Some species of the family Cyperaceae have been studied extensively for presenting bioactive compounds of pharmacological interest. Thus, the present research aimed to investigate the antimicrobial, antioxidant and chemical constituents of Kyllinga odorata Vahl, Oxycaryum cubensis Poepp. & Kunth and Rhynchospora nervosa Boeck. Hydroalcoholic extracts (1:1, v:v) of aerial and underground parts. These species were used for analysis of phytochemical prospection, quantification of total flavonoid and phenol content, and for evaluation of in vitro antioxidant activity against DPPH radical (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl). The ethyl acetate and chloroform phase resulting from the liquid-liquid partitioning of the extracts of K. odorata, O. cubensis and R. nervosa were evaluated in in vitro antimicrobial assays and analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-DAD) identification of chemical substances. From the chromatograms obtained by HPLC-DAD, substances of great pharmacological importance were identified, such as: chlorogenic acid, myricitrin, catechin, apigenin, quercetin, luteolin, chrysin and rutin. The hydroalcoholic extract of the aerial parts of R. nervosa had the highest content of flavonoids (1.521 μg EQ/μg) and total phenols (5.020 EGA/μg), suggesting a direct relation with the excellent antioxidant activity of this species (IC50 = 122.11 μg/ml). It was evidenced that the chloroform phase of O. cubensis showed the best result, inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa with the minimum inhibitory concentration of 15.6, 31.2 and 62 μg/ml, respectively.
Key words: Cyperaceae, biological activities, natural products, medicinal plants.
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