Background & methods We investigated the in vitro antioxidant and antifungal activity by agar disc diffusion assay of leaf extract of some stinging plants namely, Urtica dioica L., Tragia involucrate L., Carduus nutans L. and Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC., against pathogenic fungi causing infections/diseases. Results M. pruriens (Disc 4), T. involucrate (Disc 2), U. dioica (Disc 1) showed significant antifungal activity against all tested pathogens, while C. nutans (Disc 3) showed intermediate activity against only Chaetomium globosum (Cg). The leaf extract of M. Pruriens showed maximum total phenol content (~1004 µg g-1 dry wt) followed by T. involucrate, C. nutans and U. dioica. However, the ascorbate was observed highest in T. involucrate (~10.3 µg g-1 dry wt) followed by M. pruriens (~9.2 µg g-1 dry wt) but the difference was not significant (p ≤ 0.05). Likewise, M. pruriens showed maximum anthocyanin content (~0.3 µg g-1 dry wt). The activity of antioxidant enzymes revealed that M. Pruriens showed maximum ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity, while the highest guaiacol peroxidase (GPX) and catalase (CAT) activities were observed in C. nutans and U. dioica, respectively. Conclusions M. Pruriens showed potential in vitro antioxidant and antifungal activity against studied pathogens that may be used for ethno-pharmacological uses.
Keywords: agar disc diffusion assay; antifungal and antioxidant activity; pathogen; stinging plants.