Active-oxygen scavenging activity of traditional nourishing-tonic herbal medicines and active constituents of Rhodiola sacra

Mizue Ohsugi, Wenzhe Fan, Koji Hase, Quanbo Xiong, Yasuhiro Tezuka, Katsuko Komatsu, Tsuneo Namba, Tomohiro Saitoh, Kenji Tazawa, Shigetoshi Kadota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


The active-oxygen scavenging activity of 70 traditional herbal medicines used in China and Japan as nourishing tonics were evaluated by electron spin resonance (ESR) technique, in order to evaluate their effectiveness for anti-aging and to search for new active-oxygen scavengers from natural resources. Most of the 70 herbal medicines showed scavenging activity with various intensities. Areca catechu (methanol extract), Dendrobium plicatile (methanol extract), Juglans regia (water extract), Paeonia lactiflora (methanol extract), Psychotria serpens (water and methanol extracts), Rhodiola sacra (water and methanol extracts) and Uncaria rhynchophylla (water extract) especially showed strong scavenging activity against superoxide anion radical (.O2-), while J. regia (water and methanol extracts), Morus alba (water extract) and Schisandra chinensis (water extract) revealed strong scavenging activity against hydroxyl radical (HO.). In addition, the active-oxygen scavenging activities of 19 compounds isolated from R. sacra were also examined, and hydroquinone (1), caffeic acid (3), protocatechuic acid (6), gallic acid (7), (-)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (8), 3-O-galloylepigallocatechin-(4β→8)-epigallocatechin 3-O-gallate (10), heterodendrin (17) and gallic acid 4-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (19) were found to show mild or strong inhibitory activity against superoxide anion radical (.O2-), while 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (2), 3, 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (4), 6-8 and 19 inhibited hydroxyl radical (OH.). These active-oxygen scavengers may contribute, to different extents, to their anti-aging action. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Active-oxygen scavenging activity
  • Electron spin resonance (ESR)
  • Hydroxyl radical (HO.)
  • Rhodiola sacra
  • Superoxide anion radical (.O)
  • Traditional nourishing-tonic herbal medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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