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Antioxidant activity of medicinal plants used in phytotherapy
Published June 6, 2001

Oxygen free radicals play an important role in the development of different disorders like inflammatory-immune injury, carcinogenesis, hepatic toxicity and artherosclerosis. The antioxydant role of a wide spectrum of natural products has been established. Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds (proanthocyanidins, rosmarinic acid, hydroxicinnam...ic derivatives, catechines, etc.) of plant origin have been reported as scavengers and inhibitors of lipid peroxidation.

We have studied the antioxidant activity as well as content and composition of natural phenolics in a series of medicinal plants with phytotherapeutical significance. Thus we determined the total phenol contents and studied the composition of flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic acids of different vegetative and reproductive organs of medicinal plants: Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm., Petroselinum crispum L., Cichorium intybus L., Helichrysum arenarium D.C.„cempervivum tectorum L., Taravacum officinale Web.

Characteristic constituents in the various crude drugs were determined by chromatographic (TLC, HPLC) and spectroscopic (UV, UV-VIS) methods. The non specific scavenger activities of the medicinal plant extracts were studied by the chemiluminometric technique. The changes of chemiluminescence intensity of the H,G,•0H-luminol system at increasing concentrations of the H702/ -OH were measured. Inhibitory effects of selected standardized fractions from plants were tested on ascorbic acid induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver and homogenates.

The best correlation were established with total phenolics in some medicinal plants (S. tectorum, T. officinale) while activities in other cases seem to be influenced by flavonoids (P. crispum, H. arenarium, A. cerefolium) and by hydroxicinnamic derivatives (C. intybus).


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Effect of life cycle on the production of mullein (Verbascum phlomoides L.)
Published March 16, 2004

Aim of the present investigations was the optimalization of the production of the annual cultivar `Napfény' of Verlxiscum phlomoides L. Quantitative data on morphology (growth, leaf and flower size, branching) yield and content of active materials (mucilages, flavonoids) were studied at six sowing times.

We establishe...d, that sowing time may be one basic factor in the production of the annual variety. The major yield was obtained by sowing either late autumn (end of October) or early spring (middle March). At these plots the fresh mass of the flowers was 257-288 g/plant, the drug mass 28-29 g/plant, by 45-70% more than that of the mean of other treatments.

It was established, that under optimal cultivation conditions the annual form of mullein may reach higher individual yields than the plants of the indigenous wild growing population.

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Total anthocyanine content and antioxidant density of some Hungarian sour cherry varieties
Published May 18, 2005

Evidence suggests that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and phytochemicals including phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may play a key role in reducing chronic disease risk. Recent research has proven that sour cherry (Pru...nus cerasus L.) is a valuable natural source of some bioactive compounds important in human health preservation. In our work, we identified the total antioxidant activity, anthocyanine content and "antioxidant density" of sour cherry varieties named "Újfehértói fürtös", "Debreceni bőtermő", "Kántorjánosi" and "Érdi bőtermő" and those of the "Bosnyák" sour cherry clones. "Antioxidant density" is a biological value indicator obtained in a synthetic way, which indicates the antioxidant capacity of the particular food, e. g. fruit and vegetable, related to 1 Calorie.

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Antioxidant capacity, C-vitamin and anthocyanils content in the fruits of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) types
Published August 13, 2004

: Elderberry used to be a common medicinal plant since long. Its ripe fruit and inflorescence has been collected. Cultivation however, started in Hungary recently, with the early 90-es. Initially, has been planted, the 'Haschberg' cultivar. Our Department started first with the selection of favourable genotypes in the Hungarian spontan...eous populations of the species, we aimed to find clones, which are earlier ripening than 'Haschberg', moreover, superior in any of the agronomical or quality traits. Present study deals with 19 new selected clones by their content of vitamin-C, anthocyanins and their antioxidant capacity. Environmental stresses are inducing, increased, accumulation of free radicals in living organisms. To evoid the harmful effects of the free radicals, we need to consume antioxidant compounds (flavonoids, anthocyanins, vitamins, etc.) In the literature there are quite a few references related to the anthocyanins and antioxidants of the elderberry. Measurements prove that substantial differences exist among the population of the species as for the content and quality of those compounds. In anthocyanin content, the difference between the highest and lowest values was 3000 mg/I, whereas in antioxidant content this value was 6001.1M. Those types, which contained less anthocyanin (<5000 mg/I), produced lower antioxidant capacity, whereas the highest anthocyanin content was associated with the strongest antioxidant activity. C-vitamin content varied between 36.5 and 96.4 mg/100g. These values provide daily human requirements by their consumption. Summing up all parameters, examined the best type was Cinkota 1.

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The effect of Regalis® (prohexadione calcium) on the reduction of fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) severity in apple trees
Published May 10, 2004

Due to the lack of effective and non-phytotoxic materials for control of the blossom and shoot blight phase of fire blight in pome fruit trees, two novel control strategies have emerged: shoot growth retardation by bioregulators and applying resistance inducer compounds. Prohexadione calcium (ProCa) is the active ingredient of the bioregulator ...Regalis® registered in several European countries. The reduction of shoot growth elongation is the most obvious effect of ProCa. Furthermore, it causes significant changes in the spectrum of flavonoids and their phenolic precursors, leading to the considerable reduction of susceptibility to fire blight.

