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BARS 2020, Research

The Antioxidant Capacity and Phenolic Content of Minthostacys Verticillata

Name: Anna Miller

Mentor: Professor Koroch

Abstract: Minthostachys verticillata, otherwise known as peperina, is constrained to Argentina and other neighboring South American countries. Peperina is traditionally consumed as a tea infusion. Peperina has been used as an herbal home remedy for ages, given its antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties. Peperina’s antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory capabilities have been known to alleviate dyspeptic problems, excessive
sweating, and inflammation in the stomach of patients. Peperina’s immunomodulating
capabilities have been known to keep human lymphocytes and basophils healthy. Peperina’s
diverse medicinal properties are associated with chemical compounds such as total phenolics. In this study, total equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and phenolic content of five independent commercial samples were extracted with boiling water for fifteen minutes. Results show variation among different extracts. Sample, “Suquia,” had the highest total phenolic content, and sample “Jumala,” had the lowest. Sample, “Jumala,” had the highest antioxidant capacity, and the sample, “Locally Grown,” had the lowest. There was a poor correlation between the sample’s phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities. These results suggest that other chemicals are also responsible for the sample’s antioxidant capacities. Commercial samples of peperina showed high antioxidant capacity. This study indicates these culinary herbs are rich in total phenols and also high in antioxidant capacity. These results help us understand the traditional uses of these culinary herbs. These results could possibly explain why peperina is often consumed as a tea to alleviate stomach pain by aiding digestive enzymes in patients. Incorporating these plants in a human diet can benefit individuals health and possibly help prevent diseases.