In the quest for new medicines, the methanolic, hexanic, and aqueous extracts of Adiantum caudatum leaves, obtained by Soxhlet extraction, were analyzed for phenolic and flavonoid contents, and antioxidant and antimicrobial potential. TPCs (total phenolic content) of the methanolic, aqueous and hexanic extracts were 27.7, 21.1, and 16.7 μg of gallic acid equivalents per mL, respectively, while TFCs (total flavonoid content) were 13.2, 11.6, and 10.0 μg of rutin equivalents per mL, respectively. Antioxidant activities of the extracts in reducing power, FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power), phosphomolybdate and ABTS assays follow the same order of methanolic ˃ aqueous ˃ hexanic. In the DPPH assay, however, the aqueous extract exhibited a slightly higher antioxidant activity than the methanolic one. Methanol is therefore a better solvent to extract most of the antioxidant components from A. caudatum leaves. In lipid peroxidation inhibitory assay, the extracts showed almost similar behavior and their activity decreased gradually with time. The aqueous extract was the strongest inhibitor after two days, but the hexanic became the most potent after about three days. The antibacterial potential of the extracts was determined against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Towards all the microbes, the aqueous extract was the most potent and the hexanic the least. P. aeruginosa was the most susceptible strain, while the aqueous and methanolic extracts exhibited a slightly higher efficacy against this pathogen than the drug amoxicillin. In conclusion, A. caudatum can potentially provide a remedy against disorders caused by oxidative stress and infections.
Keywords: Adiantum caudatum; Soxhlet extraction; antibacterial; antioxidant; flavonoids; phenolics.