Botanical Studies (2007) 48: 397-406.
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Corresponding author: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Te l:
+886-4-2330-4920; Fax: + 886-4-2330 4921.
In the Chinese traditional medicine system, "Gusuibu"
has long been used in the treatment of bone injuries.
It has been proved very effective for the treatment of
inflammation, hyperlipemia, and arteriosclerosis (Editorial
Board of Zhong Hua Ben Cao [China Herbal], State
Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1999).
Also, several recent studies have claimed the medicine has
therapeutic effects on bone healing (Ma et al., 1996; Sun
et al., 2004; Jeong et al., 2005). However, in the Chinese
Material Medica, different herbs from different areas with
similar common names have been mentioned for treatment
of the same disease. This is evident from field records,
visits to local traditional doctors, review of specimens
in herbaria, and the available literature. Rhizomes o f
Drynaria fortunei (Kze.) J. Sm., Pseudodrynaria coronans
(Wall. ex Mett.) Ching (both from Polypodiaceae), Daval-
lia divaricata Bl., Davallia mariesii Moore ex Bak, Da-
vallia solida (Forst.) Sw., and Humata griffithiana (Hk.) C.
Chr. (from Davalliaceae) are used as or called "Gusuibu"
or "Shibu" in Taiwan. These have been claimed to cure
physique ache, inflammation, cancer, ageing, blood stasis,
and bone injuries. In a publication by the Pharmacopoeia
Commission of the People¡¦s Republic of China, only
Drynaria fortunei has been reported to be a source
of "Gusuibu" (ChPC, 2005). However, no systematic
investigation has been carried out so far to evaluate the
comparative values of these different sources.
Over the past few years, investigations for phenolic
compounds in medicinal herbs have gained importance
due to their high antioxidative activity (Zhu et al., 2004).
A large number of reports have demonstrated that these
compounds are of great value in preventing the onset and/
or progression of many human diseases (Parshad et al.,
1998; Lee et al., 2000). Polyphenols have many favorable
effects on human health, like inhibiting the oxidization
of low-density proteins (Frankel et al., 1993), thereby
decreasing the risk of heart disease (Williams and Elliot,
Antioxidant activities and polyphenol contents of six folk
medicinal ferns used as "Gusuibu"
, Guan-Jhong HUANG
, Dinesh Chandra AGRAWAL
, Chao-Lin KUO
and Hsin-Sheng TSAY
Institute of Chinese Pharmaceutical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, Chaoyang University of Technology, Wufong, Taichung 40413, Taiwan
School of Chinese Medicine Resources, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
(Received November 29, 2006; Accepted April 17, 2007)
In the traditional Chinese system of medicine, the folk remedy "Gusuibu," renowned for its
therapeutic effects on bone is sourced from six different ferns. However, no scientific investigation has been
carried out so far, to evaluate the comparative values of these sources. In the present report, ethanol and
aqueous extracts of these six sources were characterized for their antioxidant, scavenging activities, reducing
power, total polyphenols, flavonols, flavonoids, condensed tannins, and proanthocyanidin contents. Results
showed wide variation among the six sources. Most samples in aqueous extracts had higher antioxidant
potencies and polyphenol contents than the ethanol extracts, indicating that the aqueous preparation of
"Gusuibu" is more potent than the ethanol one. EC
values of reducing capacities, and scavenging activities
against DPPH radicals showed significant variation among the six sources, within ethanol or aqueous extracts
and between the two solvents. The maximum (1.27) Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity (TEAC) was
recorded in aqueous extract of fern Davallia mariesii. The correlation coefficient (R
) values of TEAC and
total polyphenol contents showed a higher correlation (aqueous extract, R
= 0.971; ethanol extract, R
Keywords: Antioxidant activity; Gusuibu; Medicinal fern; Polyphenols contents; Radical scavenging activity;
Abbreviations: RSC, radical scavenging capacity; DPPH, 1,1-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl free radical; TEAC,
Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity.