Investigation of antioxidant properties of Nasturtium officinale (watercress) leaf extracts

Acta Pol Pharm. Mar-Apr 2009;66(2):187-93.


The objective of this study was to examine the in vitro and in vivo antioxidative properties of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the leaf of Nasturtium officinale R. Br. (watercress). Extracts were evaluated for total antioxidant activity by ferric thiocyanate method, total reducing power by potassium ferricyanide reduction method, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH*) radical scavenging activities, superoxide anion radical scavenging activities in vitro and lipid peroxidation in vivo. Those various antioxidant activities were compared to standards such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and alpha-tocopherol. The ethanolic extract was found as the most active in total antioxidant activity, reducing power, DPPH* radicals and superoxide anion radicals scavenging activities. Administration of the ethanol extract to rats decreased lipid peroxidation in liver, brain and kidney. These results lead to the conclusion that N. officinale extracts show relevant antioxidant activity by means of reducing cellular lipid peroxidation and increasing antioxidant activity, reducing power, free radiacal and superoxide anion radical scavenging activities. In addition, total phenolic compounds in the aqueous and ethanolic extract of N. officinale were determined as pyrocatechol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Biphenyl Compounds / chemistry
  • Brain Chemistry / drug effects
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Free Radicals / chemistry
  • Iron
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nasturtium / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Picrates / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Superoxides / chemistry
  • Thiocyanates


  • Antioxidants
  • Biphenyl Compounds
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Free Radicals
  • Picrates
  • Plant Extracts
  • Thiocyanates
  • Superoxides
  • ferric thiocyanate
  • Linoleic Acid
  • 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl
  • Iron