Main Article Content

Abdelghani Aboukhalaf, Msc Sara Moujabbir, Msc Belkassem El Amraoui, Dr. Kaoutar Naciri, Dr. Adil Kalili, Dr. Seloua Essaih, Msc Joao Rocha, Dr Rekia Belahsen


Scolymus hispanicus L. (Golden thistle) is a well-known wild edible plant (WEP) in Morocco. However, the species value is not well investigated and its economic value is considerably low. Therefore, the aim of this work was to evaluate the phytochemical composition, the biological activities, and the acute toxicity of crude extract of S. hispanicus aerial parts. The mineral composition was assessed using an ICP-AES spectrometer and, the contents in polyphenol, flavonoids and tannins using colorimetric methods. The antioxidant activity was tested by DPPH assay. Disc diffusion and broth micro dilution methods were used to evaluate the antimicrobial activity. Moreover, the safety of the plant extract was validated by performing acute toxicity. The findings revealed that this plant is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates and minerals especially iron and, have high contents of polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins. The biological evaluation of the plant extracts exhibited a remarkable antioxidant content and, a wide antibacterial activity and yeast inhibition. The results indicated also that the tested extract is safe with an LD50 higher than 5000¹. The study data suggest that S. hispanicus could be a promising functional and nutraceutical food with antioxidant and antimicrobial potential and can contribute to a balanced diet.

Article Details


Aboukhalaf A., El Amraoui B., Tabatou M., da Rocha J.M.F., Belahsen R. Screening of the antimicrobial activity of some extracts of edible wild plants in Morocco. Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 2020, 10(6): 265-273.

Aboukhalaf A., Tbatou M., Kalili A., Naciri K., Moujabbir S., Sahel K., Rocha J.M.F., Belahsen R. Traditional knowledge and use of wild edible plants in Sidi Bennour region (Central Morocco). Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 2022, 23(11): 265-273.

Altiner D.D., Sahan Y. A functional food additive: Scolymus Hispanicus L. Flour. International Journal of Food Engineering, 2016, 2(2): 124-127.

Ambriz-Pérez D.L., Leyva-López N., Gutierrez-Grijalva E.P., Heredia J.B. Phenolic compounds: Natural alternative in inflammation treatment. A Review. Cogent Food and Agriculture, 2016, 2(1): 1131412.

Bakour M., Campos Md.G., Imtara H., Lyoussi B. Antioxidant content and identification of phenolic/flavonoid compounds in the pollen of fourteen plants using HPLC-DAD. Journal of Apicultural Research, 2020, 59(1): 35-41.

Berdja S., Boudarene L., Smail L., Neggazi S., Boumaza S., Sahraoui A., Haffaf Em., Kacimi G., Aouichat Bouguerra S. Scolymus hispanicus (Golden Thistle) Ameliorates Hepatic Steatosis and Metabolic Syndrome by Reducing Lipid Accumulation, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Rats under Hyperfatty Diet. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2021, 2021(1): 5588382.

Broadhurst R.B., Jones W.T. Analysis of condensed tannins using acidified vanillin. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 1978, 29(9): 788-794. .

Btissam R., Kamal E., Hassane G., Mohamed N. Composition and antibacterial activity of hydro-alcohol and aqueous extracts obtained from the Lamiaceae family. Pharmacognosy Journal, 2018, 10(1): 81-91.

Chung K-T., Wong TY., Wei C-I., Huang Y-W., Lin Y. Tannins and human health: a review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 1998, 38(6): 421-464.

Cushnie T.T., Lamb A.J. Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 2005, 26(5): 343-356.

Deng Y., Yang G., Yue J., Qian B., Liu Z., Wang D., Zhong Y., Zhao Y. Influences of ripening stages and extracting solvents on the polyphenolic compounds, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of blueberry leaf extracts. Food Control, 2014, 38: 184-191.

MGarcía-Herrera P., Sánchez-Mata M., Cámara M., Fernández-Ruiz V., Díez-Marqués C., Molina M., Tardio J. Nutrient composition of six wild edible Mediterranean Asteraceae plants of dietary interest. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2014, 34(2): 163-170.