In Poland, potted one-year-old apple trees of cvs. Gala Must grafted on M.26 and Sampion on M.9 (in 2001) as well as Gala Must on P.60 (in 2002) were treated with Regalis® at a range of concentration of 250, 150 or 150 + 100 ppm, respectively. The inoculation of shoots was made with the strain No.691 of E. amylovora (107 cfu/ml), on the 7th and 21st'day after treatments with Regalis. In Hungary, during the years of 2002 and 2003 one-year-old container grown apple trees of the cvs. Idared/M.9 and Freedom/M.9 were treated with the prohexadione-Ca, the active ingredient of Regalis® 100, 150 or 200 ppm, two weeks before inoculation with the Ea 1 strain of E. amylovora (107 cfu/m1).

In Poland, the suppression of fire blight in shoots reached up to 80%, depending on concentration and application time of Regalis®. In Hungary, the effect of prohexadione-Ca treatments, determined by the length of necrotic lesion developed, proved to be better than that of streptomycin used for comparison.

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Flavonoids, chalcones and phenyl-propanoids in apple and pear flowers
Published May 10, 2004

The presence of phloretin-glycosides in the hypanthium and pistil of apple and pear flowers can be verified. Thin layer chromatography is a reliable method for detecting phloretin, gained by acidic hydrolysis. The dominance of phloretin was equally characteristic for flowers in apple (`Sampion', 'Freedom') and pear (Tem-re Bosc', 'Co...nference') cultivars treated with various bioregulators (Biomit, Bion 50WG, Regalis), no significant difference could be found visually as compared to control samples. Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid was detected in all apple and pear samples, rutin was present only in pear, and hyperoside was found only in a few apple samples.

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Bioactive phenols in leaves of Forsythia species
Published May 19, 2008

Nowadays a number of lignans (arctigenin, matairesinol, pinoresinol and phillygenin) have come to the fore in research due to their various biological activities. In this paper the accumulation of these constituents in leaf extracts of Forsythia plants (F. intermedia, F. ovata 'Robusta’ and `Tetragold', F. suspensa, F. v...iridissima) was quantified using a new isolation method, supercritical CO2 fluid extraction. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant capacity and the aglycone lignan profile were determined in leaf extracts of Forsythia species. Within the phenols, the flavonoids were only present in small quantities, but the amount of aglycone lignans was extremely high. F. ovata `Robusta' had the highest total lignan content (103.8 mg/g) of all the Forsythia species. The main lignan in this species is arctigenin, which normally makes up about 60% of the total lignan content, but in the case of F. ovata `Robusta' this value was 96.1%. Since this arctigenin content is outstanding compared to that of other Forsythia species, it could be promising to develop a fermentation technology for the production of this natural compound.

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Antioxidant capacity, total phenolics and mineral element contents in fruits of Hungarian sour cherry cultivars
Published February 19, 2008

Several epidemiological studies revealed that the consumption of antioxidant compounds and the risk of atherosclerosis, increased blood pressure or cancer are inversely proportional. Fruits of sour cherry contain a wide range of antioxidant compounds including melatonin, perillyl alcohol, ellagic acid, several flavonoids, polyphenolics, and ant...hocyanins. This study was carried out to survey the antioxidant power and mineral element content of seven commercial sour cherry cultivars and three cultivar candidates and to assess the influence of some external conditions on fruits' functional properties. Our analysis revealed nearly 5- and 2-fold differences between the lowest and highest antioxidant capacities and total phenolics content, respectively. Some cultivars (`Kántorjánosi' and ‘Újfehértói fürtös') and cultivar candidates (D, 'Petri' and 'Éva') showed outstanding antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content; in addition, mineral element content in fruits of the ‘Újfehértói fürtös' cultivar was also favourable. Redox parameters of fruits were influenced by the cultivation plot or fruit positions within the canopy in about half of the cultivars tested. Genetic background of cultivars forms the decisive factor in determining fruits' antioxidant capacity, although external factors may have also sizeable modifying effects. Enhanced functional properties of the fruit may also be further increased through breeding programs since considerable variation exists within the tested germplasm.

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Influence of irrigation and row spacing on the growth, seed yield and active substance of milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
Published September 11, 2001

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn) has been used in medicine since ancient times, but it has been cultivated as a medicinal plant only in recent decades. The ripe fruit of milk thistle contains flavonoids, which are used to prepare anti-hepatotoxic drugs. The main purpose of this study was to substantiate the effects of irriga...tion and row spacing on growth, seed yield and the content of active substances (silybin and silymarin) in milk thistle. The results showed that the suitable amount of irrigation was 20 mm and the appropriate row spacing was 25 cm.


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High antioxidant - and anthocyanin contents of sour cherry cultivars may benefit the human health: international and Hungarian achievements on phytochemicals
Published June 20, 2006

Evidence suggests that a diet with high fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease the risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and phytochemicals including phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids from fruits and vegetables may play a key role in reducing chronic disease risk. Recent research has proved that sour ch...erry (Prunus cerasus L.) is a valuable natural source of some bioactive compounds important in human health preservation. According to the published data, the most important biological effects of sour cherry are connected — directly or indirectly — to their endogenous antioxidant behaviour as well as to their specific pattern of anthocyanin components. In the present work, we measured the total antioxidant capacity of some Hungarian sour cherry varieties in combination with their anthocyanin-, and vitamin-C content. In 2003, twelve clones were selected and grafted from a local sour cherry population called "Bosnyák" sour cherry grown in small home gardens and farms of the village Csengod (Great-Plain Region, South Hungary). Other Hungarian sour cherry varieties, i.e. cv. Újfehértói fürtos, cv. Érdi bőterrnő, cv. Debreceni bőterrnő, cv. Csengődi and cv. Kántorjánosi served as a control.

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