Composition and anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities of Artemisia herba-alba, Ruta chalpensis L. and Peganum harmala L

Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 May;55:202-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Jan 16.


In this study, biological activities of methanolic extracts from Artemisia herba-alba, Ruta chalpensis L. and Peganum harmala L. plants, collected in Centre of Tunisia, were investigated. Results showed an important phenolic composition of Artemisia herba-alba (123.95±4.3g GAE/kg of dry mass). The extract of this plant showed, using different antioxidant assays (DPPH, ABTS and AAPH/linoleic acid methods) and an IFN-γ/LPS induced RAW 264.7 murine macrophages' assay, the highest antioxidant (IC50 (DPPH assay) 20.64±0.84mg/L) and anti-inflammatory (72% inhibition at 150mg/L) activities, respectively. Excepting Peganum harmala L. extract, the two other extracts showed a high anticancer activity against several cell lines (human bladder carcinoma RT112, human laryngeal carcinoma Hep2 and human myelogenous leukemia K562), for A. herba-laba IC50=81.59±4.4, 59.05±3.66 and 90.96mg/L respectively, but not on normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells. All these biological activities are well correlated with the phenolic contents of these extracts. These findings demonstrate the remarkable potential of these plants as valuable source of antioxidants with exhibit original and interesting anti-inflammatory and anticancer capacities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Artemisia / chemistry*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Primers
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Humans
  • Peganum / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ruta / chemistry*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • DNA Primers
  • Plant Extracts