Supercritical and ethanolic extracts from leaves and flower heads of feverfew, German chamomile and calendula were analysed.
HPTLC chromatographic fingerprints are used to quantify apigenin, chamazulene, bisabolol and parthenolide.
The polyphenolic profile was measured using the reverse phase HPTLC-DPPHmethod.
Free radical scavenging activities were evaluated and compared.
Antioxidant activity was expressed in gallic acid equivalents.
The present study describes a simple high performance thin layer chromatographic (HPTLC) method for the simultaneous quantification of apigenin, chamazulene, bisabolol and the use of DPPH free radical as a post-chromatographic derivatization agent to compare the free radical scavenging activities of these components in leaf and flower head extracts from feverfew, German chamomile and marigold from theAsteraceaefamily. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) leaves have been traditionally used in the treatment of migraine with parthenolide being the main bioactive compound. However, due to similar flowers, feverfew is sometimes mistaken for the German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Bisabolol and chamazulene are the main components in chamomile essential oil. Marigold (Calendula officinalis) was included in the study for comparison, as it belongs to the same family. Parthenolide was found to be present in all leaf extracts but was not detected in calendula flower extract. Chamazulene and bisabolol were found to be present in higher concentrations in chamomile and Calendula flowers. Apigenin was detected and quantified only in chamomile extracts (highest concentration in flower head extracts). Antioxidant activity in sample extracts was compared by superimposing the chromatograms obtained after post-chromatographic derivatization with DPPH and post-chromatographic derivatization with anisaldehyde. It was found that extracts from chamomile flower heads and leaves have the most prominent antioxidant activity, with bisabolol and chamazulene being the most effective antioxidants.