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Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant And Antimicrobial Activity Characterization And Toxicity Studies Of Flowers Of “Jarilla”, A Medicinal Shrub From Argentina

Alejandra Moreno, Gabriela Nuño, Soledad Cuello, Jorge E. Sayago, María Rosa Alberto, Catiana Zampini, María Inés Isla

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Zuccagnia punctata Cav. (Fabaceae) is an Argentine medicinal aromatic shrub (jarilla pispito, puspus, lata and jarilla macho). The chalcones were identified as pigments responsible for the yellow color of the flowers. Hydroethanolic extracts were obtained both from fresh flowers and from flowers dried by lyophilization. The extracts were standardized by their phenolic and flavonoids content. Their fingerprints by HPLC-DAD indicated the presence of two chalcones as major compounds (2′,4′-dihydroxychalcone and 2′,4′-dihydroxy-3′-methoxychalcone). Both extracts showed the same total phenolic, non-flavonoid phenolic and flavonoid phenolic content and their phenolic profiles were similar. The polyphenolic extracts exhibited antioxidant (free radical scavenging and inhibitory activity on lipoperoxidation) and anti-inflammatory (inhibition of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase enzymes) activities. The flower extracts were active against six Candida species with MIC values between 60 and 120 μg GAE.mL−1 and were also active on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MIC: 250 μg GAE.mL−1) and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC: 500 μg GAE.mL−1). The extracts were neither toxic ( Artemia salina test) nor mutagenic (Ames test). Jarilla flowers could be considered as a new dietary supplement that could help to prevent pathologies associated with oxidative stress and the polyphenolic extract obtained from them could be considered as a standardized phytotherapeutic product with antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.