Affiliation: Universite de Toulouse, Universite Paul Sabatier, Faculte de pharmacie de Toulouse, Laboratoire des IMRCP UMR CNRS 5623, 118 route de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse, France.
The present study evaluated the levels of total phenolics, flavonoids, tannins and anthocyanins from Peganum harmala L. seeds and determined their antioxidant, antiplasmodial and anticancer potentials. Antioxidant activity was determined by DPPH and ABTS assays. Extracts of P. harmala seeds from Oudref and Djerba (two places in Tunisia) were obtained by successive extraction solvents: petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and water. Their composition was evaluated for phenolics (gallic acid equivalent 2.48 to 72.52 g/kg), tannins (catechin equivalent 0 to 25.27 g/kg), anthocyanins (cyanidin equivalent 0 to 20.56 mg/kg) and flavonoids (quercetin equivalent 0 to 3.12 g/kg). Ethanolic extract exerted the highest activities against a chloroquine-resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum (IC50=23 mg/L), against human breast cancer cells MCF7 (IC50=32 mg/L) and against free radical (IC50=19.09±3.07 mg/L). Correlations were studied between each chemical family and the three activities. Total phenolics content exhibited the highest correlation with antiplasmodial activity (R2=0.92) and with anticancer activity (R2=0.86), respectively.