Exploring the bioactive potential of Artemisia annua L. hydroethanolic extracts obtained by microwave-assisted extraction Conference Paper uri icon


  • Artemisia annua L. is known for producing artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone compound, which is applied to treat of malaria [1]. Its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics, as well as its strong capacity for Plasmodium elimination, have raised many expectations for this new class of antimalarial drugs [2]. However, this plant has been also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat of various diseases since ancient times. Recent studies have focused on its extensive biological activities, which makes this plant an excellent candidate to be used in clinical therapies. Thus, this work aimed to evaluate different bioactivities from a hydroethanolic extract of Artemisia annua. The plant extract in ethanol:water (80:20 v/v) was obtained by microwave-assisted extraction. The antioxidant activity was determined by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay, showing a potent activity with an IC50 of 10.3 ± 1.0 μg/mL. A. annua L. extract also exhibited antibacterial and antifungal properties, with concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 10 mg/mL. The ethanolic extract was very effective against the four tumor cell lines, presenting GI50 ranging from 21 to 61 μg/mL and excellent anti-inflammatory activity (38 μg/mL). However, it was also cytotoxic against the two normal cells tested (50 and 19 μg/mL). Concluding, despite the excellent biological activities exhibited by A. annua L. extract, it was also demonstrated to be cytotoxic against normal cells. Therefore, further studies are necessary to study how the cytotoxicity of this extract could be reduced without affecting its bioactive properties.
  • The authors are thankful to the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal) for financial support through national funds FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC) to CIMO (UIDB/00690/2020 and UIDP/00690/2020) and SusTEC (LA/P/0007/2020); national funding by FCT, P.I., through the institutional scientific employment program-contract for R.C.C., and L.B. contract. Manuel Ayuso is also grateful for his financial support through the PRIMA project LocalNutLeg (Section 1 2020 Agrofood Value Chain topic 1.3.1). The authors are also thankful to Project GreenHealth - Norte-01–0145-FEDER-000042.

publication date

  • January 1, 2022