Monday, 27 April 2015

Chemical composition of selected Saudi medicinal plants

Volume 8, Issue 3, May 2015, Pages 329–332

Open Access
Original article

Chemical composition of selected Saudi medicinal plants

Open Access funded by King Saud University
Under a Creative Commons license


Medicinal plants are important in traditional medicine and modern pharmaceutical drugs; therefore, the interest in the analysis of their chemical composition is increasing. In this study, selected medicinal plants including Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk) Sch., Amaranthus viridis L., Asteriscus graveolens (Forssk.) Less., Chenopodium album L., and Conyza bonariensis (L.) Cronquist were collected from the rangeland of western regions (Bahra and Hada areas) of Saudi Arabia to study their chemical composition. Eight minerals (Mg, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, and Zn), total phenolic contents, antioxidant activity, and free-radical scavenging ability were examined in order to evaluate the medicinal potential of these plants. All the plants were found to be rich sources of minerals and antioxidants, although there were significant differences (p < 0.05) in their chemical composition, which may provide a rationale for generating custom extracts from specific plants depending on the application. The findings of this study will thus facilitate herbalists in their efforts to incorporate these plants into various formulations based on their chemical composition.


  • Af, Achillea fragrantissima;
  • Av, Amaranthus viridis;
  • Ag, Asteriscus graveolens;
  • Ca, Chenopodium album;
  • Cb, Conyza bonariensis


  • Antioxidant;
  • Medicinal plants;
  • Minerals;
  • Polyphenol;
  • Saudi Arabia

1. Introduction

Medicinal plants have been used for centuries throughout the world, and many people still rely on indigenous medicinal plants for their safe or primary health care needs. Several researchers including Rahman et al., 2004, El-Ghazali et al., 2010 and Daur, 2012 have revealed that Saudi Arabia has valuable medicinal plants and its natural stress conditions of drought and heat are considered as positive factors for medicinal plants. To date however, little attention has been focussed on the chemical analysis, conservation, and sustainable production of medicinal plants in the country (Sher and Alyemeni, 2011 and Almehdar et al., 2012). Due to the increasing interest in herbal medicine, our objective in this study was to conduct a systematic chemical analysis of the medicinal plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The present study was designed to collect and analyze certain plants of Saudi Arabia (Af, Av, Ag, Ca, Cb) that are mentioned with medicinal value in folk-care system by various researchers, such as McGaw and Eloff (2008), Gidaya et al., 2009 and Jana and Shekhawat, 2010.