2014, Number 2
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ABSTRACTIntroduction: the medicinal plant Azadirachta indica A. Juss, traditionally known as neem tree, has been used since ancient times to treat numerous conditions. However, it is only at present and thanks to current technological development that scientific research has been conducted into its therapeutic properties.
Objective: evaluate the antioxidant potential of aqueous leaf extracts of the neem tree.
Methods: extract from neem dry leaves was obtained with a Soxhlet device and characterized by preliminary phytochemical analysis and UV/VIS spectroscopy. Total phenol content was determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu assay, and antioxidant activity by the phosphomolybdenum method.
Results: the UV/VIS spectrum of the aqueous extract exhibited an absorption peak at wavelengths of 217 and 245 nm, characteristic of the active principles in the plant (azadirachtin and nimbin). Phenol content expressed as tannic acid equivalents was 54.87 mg/g, revealing an antioxidant activity in the phosphomolybdenum assay of 215.01 mol/g, comparable to that of ascorbic acid.
Conclusions: the results obtained show that neem leaves are a rich source of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, and a potential candidate for the development of new phytomedicines.
Roy MK, Kobori M, Takenaka M, Nakahara K, Shinmoto H, Isobe S, et al. Antiproliferative effect on human cancer cell lines after treatment with nimbolide extracted from an edible part of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). Phytother. Res. 2007;(21):245-250. Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales 2014;19(2):205-207 http://scielo.sld.cu 206