2008 Volume 14 Issue 2 Pages 205-210
Traditional Chinese medicinal herbs have been used for thousands of years to treat numerous ailments. In recent years, these herbs have been the focus of attention due to their medicinal and pharmacological benefits. In the present study, 25 types of herbs commonly used in Chinese medicinal culinary diets were quantitatively investigated for their various antioxidant activities. Using the 1,1-diphenyl-2- picrylhydrazyl high pressure liquid chromatography and 2´-deoxyguanosine oxidation methods, the highest antioxidant activity was found in chrysanthemum (Ju Hua), followed by hawthorn (Shan Zha), licorice root (Gan Cao), hibiscus (Luo Shen Hua), cassia seed (Jue Ming Zi) and Chinese wolfberry (Gou Gi), while poria (Fu Ling) and adlay (Yi Yi Ren) contained the lowest antioxidant activity. The same trend was also observed for total phenolic content using the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Ascorbic acid and tocopherol were only detected in trace amounts, suggesting that phenolic compounds may be the main contributors to herbal antioxidant activities.