The fruit of this local Pakistani plant significantly reduces oxidative stress in the body
10/11/2018 // Ellaine Castillo // Views

A study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has shown that the fruit of Monotheca buxifolia exhibits antioxidant properties. In this study, researchers from Quaid-i-Azam University evaluated the antioxidant potential of methanol extract of M. buxifolia, as well as its ability to repair kidney damage caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) exposure.

M. buxifolia is a fruit-bearing plant that is commonly found in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its fruit has been used for medicinal purposes, such as treating digestive and urinary tract disorders. Previous studies have shown that the methanol extract of M. buxifolia has significant amount of total phenolic and flavonoid content. In addition to this, M. buxifolia also exhibited impressive free radical scavenging activity. From these, they were able to determine that M. buxifolia has potent antioxidant effects.

The kidneys are the organs responsible for removing waste products of food metabolism and regulating salt and mineral concentration. Since it plays a part in waste removal, it becomes vulnerable to oxidative stress, which happens when there are too many unstable and highly reactive free radicals present. This is why antioxidants that can stabilize these free radicals are important in maintaining kidney health.

This study focuses on determining the protective effect of M. buxifolia methanol extract on the kidney based on its antioxidant properties. To do this, the researchers initially assessed the toxicity and the polyphenolic content of M. buxifolia extracts. From the results of these tests, they were able to determine that M. buxifolia is non-toxic to rats even at a concentration of 4000 mg/kg. However, the extracts did exhibit toxicity in brine shrimp. Additionally, researchers also observed that the extracts contained the following polyphenols: gallic acid, catechin, caffeic acid and rutin.


For determining the protective effect of M. buxifolia, the researchers made use of male Sprague-Dawley rats as models. These rats were divided into six groups, with group 1 serving as control, groups 2 to 5 being administered with CCl4, and group 6 being given M. buxifolia extract only. Additionally, the researchers also gave rats from group 3, 4, and 5, silymarin, 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of methanol extract were of M. buxifolia, respectively. CCl4 was used since it has been shown to experimentally induce oxidative stress in various organs.

To determine the effect of M. buxifolia treatment, biochemical markers in urine and serum were analyzed. In CCl4-treated rats, their urine had lower pH, as well as enhanced level of specific gravity, count of RBCs, pus cells and epithelial cells. In addition to this, urinary creatinine, urobilinogen, urea, albumin and protein content of urine was also affected. Treatment with methanolic M. buxifolia extract was observed to ameliorate these effects of CCl4 in a dose-dependent manner.

It was also observed that CCl4 exposure affects antioxidant activity. Enzymes with antioxidant activity, such as catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and quinone reductase, were inhibited upon CCl4 treatment, however, treatment with methanolic extract of M. buxifolia restored their activity.

Other renal biomolecules were also affected by CCl4 exposure. These biomolecules include lipid peroxides (TBARS), H2O2 and nitrite, which were all shown to have increased concentration. Treatment with M. buxifolia was able to reduce the concentrations of these biomolecules. Additionally, the structural changes in the kidney were also shown to be reversed with M. buxifolia treatment.

Overall, the results of the experiments show that using methanol extract of M. buxifolia to treat Ccl4-induced conditions ameliorated oxidative stress. This was achieved by normalizing antioxidant activity, urine and serum markers, and kidney structure. Based on these, the researchers concluded that the M. buxifolia can protect against renal toxicity, possibly through its polyphenolic content. (Related: Antioxidant may prevent kidney damage, study finds (press release).)

Plants that protect the kidneys

Aside from M. buxifolia, other plants that can protect the kidneys include:

  • Horsetail
  • Hydrangea
  • Goldenrod
  • Chanca Piedra
  • Banaba
  • Dandelion

Learn more about the antioxidant potential of Monotheca buxifolia by visiting today.

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