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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 519174, 6 pages
Research Article

Isolation and Chemical Structural Characterisation of a Compound with Antioxidant Activity from the Roots of Senna italica

1Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
2Department of Pharmacy, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
3Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Private Bag X680, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Paraclinical Science, Phytomedicine Programme, University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort, Pretoria 0001, South Africa

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 22 May 2013; Accepted 23 May 2013

Academic Editor: Mohamed Eddouks

Copyright © 2013 Matlou Phineas Mokgotho 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.


Senna italica, a member of the Fabaceae family (subfamily Caesalpiniaceae), is widely used in South African traditional medicine to treat a number of disease conditions. Aqueous extracts of the plant are mainly used to treat sexually transmitted infections and intestinal complications. The roots of S. italica were ground to a fine powder and sequentially extracted with n-hexane, dichloromethane, acetone, and methanol using serial exhaustive extraction (SEE) method. Thin layer chromatography was used to analyse the phytochemical composition of the extracts and DPPH radical scavenging method to detect the presence of antioxidant compounds. The bioassay guided fractionation of the acetone fraction afforded an antioxidant compound with free radical scavenging activity. The isolated compound was subsequently identified as 3,4′,5-trihydroxystilbene (resveratrol). This study represents the first report of the stilbene resveratrol in S. italica.