During the present study, two cytotypes of Physalis angulata (2x, 4x) highlymedicinal plant are compared for its phytochemical composition. Solanum xanthocarpum is compared onpart/population basis as it also holds medicinal value and is used by localpeople.
Phytochemical analysis of another medicinal plants Leptadenia pyrotechnica, Lyciumedgeworthii, Blainvillia acmelaand Stevia rebaudiana are also testedfor their phenol and flavonoid content. The analysis is made using HPLC andHPTLC.Phenols and flavonoids are the most important groupof secondary metabolites and bioactive compounds in plants, and good source ofnatural antioxidants in human diet.
Phenols are aromatic secondary plantmetabolites broadly distributed throughout the plant kingdom. These play asignificant role in plant and human health. These are important polyphenolsthat occur naturally in daily consumed food. Most important activity offlavonoids is to act as antioxidant to protect human body from free radicals.They also possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Dueto its remarkable antioxidant properties, these are widely employed inpharmaceutical and cosmetic industry and also have many biological activities. Plantherbs consumed by humans contain different phenols and flavonoids.Epidemiological studies show thatconsumption of fruits and vegetable have inverse effect on cardiovasculardiseases and certain forms of cancers (Bazzano et al.
2002). Even though thestudy shows more protective effect of well-known antioxidants, vitamins(Vitamin E, C ?-carotene) plant phenolics may also play significant role. Innatural form polyphenols range from simple molecules (phenolic acids,flavonoids & phenylpropanoids, etc.) to highly polymerized compounds(lignins, tannins & melanins, etc.
) (Bravo 1998). Polyphenoles are reportedto exhibit many biological effects like antiviral, anti-allergic,antibacterial, hepato-protective and anti-carcinogenic (Middleton 2000). Phenolic compounds are plant secondarymetabolites and currently about 8000 phenolic structures are known. The dietaryintake of phenolic compounds depends upon different geographic regions, but itsestimated intake ranges from 20 mg to 1 g, which makes it higher than vitamin Econtent (Hollman & Katan 1998). Phenols are widely distributed in plantkingdom with significant amount reported in fruits, vegetables and beveragesand are therefore a part of regular diet (Bahorun et al.
2004; Luximon-Ramma etal. 2005). Flavonoids are group of polyphenolicsand are widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. About 3000 varietiesof flavonoids are known till date (Bazzano et al. 2002).
Despite similaritiesamong different flavonoid structures, minor structural modifications causesignificant variation in their biological properties with number and specificpositions of hydroxyl groups determining the type and intensity of theiractivity. Apigenin is flavonoid found in medicinal plants, and acts as a sourceof pharmacological activities. Some of the other flavonoids studied are kaempferol,quercetin and rutin. These all possess antioxidant properties and show healthbenefits through cell signaling pathway (Nazni & Dharmaligam 2014).