Medicinal plants have bioactive compounds which are used for curing of various human diseases and also play an important role in healing. Phytochemicals have two categories. These are primary and secondary constituents. Primary constituents have chlorophyll, proteins sugar and amino acids. Secondary constituents contains like terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, glycosides and phenols. Secondary metabolites or phytochemicals are byproducts of plants that are important for the survival of it in their immediate environment. But these chemicals do have medicinal value to humans. The present study drawn in qualitative identification of secondary metabolites from the medicinal plant roots of Rumex abysinicus Jacq. available around Debre Tabor town. The extraction was carried out by four different solvents; such as methanol, ethyl acetate, petroleum ether and chloroform. These crude extracts of the roots of the plant were used for the phytochemical analysis to find out the secondary metabolites constituents and both peroxide value and DPPH determination were used for antioxidant activity evaluation. The results confirmed the presence of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, terpenoids, saponins, tannins, cartenoids, phlobatannins, steroids and glycosides depending on the type of solvent used for extraction. Peroxide value and DPPH assay methods also showed antioxidant activities of root extracts of based on Rumex abysinicus Jacq. Methanolic extract showed lowest peroxide value (PV) (51 meq/kg) and highest percentage of inhibition (86 %I) and the highest PV were recorded in ethyl acetate extracts (101 meq/kg). 20.3 %I was the lowest value recorded in methanol extracts for DPPH assay.
Keywords: Phytochemicals, DPPH, Peroxide value, antioxidant, Rumex abysinicus Jacq.