African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12465

Full Length Research Paper

Study on antioxidant activity of Echinacea purpurea L. extracts and its impact on cell viability

Tzu Tai Lee1, Chung Li Chen2, Zhao Han Shieh3, Jun Chen Lin4 and Bi Yu3*
  1Department of Biotechnology, Ming Dao University, Changhau, Taiwan 52345, Taiwan. 2Department of Agronomy, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan 40227, Taiwan. 3Department of Animal Science, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan 40227, Taiwan. 4Animal Industry Division, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, Taipei, Taiwan 10014, Taiwan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 August 2009
  •  Published: 05 October 2009



This study investigates the antioxidant activity of Echinacea Purpurea L. (EP) extracts and its impact on cell viability. The polysaccharides content of EP was 159.8 ± 12.4 mg/g dry weight (DW), with extracts obtained by applying 55% ethanol at 55°C containing 11.0 ±1.0 mg gallic acid equivalent/g DW of total phenolic compound. Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, 0.1 mg/mL of EP extracts exhibited only 30% when compared to the ascorbic acid at the same concentration. Reducing power of extracts increased linearly with its concentration and the concentration at 2.0 mg/mL reached about 65% of ascorbic acid at 0.3 mg/mL. The chelating capacity of ferrous iron (Fe2+) was 70% as good as that of the synthetic metal chelater EDTA when added to 5.0 mg/mL of EP extracts. The DPPH scavenging capacity showed 85.1% at 0.5 mg/mL of extracts and with half-effective doses (ED50) was measured at 0.23 mg/mL. The superoxide anions scavenging capacity of EP extracts was nearly equivalent to ascorbic acid (91.1% vs 93.0%) at the same concentration of 1.6 mg/mL and ED50 was 0.32 and 0.13 mg/mL, respectively. Microculture tetrazolium assays showed extracts had 92% cell viability at 1.6 mg/mL for chicken’s peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and 84% for RAW 264.7 macrophages, neither reaching the IC50 level. In summary, the EP extracts had antioxidant activity similar to that of ascorbic acid, but have no serious effect on inhibiting chicken’s PBMCs viability.


Key words: Medicinal plant, Echinacea purpurea L., antioxidant, cell viability.