferol, although detected under ambient CO₂ conditions, was undetected in all varieties after exposure. Instead, caffeic acid was enhanced tremendously in var. alata (338~1,100%) and pumila (298~433%). Meanwhile, pyragallol and rutin were only seen in var. alata (810 μg·g⁻¹ DW) and pumila (25 μg·g⁻¹ DW), respectively, under ambient conditions; but the former compound went undetected in all varieties while rutin continued to increase by 262% after CO₂ enrichment. Interestingly, naringenin that was present in all varieties under ambient conditions went undetected under enrichment, except for var. pumila where it was enhanced by 1,100%. PAL activity, DPPH and FRAP also increased with increasing CO₂ levels implying the possible improvement of health-promoting quality of Malaysian L. pumila under high CO₂ enrichment conditions.
A local herb, Kacip Fatimah, is famous amongst Malay women for its uses in parturition; however, its phytochemical contents have not been fully documented. Therefore, a study was performed to evaluate the phenolics, flavonoids, and total saponin contents, and antibacterial and antifungal properties of the leaf, stem and root of three varieties of Labisia pumila Benth. Total saponins were found to be higher in the leaves of all three varieties, compared to the roots and stems. Leaves of var. pumila exhibited significantly higher total saponin content than var. alata and lanceolata, with values of 56.4, 43.6 and 42.3 mg diosgenin equivalent/g dry weight, respectively. HPLC analyses of phenolics and flavonoids in all three varieties revealed the presence of gallic acid, caffeic acid, rutin, and myricetin in all plant parts. Higher levels of flavonoids (rutin, quercitin, kaempferol) were observed in var. pumila compared with alata and lanceolata, whereas higher accumulation of phenolics (gallic acid, pyrogallol) was recorded in var. alata, followed by pumila and lanceolata. Antibacterial activities of leaf, stem and root extracts of all varieties determined against both Gram positive (Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis B145, Bacillus cereus B43, Staphylococcus aureus S1431) and Gram negative (Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumonia K36, Escherichia coli E256, Pseudomonas aeruginosa PI96) pathogens showed that crude methanolic extracts are active against these bacteria at low concentrations, albeit with lower antibacterial activity compared to kanamycin used as the control. Antifungal activity of methanolic extracts of all plant parts against Fusarium sp., Candida sp. and Mucor using the agar diffusion disc exhibited moderate to appreciable antifungal activities compared to streptomycin used as positive control.
Flavonoids make up one of the most pervasive groups of plant phenolics. Due to their importance in plants and human health, it would be useful to have a better understanding of flavonoid concentration and biological activities that could indicate their potentials as therapeutic agents, and also for predicting and controlling the quality of medicinal herbs. Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a famous and widely used herb, especially in Asia, that contains several interesting bioactive constituents and possesses health promoting properties. In this study, total flavonoids and some flavonoid components including quercetin, rutin, catechin, epicatechin, kaempferol and naringenin were extracted from the leaves and rhizomes of two varieties of Zingiber officinale (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) at three different growth points (8, 12 and 16 weeks after planting), and analyzed by a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method in order to determine the potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. The results showed that Halia Bara had a higher content of flavonoids in the leaves and rhizomes as compared to Halia Bentong. In both varieties, the concentration of flavonoids in the leaves decreased (Halia Bentong, 42.3%; Halia Bara 36.7%), and in the rhizomes it increased (Halia Bentong 59.6%; Halia Bara 60.1%) as the growth period increased. Quercetin was abundant in both varieties. The antioxidant activity determined by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay showed high activities (65.7%) in the leaves of Halia Bara at 8 weeks after planting. Results suggested a good flavonoid content and antioxidant activity potential in ginger leaves at 8 weeks after planting. The leaves of these ginger varieties could be useful for both food flavourings and in traditional medicine.
