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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 434782, 7 pages
Research Article

Levels of Tannins and Flavonoids in Medicinal Plants: Evaluating Bioprospecting Strategies

1Natural Products Laboratory, Pharmacy Department, Federal University of Pernambuco, 50670-901 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Laboratory of Applied Ethnobotany, Department of Biology, Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, Avenida Dom Manoel de Medeiros s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 14 June 2011; Revised 23 July 2011; Accepted 23 July 2011

Academic Editor: Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves

Copyright © 2012 Clarissa Fernanda de Queiroz Siqueira 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.


There are several species of plants used by traditional communities in the Brazilian semiarid. An approach used in the search for natural substances that possess therapeutic value is ethnobotany or ethnopharmacology. Active substances that have phenolic groups in their structure have great pharmacological potential. To establish a quantitative relationship between the species popularly considered to be antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and antidiarrheal, the contents of tannins and flavonoids were determined. The plant selection was based on an ethnobotanical survey conducted in a community located in the municipality of Altinho, northeastern Brazil. For determination of tannin content was utilized the technique of radial diffusion, and for flavonoids, an assay based on the complexation of aluminum chloride. The group of plants with antimicrobial indications showed a higher content of tannins compared to the control groups. The results evidence suggests a possible relationship between these compounds and the observed activity.