Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Potential nutraceutical properties of leaves from several commonly cultivated plants

Amat-ur-Rasool, Hafsa; Symes, Fenella; Tooth, David; Schaffert, Larissa-Nele; Elmorsy, Ekramy; Ahmed, Mehboob; Hasnain, Shahida; Carter, Wayne G.

Potential nutraceutical properties of leaves from several commonly cultivated plants Thumbnail


Hafsa Amat-ur-Rasool

Fenella Symes

David Tooth

Larissa-Nele Schaffert

Ekramy Elmorsy

Mehboob Ahmed

Shahida Hasnain


Chronic dietary ingestion of suitable phytochemicals may assist with limiting or negating neurodegenerative decline. Current therapeutics used to treat Alzheimer disease elicit broad adverse drug reactions, and alternative sources of cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) are required. Herein, we screened methanolic extracts from seven commonly cultivated plants for their nutraceutical potential; ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyryl-cholinesterase (BuChE), and provision of antioxidant activity through their 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate (DPPH) free radical scavenging capabilities. Potential neurotoxicity of plant extracts was examined via application to SHSY-5Y neuroblastoma cells and quantitation of cell viability. Methanolic extracts of Citrus limon (Lemon), Bombax ceiba (Red silk-cotton), Lawsonia inermis (Henna), Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus), Ocimum basilicum (Basil), Citrus reticulata (Mandarin orange), and Mentha spicata (Spearmint) all displayed concentration-dependent inhibition of AChE and BuChE. The majority of extracts inhibited AChE and BuChE to near equipotency, with Henna and Eucalyptus extracts the two most potent ChEIs. All plant extracts were able to scavenge free radicals in a concentration-dependent manner, with Eucalyptus the most potent antioxidant. Toxicity of plant extracts to neuronal cells was concentration dependent, with Eucalyptus also the most toxic extract. Fractionation of plant extracts and analysis by mass spectrometry identified a number of plant polyphenols that might have contributed to the cholinesterase inhibition: 3-caffeoylquinic acid, methyl 4-caffeoylquinate, kaempferol-acetyl-glycoside, quercetin 3-rutinoside, quercetin-acetyl-glycoside, kaempferol 3-O-glucoside, and quercetin 3-O-glucoside. In silico molecular modeling of these polyphenols demonstrated their improved AChE and BuChE binding affinities compared to the current FDA-approved dual ChEI, galantamine. Collectively, all the plant extracts contained nutraceutical agents as antioxidants and ChEIs and, therefore, their chronic consumption may prove beneficial to combat the pathological deficits that accrue in Alzheimer disease.


Amat-ur-Rasool, H., Symes, F., Tooth, D., Schaffert, L., Elmorsy, E., Ahmed, M., …Carter, W. G. (2020). Potential nutraceutical properties of leaves from several commonly cultivated plants. Biomolecules, 10(11), 1-22.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 13, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 15, 2020
Publication Date Nov 15, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2020
Journal Biomolecules
Electronic ISSN 2218-273X
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 11
Article Number 1556
Pages 1-22
Keywords Alzheimer’s disease; Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors; Antioxidants; Butyrylcholinesterase inhibitors; Molecular Modelling; Neutraceuticals; Phytochemicals.
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations