This study was performed to evaluate the phenolic profile, antioxidant and diuretic effects of black cumin and lady-in-a-mist seeds. In the phenolic profile, differences between the two species are significant. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the phenolic compounds were performed using a HPLC-UV/MS method. Hyperoside was the only identified flavonoid glycoside (1.08 ± 0.01 μg∙g-1 dw plant material), in the N. damascena extract. Regarding the flavonol profile, kaempferol was identified before the hydrolysis, only in the N. sativa extract (6.06 ± 0.02 μg∙g-1 dw plant material) and quercetin only in N. damascena seeds (14.35 ± 0.02 μg∙g-1 dw plant material). The antioxidant potential of the two species was tested through several electron transfer assays, which indicated, excepting for the FRAP assay, N. damascena as exhibiting a higher free radical scavenging activity. The diuretic activity of the two extracts was tested using a rat-experimental model on acute diuresis. Administration of the ethanolic extract of N. sativa (100 mg∙kg-1) resulted in a significant increase in urine volume, although less than found with the reference drug; in addition N. damascena extract did not present a diuretic effect. In reference to the elimination of Na+, K+ and uric acid, the black cumin extract exhibited a higher natriuretic than kaluretic effect and a similar uricosuric effect with control and N. damascena. For N. damascena, the Na+/K+ ratio was sub unitary, but not due to an increasing of the kaluretic effect, but mostly to a decrease of Na+ excretion.
Keywords: N. damascena L.; Nigella sativa L.; antioxidants; diuretic; polyphenols; seeds.