Devil’s-bit herb is a powerful antioxidant

Polish researchers conducted a thorough investigation of the medicinal properties of the devil’s-bit (Succisa pratensis). They reported that herbal extracts and essential oils from the plant exhibited significant antioxidant and antimicrobial activities.

The researchers received the support of the Poznan University of Medical Sciences throughout the course of their study. They published their findings in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

  • The researchers acquired essential oils from the leaves and flowers of the devil’s bit. They also processed the plant to create a methanol extract and a water-based extract. The oils were analyzed for their constituents and antimicrobial activity, while the extracts underwent testing for their ability to scavenge free radicals.
  • The essential oil from the leaves of the devil’s-bit contained 86 different bioactive compounds. Meanwhile, the essential oil from its flower produced 50 individual compounds.
  • In the antimicrobial test, the essential oils displayed significant effect against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus strains of bacteria, as well as the pathogenic fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Candida albicans. The methanol and water extracts were only able to achieve weak to moderate effects on these microorganisms.
  • In the antioxidant test, the methanol extracts from the leaves were able to scavenge the most free radicals. The effective dose was 0.09 mg/mL.
  • Analyzing the total phenolic content and the antimicrobial activity showed a positive correlation. However, there was no such connection between the total phenolic content and the antioxidant activity.

The researchers believe their results lend support to the traditional use of devil’s-bit as a treatment for infections.

Wondering about the other plants that can match the antioxidant potential of devil’s-bit? Find out more at

Journal Reference:

Witkowska-Banaszczak E, D?ugaszewska J. ESSENTIAL OILS AND HYDROPHILIC EXTRACTS FROM THE LEAVES AND FLOWERS OF SUCCISA PRATENSIS MOENCH. AND THEIR BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 26 July 2017;69(11):1531–1539. DOI: 10.1111/jphp.12784

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