The relationship between phenolics and flavonoids synthesis/accumulation and photosynthesis rate was investigated for two Malaysian ginger (Zingiber officinale) varieties grown under four levels of glasshouse light intensity, namely 310, 460, 630 and 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was employed to identify and quantify the polyphenolic components. The results of HPLC analysis indicated that synthesis and partitioning of quercetin, rutin, catechin, epicatechin and naringenin were high in plants grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). The average value of flavonoids synthesis in leaves for both varieties increased (Halia Bentong 26.1%; Halia Bara 19.5%) when light intensity decreased. Photosynthetic rate and plant biomass increased in both varieties with increasing light intensity. More specifically, a high photosynthesis rate (12.25 μmol CO(2) m(-2)s(-1) in Halia Bara) and plant biomass (79.47 g in Halia Bentong) were observed at 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Furthermore, plants with the lowest rate of photosynthesis had highest flavonoids content. Previous studies have shown that quercetin inhibits and salicylic acid induces the electron transport rate in photosynthesis photosystems. In the current study, quercetin was an abundant flavonoid in both ginger varieties. Moreover, higher concentration of quercetin (1.12 mg/g dry weight) was found in Halia Bara leaves grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a low photosynthesis rate. Furthermore, a high content of salicylic acid (0.673 mg/g dry weight) was detected in Halia Bara leaves exposed under 790 μmol m(-2)s(-1) with a high photosynthesis rate. No salicylic acid was detected in gingers grown under 310 μmol m(-2)s(-1). Ginger is a semi-shade loving plant that does not require high light intensity for photosynthesis. Different photosynthesis rates at different light intensities may be related to the absence or presence of some flavonoid and phenolic compounds.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is a well known and widely used herb, especially in Asia, which contains several interesting bioactive constituents and possesses health promoting properties. In this study, the antioxidant activities of methanol extracts from the leaves, stems and rhizomes of two Zingiber officinale varieties (Halia Bentong and Halia Bara) were assessed in an effort to compare and validate the medicinal potential of the subterranean part of the young ginger. The antioxidant activity and phenolic contents of the leaves as determined by the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay and the total amounts of phenolics and flavonoids were higher than those of the rhizomes and stems. On the other hand, the ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) activity of the rhizomes was higher than that of the leaves. At low concentration the values of the leaves' inhibition activity in both varieties were significantly higher than or comparable to those of the young rhizomes. Halia Bara had higher antioxidant activities as well as total contents of phenolic and flavonoid in comparison with Halia Bentong. This study validated the medicinal potential of the leaves and young rhizome of Zingiber officinale (Halia Bara) and the positive relationship between total phenolics content and antioxidant activities in Zingiber officinale.
The effect of foliar application of salicylic acid (SA) at different concentrations (10-3 M and 10-5 M) was investigated on the production of secondary metabolites (flavonoids), chalcone synthase (CHS) activity, antioxidant activity and anticancer activity (against breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) in two varieties of Malaysian ginger, namely Halia Bentong and Halia Bara. The results of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that application of SA induced the synthesis of anthocyanin and fisetin in both varieties. Anthocyanin and fisetin were not detected in the control plants. Accordingly, the concentrations of some flavonoids (rutin and apigenin) decreased significantly in plants treated with different concentrations of SA. The present study showed that SA enhanced the chalcone synthase (CHS) enzyme activity (involving flavonoid synthesis) and recorded the highest activity value of 5.77 nkat /mg protein in Halia Bara with the 10-5 M SA treatment. As the SA concentration was decreased from 10-3 M to 10-5 M, the free radical scavenging power (FRAP) increased about 23% in Halia Bentong and 10.6% in Halia Bara. At a concentration of 350 μg mL-1, the DPPH antioxidant activity recorded the highest value of 58.30%-72.90% with the 10-5 M SA treatment followed by the 10-3 M SA (52.14%-63.66%) treatment. The lowest value was recorded in the untreated control plants (42.5%-46.7%). These results indicate that SA can act not only as an inducer but also as an inhibitor of secondary metabolites. Meanwhile, the highest anticancer activity against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines was observed for H. Bara extracts treated with 10-5 M SA with values of 61.53 and 59.88%, respectively. The results suggest that the high anticancer activity in these varieties may be related to the high concentration of potent anticancer components including fisetin and anthocyanin. The results thus indicate that the synthesis of flavonoids in ginger can be increased by foliar application of SA in a controlled environment and that the anticancer activity in young ginger extracts could be improved.