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Antioxidant Properties of Medicinal Plants from Peru

There is a wide diversity of plants and seasonal crops inPeru, due to the presence of many climatic zones. Numerous plants are used tocure or prevent diseases. These plants are promising candidates for functionalfoods products. The most frequent form in which they are used is an aqueousinfusion or decoction. In this study, we compared the antioxidant properties often Peruvian plants infusions and investigated their relation to the phenoliccontent. The studied plants were: Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw), Lepidiummeyenii (maca), Berberis vulgaris L. (barberry, agracejo), Phyllantus niruri(chanca piedra), Annona muricata L. (graviola, soursop), Gentianella alborosea(hercampure), Geranium dielsianum (pasuchaca), Tabebuia ochracea (tahuari),Notholaena nivea (“cuti cuti”) and Tiquilia paronychioides (“flor de arena”).Infusions of all studied plants have shown antioxidant activity, though there wasa large diversity between the results. The antioxidant properties, determinedwith DPPH and ABTS scavenging assays as well as FRAP test, were stronglycorrelated with total phenolic content, while there was no correlation with thecarotenoid content.

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