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Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Urtica urens Leaves from Msallata, Libya

Khaled Muftah Mohamed Elsherif, Marwa A. Sulaiman, Adel Mlitan


Urtica urens is a medicinal plant in Msallata, Libya. This study aimed to evaluate its phytochemical composition, antioxidant activity, and some metal contents. The leaves of the plant were extracted with water, ethanol, chloroform, and ether and analyzed for various active compounds, such as tannins, glycosides, proteins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and coumarins. The total antioxidant assay measured the antioxidant activity of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts. After wet digestion, the calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc metal levels were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (AAS). The results showed that Urtica urens leaves contained a complete set of active compounds in all extracts except chloroform and ether. The ethanolic extract had the highest yield (17.32%) and the highest total phenol content (8.96 mg/g), while the aqueous extract had the most increased total antioxidant activity (5.26 mg/g). The plant was rich in calcium (127,720 mg/kg) and magnesium (4,772 mg/kg), while the other metals were in moderate amounts. The plant's moisture content was 7.58%, the ash content was 5.73%, the total protein content was 28.04%, and the total alkaloid content was 0.22%. The study revealed that Urtica urens is a potential source of bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties and mineral nutrients.

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