Comparison of phenolic content and antioxidant activity of Actaea racemosa L. and Actaea cordifolia DC

Actaea racemosa L. is used as a component of drugs or dietary supplements to alleviate the menopause symptoms. Its biological activity is associated with the presence of phenolic compounds. In our work, the analysis of isoflavones and phenolic acids – caffeic acid (CA), ferulic acid and isoferulic acid (iFA) – both free and bonded in two species of Actaea, was conducted using HPLC-PAD technique. Moreover, the antioxidant effect of extracts from different parts of the investigated plants was determined on the basis of DPPH assay. Significant variation of CA and iFA content was observed. The highest content of CA was found in A. racemosa, while Actaea cordifolia contained the highest amount of iFA. Isoflavones were not found in the investigated plants. The antioxidant activity assay showed the high free radical-scavenging ability of the extracts obtained from different parts of the plant.