Hericium erinaceus (H. erinaceus) is a source of exogenous antioxidants that has been traditionally used in China for the prevention and treatment of oxidative stress-associated disease. In the present study, the bioactive compounds of H. erinaceus were extracted with the following eight representative reagents: n-Hexane, xylene, chloroform, anhydrous ether, ethyl acetate, acetone, anhydrous ethanol and distilled water. The in vitro antioxidant activities were also evaluated. All of the extracted compounds exhibited reducing power and scavenging activity against 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and superoxide anion free radicals. In addition, the antioxidant capacities varied with the used chemical reagents and exhibited dose-dependent effects. Extracts from anhydrous ethanol, chloroform and acetone were capable of inhibiting lipid peroxidation. The anhydrous ethanol extracts were observed to have significant levels of antioxidant compounds since they had a strong reducing power, high scavenging rates against DPPH and superoxide anion-free radicals (>90%), and high inhibition rates on lipid peroxidation (>60%). The present study will provide reference data for the antioxidant applications of H. erinaceus in pharmaceutical use and disease prevention.
Keywords: Hericium erinaceus; antioxidant activity; extractions; homeostasis; polarity.