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Influence of solvents and novel extraction methods on bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of Phyllanthus amarus

Van Tang Nguyen, Hong Ngoc Thuy Pham, Michael C. Bowyer, Ian A. van Altena, and Christopher J. Scarlett

aSchool of Environmental and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW 2258, Australia



Abstract: Phyllanthus amarus (P. amarus) is a herbal plant used in the treatment of various diseases such as hepatitis, diabetes, and cancer. Efficiency of its bioactive compounds extraction and therefore the biological activity of the extracts are significantly influenced by both solvent character and extraction method. This study is aimed at the determination of the influence of six various solvents (water, acetonitrile, ethanol, methanol, ethyl acetate, and dichloromethane) and nine different extraction methods (conventional, ultrasound-assisted, microwave-assisted, and six novel methods) on the extraction efficiency and antioxidant capacity of P. amarus. The results indicated that water extracted the maximal amount of phenolics from P. amarus and had the highest antioxidant capacity, while microwave-assisted extraction provided the highest yields of phenolics and saponins, and the highest antioxidant capacity with the lowest energy consumption when compared to the other extraction methods. These findings implied that water and microwave-assisted extraction are recommended as the most effective solvent and method for the extraction of bioactive compounds from P. amarus for potential application in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.

Keywords: Phyllanthus amarus – phenolics – antioxidant – solvent – extraction method

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1515/chempap-2015-0240


Chemical Papers 70 (5) 556–566 (2016)

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