Alcoholic Extract of Eclipta alba Shows In Vitro Antioxidant and Anticancer Activity without Exhibiting Toxicological Effects

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017:2017:9094641. doi: 10.1155/2017/9094641. Epub 2017 Jan 31.


As per WHO estimates, 80% of people around the world use medicinal plants for the cure and prevention of various diseases including cancer owing to their easy availability and cost effectiveness. Eclipta alba has long been used in Ayurveda to treat liver diseases, eye ailments, and hair related disorders. The promising medicinal value of E. alba prompted us to study the antioxidant, nontoxic, and anticancer potential of its alcoholic extract. In the current study, we evaluated the in vitro cytotoxic and antioxidant effect of the alcoholic extract of Eclipta alba (AEEA) in multiple cancer cell lines along with control. We have also evaluated its effect on different in vivo toxicity parameters. Here, we found that AEEA was found to be most active in most of the cancer cell lines but it significantly induced apoptosis in human breast cancer cell lines by disrupting mitochondrial membrane potential and DNA damage. Moreover, AEEA treatment inhibited migration in both MCF 7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in a dose dependent manner. Further, AEEA possesses robust in vitro antioxidant activity along with high total phenolic and flavonoid contents. In summary, our results indicate that Eclipta alba has enormous potential in complementary and alternative medicine for the treatment of cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / adverse effects
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Eclipta / chemistry*
  • Ethanol / chemistry
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Male
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / drug effects
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Vero Cells


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Ethanol