Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (ISSN : 0975-7384)

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Photoprotective properties of Zanthoxylum rhetsa: An in vitro analysis

Author(s): Ramesh Kumar Santhanam, Syahida Ahmad, Faridah Abas, Intan Safinar Ismail, Yaya Rukayadi and Khozirah Shaari

This research highlights the photoprotective potential of a traditional medicinal plant, Zanthoxylum rhetsa. The photoprotective effect was measured based on the sunscreen protection factor (SPF value) and UV absorption spectrum of various solvent fractions of the plant. The ethyl acetate fraction had the highest SPF value (13.36±0.12) followed by butanol (8.6±0.08), at a test concentration of 100μg/ml. All of the fractions exhibited broad UV spectrum absorption covering both the UVB and UVA regions. The free radical scavenging properties were assessed using the selected antioxidant assays, namely, diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO) free radical scavenging assays. In both assays, the ethyl acetate exhibited the highest activity followed by the butanol fraction. The DPPH and NO free radical scavenging activity were highly expressed in the ethyl acetate fraction with IC50 values of140±1.20 μg/ml and 50 ± 0.35μg/ml, respectively. The total phenolic and flavonoid content were also determined for all the fractions. These results indicate that the bark extract of Z. rhetsa has great potential for use as a natural active ingredient in broad spectrum sunscreen and anti-ageing cosmetic preparations.