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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 7930563, 9 pages
Research Article

Screening of Bioactivities and Toxicity of Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl

1Northeast Biotechnology Network, Graduate Program of Biotechnology, State University of Ceará, Campus do Itaperi, 60714-903 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Phytopathology Laboratory, Embrapa Agroindústria Tropical (EMBRAPA), Federal University of Ceará, Campus do Pici, 60455-970 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Degree Course in Biological Sciences, Federal University of Piauí, Campus Universitário Ministro Petrônio Portella, 64049-550 Teresina, PI, Brazil
4Course of Chemistry, State University of Ceará, Campus do Itaperi, 60714-903 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
5Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, State University of Ceará, Campus do Itaperi, 60714-903 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Received 15 March 2016; Revised 19 April 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Felice Senatore

Copyright © 2016 Paulo Fernando Machado Paredes 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.


The caatinga, an exclusively Brazilian biome, is one of the most endangered vegetation systems in the planet. To be exploited rationally, its potential needs to be scientifically demonstrated. Among these is the faveleira, used in northeastern Brazil. It stands out for its extraordinary drought resistance and medicinal properties. The objective of this study was to assess the therapeutic potential of compounds extracted from Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl in preventing disease and its rational use as a herbal therapeutic tool. The methodology began with the collection and herborization of the plant material, to obtain the chemical compounds, preliminary phytochemical analysis, and extraction of the constituents of the active extracts. To determine the biological activities the authors conducted investigation of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, inhibition capacity of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, and initial assessment of toxicity of the extracts. The results demonstrated great potential as an antimicrobial agent, an important antioxidant capacity, and acetylcholinesterase inhibition response with no significant difference compared with the reference drug. The authors expect to develop a new herbal product, resulting in lower production costs and that, consequently, could be commercialized in more accessible form to the population, highlighting the risk reduction of contraindication of this category of medications.