J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(3): 245-256.
doi: 10.34172/jhp.2020.32

Scopus ID: 85090816135
  Abstract View: 691
  PDF Download: 338

Original Article

Phytochemical content, antioxidant activities and androgenic properties of four South African medicinal plants

Nelisiwe Prenate Masuku 1 ORCID logo, Jeremiah Oshiomame Unuofin 1* ORCID logo, Sogolo Lucky Lebelo 1 ORCID logo

1 Department of Life and Consumer Sciences, University of South Africa, Cnr Christiaan de Wet and Pioneer Ave, Private Bag X6, Florida, 1710, South Africa
*Corresponding author: Jeremiah Oshiomame Unuofin, Email: ; unuofinjeremiah@gmail.com Unuofjo@unisa.ac.za


Introduction: This study aimed to investigate the phytochemical contents, antioxidant activities, and androgenic properties of Peltophorum africanum Sond, Trichilia emetica Vahl, Terminalia sambesiaca, and Ximenia caffra.

Methods: The finely powdered leaves of the selected plants were extracted using acetone, aqueous, and methanol as solvents. The total phenolics and flavonoids contents were determined from gallic acid and quercetin standard curves. The antioxidant activities of these extracts were evaluated using 1, 1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl ( DPPH) assay. The effect of plant extracts (100-1000 µg/mL) on TM3 Leydig cells was assessed using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium (MTT) assay. Testosterone levels were measured using ELISA kit.

Results: The methanol extracts of T. sambesiaca and X. caffra revealed higher total phenolic and flavonoid contents (102.13±2.32 mg/g GAE and 1.05±0.04 mg/g QE, respectively) than other plant extracts. The acetone and methanol extracts of P. africanum revealed the best IC50 value (12.50 ± 0.052 µg/mL) against DPPH than the other plant extracts and ascorbic acid. The MTT assay results showed that all varying concentrations of plant extracts maintained cell viability and were not cytotoxic with IC50 values of greater than 20 µg/mL. The methanol extract of T. sambesiaca had the highest testosterone production at 500 µg/mL (0.399 ng/mL) when compared with the basal control while at the concentration of 500 µg/mL the acetone extracts of P. africanum and T. sambesiaca had significantly high testosterone production 0.147 and 0.188 ng/mL respectively when compared with basal control.

Conclusion: The results reveal that these plants possess antioxidants and androgenic property and suggest the potential use for the treatment of male infertility.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, TM3 Leydig cells, Antioxidants, Cytotoxicity, Testosterone

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

The examined medicinal plants and natural products are potent androgenic agents. Their androgenic potentials may improve sexual behaviour and performance, and also boost spermatogenesis and reproduction. The validation of these medicinal plants for their sexual behaviour and fertility may serve as a promising source for the identification of new chemicals for the management and treatment of sexual and erectile dysfunction.

Please cite this paper as: Masuku NP, Unuofin JO, Lebelo SL. Phytochemical content, antioxidant activities and androgenic properties of four South African medicinal plants. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(3):245-256. doi: 10.34172/jhp.2020.32.

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Submitted: 24 Aug 2019
Accepted: 06 Nov 2019
ePublished: 02 May 2020
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