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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 6 (2009), Issue 3, Pages 317-324
Original Article

Ficus racemosa Stem Bark Extract: A Potent Antioxidant and a Probable Natural Radioprotector

1Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal-576 104, Karnataka, India
2Radiobiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal-576 104, Karnataka, India
3Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal-576 104, Karnataka, India
4Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai-400085, India

Received 17 November 2006; Accepted 19 July 2007

Copyright © 2009 V. P. Veerapur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ethanol extract (FRE) and water extract (FRW) of Ficus racemosa (family: Moraceae) were subjected to free radical scavenging both by steady state and time resolved methods such as nanosecond pulse radiolysis and stopped-flow spectrophotometric analyses. FRE exhibited significantly higher steady state antioxidant activity than FRW. FRE exhibited concentration dependent DPPH, ABTS•-, hydroxyl radical and superoxide radical scavenging and inhibition of lipid peroxidation with IC50 comparable with tested standard compounds. In vitro radioprotective potential of FRE was studied using micronucleus assay in irradiated Chinese hamster lung fibroblast cells (V79). Pretreatment with different doses of FRE 1h prior to 2 Gy γ-radiation resulted in a significant (P < 0.001) decrease in the percentage of micronucleated binuclear V79 cells. Maximum radioprotection was observed at 20 μg/ml of FRE. The radioprotection was found to be significant (P < 0.01) when cells were treated with optimum dose of FRE (20 μg/ml) 1 h prior to 0.5, 1, 2, 3 and 4 Gy γ-irradiation compared to the respective radiation controls. The cytokinesis-block proliferative index indicated that FRE does not alter radiation induced cell cycle delay. Based on all these results we conclude that the ethanol extract of F. racemosa acts as a potent antioxidant and a probable radioprotector.