Herbs are plants with leaves, seeds or flowers used for food and/or medicine. The herbs and seeds are beneficial in the management of various degenerative diseases because of their inherent phytochemicals, which function mostly as antioxidants. In this study, the antioxidant activity of eight leaves: Vernonia amygdalina (VA), Baphia nitida (BN), Acalypha torta (AT), Alchornea cordifoliia (AC), Lansianthera africana (LS), Gongronema latifolium (GL), Hensia crinata (HC), Telfairia occidentalis leaf (TOL) and two edible seeds: Treculia africana seed (TAS) and Telfairia occidentalis seed (TOS) commonly eaten in Calabar, a Metropolitan city in Nigeria, were studied using the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay methods. Compared to the standard antioxidant, vitamin C, VA and HC demonstrated significantly high antioxidant activity at 500ug/ml. This was closely followed by GL, TOL and TOS at 400ug/ml and 500ug/ml respectively, when compared to vitamin C. However, TAS and AT showed the least antioxidant activity even at the highest concentration (500ug/ml). The antioxidant activity increased with increase in the concentration of the leaf/seed extracts used and the trend in increasing order of antioxidant activity was as follows: TOS→TOL→GL→HC→VA. TAS, AC, AT, BN and LA showed negligible antioxidant activity. Therefore, the incorporation of these herbs: VA, HC, GL, TOS and TOL with high antioxidant activity singly or in combination in meals would enhance the nutritional and health value especially for the aged and people suffering from oxidative-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases.
Antioxidants, cardiovascular diseases, seeds, leaves, herbs and Calabar
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