Background: Research on medicinal plant antioxidants has emerged as a potential therapeutic
to prevent free radical generated damage in the human body. Hammada elegans Botsch
(popularly known as “Ajram”) is a xerophytic plant widely found in Laghouat region, but there are
only a few reports about the biological or chemical properties of these species. Hence, the aim of
this study is to investigate the antioxidant and the antihemolytic activities of hexanic, acetonic,
methanolic and aqueous extracts of aerial parts of Algerian Hammada elegans Botsch by employing
different in vitro assay systems.
Methods: The total phenolic content, the flavonoid content and the condensed tannin amount were
analyzed using Folin-Ciocalteu, aluminum chloride and vanillin assays, respectively. The in vitro
antioxidant capacity of extracts was assessed by CUPRAC, iron chelating, ABTS•+ and antihemolytic
assays, and was expressed as EC50 values.
Results: Among the analyzed extracts, the aqueous extract had the highest phenolic, flavonoid and
tannin contents. Also, this extract displayed the highest antioxidant capacities compared to the other
extracts and standards. Its EC50 value for ABTS radical-scavenging activity was 0.265 ± 0.003
mg/L. Moreover, this extract showed high iron (II) chelating ability (EC50 = 0.958 ± 0.001 mg/L),
and good antioxidant activity in the cupric ion reducing activity (CUPRAC) in a concentration dependent
manner (EC50 were 0.709 ± 0.002 mg/L). Additionally, this extract had the best antihemolytic
activity against AAPH-induced hemolysis (EC50=0.090 ± 0.004 mg/L).
Conclusion: Our study revealed that the aqueous extract of Hammada elegans Botsch, is a potential
source of antioxidants which possess a high protective effect of membrane against free radical.