Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 91–96 | Cite as

Isolation, Characterization and Quantification of Tricin and Flavonolignans in the Medicinal Rice Njavara (Oryza sativa L.), as Compared to Staple Varieties

  • Smitha Mohanlal
  • Rathnam Parvathy
  • Vasantha Shalini
  • Antony Helen
  • Ananthasankaran Jayalekshmy


Njavara is an important medicinal rice variety of Kerala, India, widely used in Ayurveda as a ‘health food’ and in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, paralysis, neurodegenerative diseases and in rejuvenation therapy. Phytochemical investigations and spectroscopic studies of the diethyl ether fraction of methanolic extract of Njavara Black (NB) rice bran gave three important compounds namely, tricin and two rare flavonolignans- tricin 4′-O-(erythro-β-guaiacylglyceryl) ether and tricin 4′-O-(threo-β-guaiacylglyceryl) ether. The EC50 values of these compounds in DPPH system were 90.39, 352.04 and 208.1 μg/ml, respectively. Quantification of the compounds by HPLC in NB and staple, non-medicinal rice varieties Sujatha (SJ) and Palakkadan Matta (PM) showed that tricin is present 39.64 and 16.12 fold higher in NB, compared to SJ and PM, respectively. This is the first report on the occurrence of tricin at significantly higher levels in Njavara and occurrence of the two flavonolignans in Oryza sativa species. Of the three compounds, tricin and the threo- form of flavonolignan showed anti-inflammatory effect of >65% after 5 h, at 2 mg/kg, in carrageenan-induced, paw edema experiments in rats. The results of the study corroborate with the preferential use of Njavara in indigenous medicine, over staple varieties.


Flavonolignans Njavara Rice bran Tricin Tricin 4′-O-(erythro-β- guaiacylglyceryl) ether Tricin 4′-O-(threo-β-guaiacylglyceryl) ether 





2, 2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl


amount of extract or compound needed to decrease the initial DPPH concentration by 50%


high performance liquid chromatograph-photodiode array


infra red


mass spectrometry


Njavara Black


not detected


nuclear magnetic resonance


nitric oxide


non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Palakkadan Matta

RAW 264.7

cell line of mouse macrophages


reactive oxygen species


standard deviation


standard error mean




statistical programme software


ultra violet-visible



The authors are grateful for the funding assistance provided by Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Government of Kerala. The author Smitha Mohanlal wishes to thank Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India for the financial support as Senior Research Fellowship (SRF). Thanks are also due to Director, NIIST, CSIR and Head, Department of Biochemistry for constant encouragement and support.

Supplementary material

11130_2011_217_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1067 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Smitha Mohanlal
    • 1
  • Rathnam Parvathy
    • 1
  • Vasantha Shalini
    • 2
  • Antony Helen
    • 2
  • Ananthasankaran Jayalekshmy
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Sciences & Technology DivisionNational Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST), CSIRThiruvananthapuramIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of KeralaThiruvananthapuramIndia

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