Antimicrobial, antioxidant and phytochemical assessment of wild medicinal plants from Cordillera Blanca (Ancash, Peru)
Twenty-eight native plants mainly used to cure diseases related to microbial infection and stress oxidative disorders were selected to test the antimicrobial activity against E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus, B. subtilis, and C. albicans using diffusion and microdilution methods. The antioxidant activity was determined by scavenging DPPH free-radical and phytochemical evaluation was performed for plants with promising activities. Twenty-seven plants showed antibacterial activity, four had anti-Candida activity, and four showed antioxidant activity. It was found that Oreocallis grandiflora, Gentianella weberbaueri, Gamochaeta americana, Hypericum laricifolium, Loricaria ferruginea, Muehlenbeckia volcanica, and Oenothera multicaulis, showed promising biological activity and contained alkaloids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, catecholic or gallic tannins. This study leaves evidence about the medicinal potential of wild high-Andean plants; thus, further pharmacological, phytochemical, ecological and biotechnological studies will contribute to promote their conservation and sustainable use; especially since they are highly vulnerable and risk extinction.