Bioactive properties of medicinal plants from the Algerian flora: Selecting the species with the highest potential in view of application purposes uri icon


  • The Algerian flora contains a wide variety of plant species with potential to be used in medicinal applications. Herein, the bioactive properties of medicinal plants from Algeria were evaluated to select the species with highest suitability to be used under specific purposes, while scientifically validating their health claims. The antioxidant activity of the infusions was screened by using several tests and cytotoxic properties were evaluated against human tumor cell lines (as also against non-tumor cells). Different hydrophilic bioactive compounds were also quantified. The results were analyzed considering individual variations in each parameter (ANOVA), but also in an aggregated approach by applying principal component analysis to acquire a comprehensive knowledge regarding the overall bioactive potential of the studied species. Limoniastrum guyonianum and Thymus pallescens showed the highest antioxidant activity (EC50 values ranging from 29 to 229 μg/mL and 54 to 240 μg/mL, respectively), whilst Asteriscus graveolens and L. guyonianum gave the best cytotoxicity against human tumor cell lines (GI50 values ranging from 11 to 29 μg/mL and 22 to 70 μg/mL, respectively). T. pallescens stood out as the species with highest bioactive compounds contents (phenols: 463 mg GAE, flavonoids: 194 mg CE, esters; 186 mg CAE; flavonols: 85 mg QE, considering g of lyophilized infusion basis). From a global point of view, T. pallescens, Saccocalyx satureioides and Ptychotis verticillata proved to be the preferable choices as high potential sources of bioactive compounds, while Haloxylon scoparium, L. guyonianum and A. graveolens would be the most suitable matrices considering the bioactivity (especially cytotoxicity) criterion, as inferred from the PCA outputs.
  • The authors are grateful to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) for financial support to CIMO (PEst-OE/AGR/UI0690/2014), R.C. Calhelha (SFRH/BPD/68344/2010), J.C.M. Barreira (SFRH/BPD/72802/2010) and L. Barros (“Compromisso para a Ciência 2008” contract).

publication date

  • January 1, 2015