This study aims to evaluate the phenolic profile, and antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of Achillea schurii Sch.-Bip., an endemic species from Romania that has not been investigated yet. The chromatographic profile of the phenolic components was obtained using the HPLC-MS method, while the total polyphenol, flavonoid, caffeic acid derivative contents were quantified using spectrophotometric methods. The antioxidant activity was evaluated using different methods: DPPH radical scavenging, hemoglobin ascorbate peroxidase activity inhibition (HAPX), inhibition of lipid peroxidation catalyzed by cytochrome c, and direct detection of plant-derived free radicals using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The antimicrobial test was performed using the disk diffusion assay. The phenolic profile has revealed high amounts of isoquercitrin, rutin, luteolin, and apigenin. The A. schurii extract exhibited a good antioxidant capacity, and high phenolic contents (76.93 mg/g polyphenols, 18.61 mg/g flavonoids and 41.48 mg/g caffeic acid derivatives, respectively). The antimicrobial tests reveal a remarkable inhibitory activity against Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhimurium. Considering the above, A. schurii may be deemed to offer good perspectives for pharmaceutical and industrial applications.
Keywords: Achillea schurii; antimicrobial; antioxidant; cytochrome c; hemoglobin; polyphenols.