In vitro Antioxidant Activity of Ethanolic Extract of Chlorophytum borivilianum

  • Govindarajan, R. (Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Sreevidya, N. (Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Vijayakumar, M. (Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Thakur, M. (Pharmacognosy Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences) ;
  • Dixit, V.K. (Pharmacognosy Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences) ;
  • Mehrotra, S. (Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute) ;
  • Pushpangadan, P. (Pharmacognosy and Ethnopharmacology Division, National Botanical Research Institute)
  • Published : 2005.09.01


Chlorophytum borivilianum Baker (Antharicaceae) commonly referred as 'Safed Musli' has been widely used in the Indian traditional systems of medicine to treat various diseases like rheumatism apart from having immunomodulating property and is used as general tonic. It is also known as 'Ayurvedic viagra' for its aphordisiac properties. C. borivilianum was screened for the first time to determine its antioxidant activity, isolation of the sapogenins and standardization of the isolated sapogenin fraction using HPTLC. Potent antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract was found by their ability to scavenge DPPH (84.51%), hydroxyl radical (48.95 %), ferryl bi-pyridyl complex (84.53%) along with the inhibition of lipid peroxidation (67.17%) at $100\;{\mu}g/ml$ concentration. The ethanolic extract also exhibited significant inhibition of superoxide anion radical generated by photochemiluminescence. Thus, the potent antioxidant activity validates the innumerable therapeutic claims of the plant in the traditional system especially its use as a Rasayana drug.


Chlorophytum borivilianum;antioxidant;fructan;sapogenin;Rasayana


  1. Blois, M.S., Antioxidant determinations by the use of stable free radical. Nature 26, 1199 (1958)
  2. Govindarajan, R., Rastogi, S., Vijayakurnar, M., Rawat, A.K.S., Shirwaikar, A., Mehrotra, S., and Pushpangadan, P., Studies on the antioxidant activities of Desmodium gangeticum. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 26, 1424-1427 (2003)
  3. Gulcin I, Mshvildadze V, Gepdiremen A, and Elias R., Antioxidant activity of saponins isolated from ivy: alpha-hederin, hederasaponin-C, hederacolchiside-E and hederacolchiside-F. Planta Medica 70, 561-563 (2004)
  4. Morelli, R., Russo-Volpe, S., Bruno, N., and Scalzo, R.L., Fenton-Dependent Damage to Carbohydrates: Free radical scavenging activity of some simple sugars. J. Agri. Food Chem. 51, 7418-7425 (2003)
  5. Peach, K., and Tracy, M.V., Modern methods of analysis, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 1955
  6. Preito, P., Pineda, M., and Aguilar, M., Spectrophotometric quantitation of antioxidant capacity through the formation of a phophomolybdemnum complex: specific application to the determination of vitamin E. Anal. Biochem. 269, 337-341 (1999)
  7. Puri, H. S., Rasayana-Ayurvedic herbs for longevity and rejuvenation. Taylor and Francis, London, 2003, pp. 212
  8. Tripathi, Y.B. and Sharma, M., Comparison of the antioxidant action of the alcoholic extract of Rubia cordifolia with rubiadin. Indian J. Biochem. Biophys. 35, 313-316 (1998)
  9. Nash, T., The colorimetric estimation of formaldehyde by means of the Hantzsch reaction. Biochem J. 55, 416 (1953)
  10. Miller, M.J., Sadowska K.H., Chotinaruemol, S., Kakkis, J.L., and Clark, D.A., Amelioration of chronic ileitis by nitric oxide synthase inhibition. J. Pharmacol. Exp Therap. 264, 11-16 (1992)
  11. Govindarajan, R., Vijayakumar, M., Rao, Ch. V., Rawat, A.K.S., Shirwaikar, A., Mehrotra, S., and Pushpangadan, P., Antioxidant potential of Anogeissus latifolia. Biol. Pharm. Bull. 27, 1266-1269 (2004)
  12. Sadasivam, S. and Manickam, A., Biochemical Methods, 2nd Ed. New Age International Publication, Mysore, 1999, pp. 15-17
  13. Okhawa, H., Ohishi, N., and Yagi, K., Assay for lipid peroxides in animal tissues by thiobarbituric acid reaction. Anal. Biochem. 95, 351-355 (1979)
  14. Harbome, J.B., Phytohemical methods. Chapman and Hall International Edition, London, 1973
  15. Govindarajan, R., Vijayakumar, M., and Pushpangadan, P., Antioxidant approach to disease management and the role of 'Rasayana' herbs of Ayurveda. J. Ethnopharmacol. 99, 165-178 (2005)