Evaluation of Antioxidant Capacity of Two Ocimum Species Consumed Locally as Spices in Nigeria as a Justification for Increased Domestication


The antioxidant activities of Ocimum basilicum and Ocimum gratissimum consumed as spices in Nigeria were evaluated in a bid to provide better scientific basis for increased domestication efforts on them. Total phenol and flavonoid contents of the spice extracts ranged from 9.09 - 27.41 μg GAE/mg and 5.38 - 22.88 μg RE/mg respectively. The DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities of the spice extracts ranged from 58.43% - 92.37% and 6.27% - 16.67% respectively. The total antioxidant capacities and reducing powers of the extracts (measured as absorbance values) ranged from 0.137 - 0.160 and 0.130 - 0.158 respectively. Generally, Ocimum basilicum maintained superior antioxidant activities to O. gratissimum in all the test assays, and all the extracts showed dose-dependent antioxidant activities. Ascorbic acid, Gallic acid and Rutin used as reference compounds generally showed higher antioxidant activities to the spice extracts except in the hydroxyl radical scavenging assay. Put together, these results confirm that Ocimum basilicum and O. gratissimum extracts possess appreciable natural antioxidant potentials, thereby providing good justification for their increased domestication and consumption.

Share and Cite:

E. Uyoh, P. Chukwurah, I. David and A. Bassey, "Evaluation of Antioxidant Capacity of Two Ocimum Species Consumed Locally as Spices in Nigeria as a Justification for Increased Domestication," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 222-230. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.42029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] B. A. Adelaja and I. O. Fasidi, “Survey and Collection of Indigenous Spice Germplasm for Conservation and Genetic Improvement in Nigeria,” Biodiversity International, Vol. 153, 2008, pp. 67-71.
[2] S. V. F. Madeira, F. J. A. Mantos, J. H. Leal-Cardoso and D. N. Criddle, “Relaxant Effects of the Essential Oil of Ocimum gratissimum on Isolated Ileum of the Guinea Pig,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2002, pp. 1-4. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00049-1
[3] V. Offiah and U. Chikwendu, “Antidiarrhoeal Effects of Ocimum gratissimum Leaf Extract in Experimental Animals,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 68, No. 1-3, 1999, pp. 327-330. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00100-2
[4] A. Mohammed, Y. Tanko, M. A. Okasha, R. A. Magaji and A. H.Yaro, “Effects of Aqueous Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum on Blood Glucose Levels of Streptozocin-Induced Diabetic Wistar Rats,” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 6, No. 18, 2007, pp. 2087-2090.
[5] F. O. J. Oboh, H. I. Madsodje and S. A. Enabulele, “Nutritional and Antimicrobial Properties of Ocimum gratissimum,” Journal of Biological Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 4, 2009, pp. 377-380. doi:10.3923/jbs.2009.377.380
[6] B. Bo-zin, N. Mimica-Dukic, N. Simin and G. Anackov, “Characterization of the Volatile Composition of Essential Oil of Some Lamiaceae Species and the Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of the Entire Oils,” Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Vol. 54, No. 5, 2006, pp. 1822-1828. doi:10.1021/jf051922u
[7] Y. Abiy, “Antimicrobial Flavonoids from the Stem Bark of Erythrina burtii,” Fitoterapia, Vol. 96, 2005, pp. 496-499.
[8] A. Braca, C. Sortino, M. Politi, J. Morelli and J. Mendez, “Antioxidant Activity of Flavonoids from Licania licaniaeflor,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 79, No. 3, 2002, pp. 379-381. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00413-5
[9] U. Ozgen, A. Mavi, Z. Terzi, A. Yildrim, M. Coskun and P. J. Houghton, “Antioxidant Properties of Some Medicinal Laminaceae species,” Pharmaceutical Biology, Vol. 44, No. 2, 2006, pp. 107-112. doi:10.1080/13880200600592061
[10] D. E. Okwu, “Phyto-chemicals and Vitamin Content of Indigenous Spices of South Eastern Nigeria,” Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, Vol. 6, 2004, pp. 30-34.
[11] N. S. Hettiarachchy, K. C. Glen, R. Gnanaesbandam and M. G. Johnson, “Natural Antioxidant Extract from Fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum) for Ground Beef Patties,” Journal of Food Science, Vol. 61, No. 3, 1996, pp. 516-519. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1996.tb13146.x
