Indexed on: 13 Feb '10Published on: 13 Feb '10Published in: Toxicology in Vitro
The ajowain (Carum copticum (L.)) is a popular spice and traditionally used in Indian system of medicine. Considering the importance of natural products in modern phytomedicine, the antioxidant and antimutagenic activities of C. copticum fruits extract and its fractions were evaluated. The methanol fraction showed highest antioxidant activity by phosphomolybdenum (2087.7 micromol) and DPPH assay (90.2%) followed by other fractions comparable to ascorbic acid and BHT. Based on antioxidant activity, methanol fraction was evaluated for antimutagenic potential against direct acting mutagens sodium azide (NaN(3)) and methyl methane sulphonate (MMS) and indirect acting mutagens 2-aminofluorene (2-AF) and benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P), using Salmonella typhimurium (TA97a, TA98, TA100, and TA102) tester strains. The methanolic fraction showed no sign of mutagenicity at tested concentrations (25-100 microg/plate). Antimutagenic activity was recorded with inhibition of mutagenicity ranging from 10.8% to 83.1% in a concentration dependent manner. The phytochemical analysis by IR, HPLC, GC-MS, and total phenolic assay revealed a high content of phenolic terpenoids. Further, characterization of active principle is needed to understand the mechanism of action and therapeutic efficacy in vivo.