Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Original Article:
The Korean Journal of Parasitology 2020; 58(3): 217-227.
Published online: June 26, 2020

Formulation of Capsule Dosage Form Containing Ethanolic Fruit Extract of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Hpan-ga) Having Potent Antioxidant Activity

Wai Wai Lwin, Cho Yi Myint, Maung Maung & Khin Tar Yar Myint

Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, 2020


Recently, the usefulness of medicinal plants in health care delivery has been emphasized and WHO recognizes and endorses the use of those which have been scientifically proven to be efficacious, safe for use and of good quality. Thus, it is necessary to formulate these valuable herbal medicinal plants into dosage form. This study is aimed to formulate the capsule dosage form containing 75% ethanolic fruit extract of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Hpan-ga) having antioxidant activity. Prior to formulation into capsule dosage form, physicochemical and phytochemical characterization were investigated and all were complied with the specified limits prescribed in the Pharmacopoeias. In addition, according to the Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric method, the total polyphenol content of 75% ethanolic extract was 270.664 mg GAE/g and IC50 value obtained from DPPH radical scavenging test was 0.238 mg/mL. Thus, ethanolic extract having antioxidant activity was formulated into capsule dosage form using four different formulations containing adsorbent-loaded dried extract. The pharmaceutical evaluation studies revealed that among different formulations, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC)-loaded dried extract capsule containing 3% talc showed short disintegration time (p<0.05), good uniformity of weight and dissolution. Thus, according to the study, capsule containing MCC-loaded dried extract granules with considerable amount of total polyphenol content showed reproducible capsule dosage form having antioxidant activity.

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In recent years, plant-derived products are increasingly used as medicinal products, nutraceuticals and cosmetics. Less toxicity, better therapeutic effect, good patient compliance and cost effectiveness are the reasons for choosing drug from natural origin. Among the herbal medicinal products, the global interest is the usefulness of antioxidant activity in herbal medicine. Inhibition of free radical-induced oxidative damage by supplementation of antioxidants has become an attractive therapeutic strategy for reducing the risk of diseases. Among natural antioxidant, phenols and polyphenols are promising phytochemical as important class of natural products having multiple polar functionality and a variety of effects towards antioxidant behavior. In Myanmar, there are many indigenous medicinal plants which claimed traditionally for health benefits. Among these, Terminalia chebula Retz. (Combretaceae) is well-known plant in Myanmar and is called Hpan-ga. Because of  several  medicinal  properties  attributed to Terminalia chebula Retz., it is used extensively in the preparation of many Ayurvedic formulations. The antioxidant activity is promising in the fruit of Terminalia chebula Retz. because of the major constituent of tannin (32%) especially hydrolysable tannin such as gallic acid, ellagic acid and corilagin which are natural polyphenols possessing strong antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory vactivities.1 However, according to Fang & Bhandari (2010), these valuable natural compound’s uses are substantially limited because of their instability during food processing, distri- bution or storage.2 Other problems in relation with uses of polyphenol in human health are unpleasant taste which must be masked before their incorporation in foodstuffs or oral medicines. Therefore, the administration of phenolic compounds requires the formulation of a finished protecting product able to maintain the structural integrity of the polyphenol until the consumption or the administration, mask its taste, increases its water solubility and bioavailability.

For efficacy of the medicinal plant, not only the effectiveness of the plant or extract on the treatment but also the presentation of the dosage form are needed to be considered. Although the most common dosage forms
of herbal preparations are liquids derived from macerations, infusions and decoctions,3 this type of dosage forms have some associated problems of large dose volumes, impractical packaging and poor stability.4 Solid preparations on the other hand often have higher stability and are easier to standardize which adds to an increase in
their therapeutic acceptance, efficacy and product value.5

Among oral solid dosage form, capsule dosage form is preferred. This may be due to the fact that capsule dosage form needs not much formulation steps and it may give protection of ingredients from environmental condition. Moreover, these dosage form can mask the bitter taste and unpleasant smell of herbal extract.

The identification of the active compounds  in the herbal medicine is important to know how much the active components intake by patient for single doses. Therefore, the standardization of the total polyphenols content in dosage form is important factor.

The present study is aimed to formulate the capsule dosage form containing ethanolic fruit extract of T. chebula with high phenolic content and antioxidant activity. The formulation of standardized ethanolic fruit extract of T. chebula into a pharmaceutical capsule dosage form would gain the benefiting effect of oral dosage form. Therefore, this finding may benefit in the development of newer herbal drugs from locally available medicinal plant and this may provide a useful standardized herbal dosage form to public.
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Investigation of phytochemical and physi- cochemical study

The present study was laboratory-based analytical study. The fresh mature fruits of Terminalia chebula Retz. were collected from Magway Division in May and the authenticity was confirmed by competent botanist. The preliminary phytochemical screenings were qualitatively determined according to Harbone (1984) 6 and the physi- cochemical properties of T. chebula Retz. were assessed according to the quality control methods for medicinal plant materials.7, 8 The analysis was conducted at University of Traditional Medicine, Mandalay.

Extraction of fruits of Terminalia chebula Retz.

According to the previous study, the 75% ethanol was found to be the suitable solvent for extraction of T. chebula fruit to obtain high amount of total polyphenol.9 Dried powder was extracted with 75% ethanol by cold maceration process for 7 days. Then, 75% ethanolic extract was filtered and con- centrated at 40ºC under reduced pressure
by rotary evaporator. The obtained liquid extract  was  then dried on water bath at 50°C for 48 hours until the concentrated viscous extract was obtained.

Acute oral toxicity test

The ethanolic extract of T. chebula Retz. was tested for acute toxicity according to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development guideline 42510 which was performed at Pharmacology Research Division, Department of Medical Research, Yangon. According to the literature, the ethanolic extract of Terminalia chebula Retz. is likely to be non-toxic.11 Therefore, limit test at 5000 mg/kg was performed.

Determination of total phenol contents in the ethanolic fruit extract of T. chebula Retz

The major constituent that gives antioxidant activity of Terminalia chebula fruit is total polyphenol. This experiment was carried out according to Celep, Aydin & Yesilada (2017) with some modification.12 Determination of total phenolic compounds was done by Folin Ciocalteu colorimetric method and the absorbance was measured at 765 nm with UV-Vis spectrophotometer. Then, the results were expressed as gallic acid equivalent (GAE) (n=3).

Determination of in vitro antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract by DPPH radical scavenging assay

Antioxidant activitiy of ethanolic extract was determined by in vitro DPPH method according to Vieira et al. (2013) with some modification.13 The ascorbic acid was used as standard. The sample solutions were prepared by dissolving the extract in 75% ethanol to obtain the concentrations of  10, 40, 80, 120, 160, 200 µg/mL, respectively. To 2.9 mL of DPPH (60µM) solution, 0.1 mL of extracts with different concent- rations were added and mixed vigorously by a vortex mixer. All solutions were allowed to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes in the dark and measurement of absorbance was done at 517 nm using a UV-Vis spectro- photometer. The percent inhibition was calculated  by  using  the  following formula.

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We would like to express our thanks to Rector (University of Pharmacy) who give permission to conduct this research, Dr. Khin Phyu Phyu (Department of Medical Research), Daw Mu Mu Sein Myint, (Department of Medical Research), Dr. Kyi Kyi Oo, University of Traditional Medicine and staff from Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory (Department of Food and Drug Administration). We are also grateful to all who helped and gave suggestions to complete this research.

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Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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