[12] J. M. Duarte-Almeida, A. V. Novoa, A. F. Linares, F. M. Lajolo and M. I. Genovese, “Antioxidant Activity of Phenolic Compounds from Sugar Cane (Saccharum officinarum L.) Juice,” Plant Foods For Human Nutrition, Vol. 61, No. 4, 2006, pp. 187-192 doi:10.1007/s11130-006-0032-6
[13] V. Dewanto, X. Wu, K. K. Adom and R. H. Liu, “Thermal Processing Enhances the Nutritional Value of Tomatoes by Increasing Total Antioxidant Activity,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 50, No. 10, 2002, pp. 3010-3014. doi:10.1021/jf0115589
[14] L. L. Mensor, F. S. Menezes, G. G. Leitao, A. S. Reis, T. C. dos Santos, C.S . Coube and S. G. Leitao, “Screening of Brazilian Plant Extracts for Antioxidant Activity by the Use of DPPH Free Radical Method,” Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2001, pp. 127-130. doi:10.1002/ptr.687
[15] G. K. Jayaprakasha, B. S. Jena, P. S. Negi and K. K. Sakariah, “Evaluation of Antioxidant Activities and Mutagenicity of Turmeric Oil: A Byproduct from Curcumin Production,” Zeitschrift für Naturforschung, Vol. 57, 2002, pp. 828-835.
[16] K. R. Nagulendran, S. Velavan, R. Mahesh and B. V. Hazeena, “In Vitro Antioxidant Activity and Total Polyphenolic Content of Cyperus rotundus Rhizomes,” European Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 4, 2007, pp. 440-449.
[17] A. Sheetal, S. B. Millind and H. Srinivasa, “Antioxidant Activity of Stem Bark of Tespesia populnea,” Journal of Natural Remedies, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2007, pp. 135-141.
[18] M. A. Hala, “Comparative Antioxidant Activity Study of Some Edible Plants Used as Spices in Egypt,” Journal of American Science, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2011, pp. 1118-1122.
[19] N. C. Cook and S. Samman, “Flavonoids-Chemistry, Metabolism, Cardioprotective Effects and Dietary Sources,” Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Vol. 7, 1996, pp. 66-76. doi:10.1016/0955-2863(95)00168-9
[20] G. C. Yen, P. D. Duh and H. J. Su, “Antioxidant Properties of Lotus Seed and Its Effect on DNA Damage in Human Lymphocytes,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 89, No. 3, 2005, pp. 379-385. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.02.045
[21] E. A. Melo, J. M. Filho and N.B. Guerra, “Characterization of Antioxidant Compounds in Aqueous Coriander Extracts (Coriander sativum L.),” Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft and Technologie, Vol. 38, 2005, pp. 15-19.
[22] B. Nickavar, M. Kamalinejad and H. Izadpanah, “In Vitro Free Radica Scavenging Activity of Five Salvia species,” Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2007, pp. 291-294.
[23] V. Roginsky and E. A. Lissi, “Review of Methods to Determine Chain-Breaking Anti-oxidant Activity in Food,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 92, No. 2, 2005, pp. 235-254. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2004.08.004
[24] M. R. Saha, S. M. R. Hasan, R. Akter, M. M. Hossain, M. S. Alam, M. A. Alam and M. E. H. Mazunder, “In Vitro Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Methanol Extract of the Leaves of Mimusops elengi Linn,” Bangladesh Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2008, pp. 197-202.
[25] E. Niki, “Assessment of Antioxidant Capacity in Vitro and in Vivo,” Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2010, pp. 503-515. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2010.04.016
[26] M. A. Ebrahimzadeh, S. F. Nabavi, S. M. Nabavi, B. Eslami and H. Asgarirad, “In Vitro Antioxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Leonurus cardiac subsp. Persicus, Grammosciadium platycarpum and Onosma demawendicum,” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 9, No. 51, 2010, pp. 8865-8871.
[27] E. O. Farombi, T. O. Akuru and M. C. Alabi, “Mechanisms of the Hepatoprotective Action of Kolaviron: Studies on Hepatic Enzymes, Microsomal Lipids and Lipid Peroxidation in Carbon Tetrachloride-Treated Rats,” Pharmacology Research, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2000, pp. 75-80. doi:10.1006/phrs.1999.0648
[28] K. N. V. Rao, R. Aradhana, D. Banjii, R. S. N. Chaitanya, and A. Anil Kumar, “In Vitro Anti-Oxidant and Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Various Extracts of Tectona grandis Linn Leaves,” Journal of Pharmacy Research, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011, pp. 440-442.
[29] P. D. Duh, Y. Y. Tu and G. C. Yen, “Antioxidant Activity of the Aqueous Extract of Harn Jyur (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat),” Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft and Technologie, Vol. 32, 1999, pp. 269-277.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.