Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack, family, Simaroubaceae) is traditionally used in Malaysia as health supplement for hypertension, diarrhea, aches, persistent fever, malaria, sexual insufficiency, dysentery, and glandular swelling. In this study, hydroalcoholic extract of Eurycoma longifolia Jack was studied for its antioxidant and in-vitro anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant activity (free radical scavenging) was evaluated to determine the total antioxidant capacity of extract Eurycoma longifolia Jack.
The chemical species that have an unpaired electron is known as free radicals. Free radicals show a variety of reactivity from relatively low (oxygen molecule) to very high (hydroxyl radical, (OH·). Highly reactive free radicals are produced by exogenous chemicals and endogenous metabolic processes, especially oxygen derived radicals, which oxidize biomolecules, leading to cell death and tissue damage. Many human diseases like cancer, emphysema, cirrhosis, arteriosclerosis, and arthritis have been correlated with oxidative damage. Almost all organisms are well protected against free radical damage by enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and by antioxidant compounds such as ascorbic acid, tocopherols, and gluthatione. When the mechanism of antioxidant protection becomes unbalanced, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, macrophages and peroxisomes are stimulated, the result may be the above-mentioned diseases and accelerated aging. However, antioxidant supplements or foods containing antioxidants may be used to help the human body reduce oxidative damage.