Gharby S., Harhar H., Bouzoubaa Z., Asdadi A., El Yadini A., Charrouf Z. Chemical characterization and oxidative stability of seeds and oil of sesame grown in Morocco. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences, 2017, 16(2): 105-111.

Godswill A.G., Somtochukwu I.V., Ikechukwu A.O., Kate E.C. Health benefits of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and their associated deficiency diseases: A systematic review. International Journal of Food Sciences, 2020, 3(1): 1-32.

Guillén D., Sánchez S., Rodríguez-Sanoja R. Carbohydrate-binding domains: multiplicity of biological roles. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2010, 85(5): 1241-1249.

Harchaoui L., Ouafi S., Chabane D. UPLC-MS profiling, antimicrobial and antipyretic activities of Deverra scoparia Coss. & Dur. extracts. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 2022, 21(1): 40-47.

Jadid N., Arraniry B.A., Hidayati D., Purwani K.I., WikantaW., Hartanti S.R., Rachman R.Y. Proximate composition, nutritional values and phytochemical screening of Piper retrofractum vahl. fruits. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2018, 8(1): 37.

Jorgensen J.H., Turnidge J.D. Chapter 71. Susceptibility Test Methods: Dilution and Disk Diffusion Methods. In: Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 11th Edition. ASM Press, Wiley. 2015, рр. 1253-1273, Print ISBN: 9781119741411, Online ISBN:9781683672807,

Kim D.O., Chun O.K., Kim Y.J., Moon H.Y., Lee C.Y. Quantification of polyphenolics and their antioxidant capacity in fresh plums. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2003, 51(22): 6509-6515.

Kim S.J., Min S.C., Shin H.J., Lee Y.J., Cho A.R., Kim S.Y., Han J. Evaluation of the antioxidant activities and nutritional properties of ten edible plant extracts and their application to fresh ground beef. Meat Science, 2013, 93(3): 715-722.

Kolev N. Natural antioxidants – an alternative for reduction of nitrites in cooked meat products. Food Science and Applied Biotechnology, 2022, 5(1): 64-76.

Ksouri A., Dob T., Belkebir A., Krimat S., Chelghoum C. Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of the essential oil and the methanol extract of Algerian wild carrot Daucus carota L. ssp. carota.(L.) Thell. Journal of Materials and Environmental Science, 2015, 6(3): 784-791. Available at:

Lahmar I., Belghith H., Ben Abdallah F., Belghith K. Nutritional composition and phytochemical, antioxidative, and antifungal activities of Pergularia tomentosa L. BioMed Research International, 2017, 2017(1): 6903817.

Lante A., Ebrahimi P., Mihaylova D. Comparison of green technologies for valorizing sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) leaves. Food Science and Applied Biotechnology, 2022, 5(2): 119-130.

Lin D., Xiao M., Zhao J., Li Z., Xing B., Li X., Kong M., Li L., Zhang Q., Liu Y. An overview of plant phenolic compounds and their importance in human nutrition and management of type 2 diabetes. Molecules, 2016, 21(10): 1374.

Marmouzi I., El Karbane M., El Hamdani M., Kharbach M., Naceiri Mrabti H., Alami R., Dahraoui S., El Jemli M., Ouzzif Z., Cherrah Y. Phytochemical and pharmacological variability in Golden Thistle functional parts: comparative study of roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Natural Product Research, 2017, 31(22): 2669-2674.

Marrelli M., Russo N., Chiocchio I., Statti G., Poli F., Conforti F. Potential use in the treatment of inflammatory disorders and obesity of selected wild edible plants from Calabria region (Southern Italy). South African Journal of Botany, 2020, 128(1): 304-311.

Marrelli M., Statti G., Conforti F. A review of biologically active natural products from Mediterranean wild edible plants: benefits in the treatment of obesity and its related disorders. Molecules, 2020, 25(3): 649.

McLean E., Cogswell M., Egli I., Wojdyla D., De Benoist B. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia, WHO vitamin and mineral nutrition information system, 1993–2005. Public Health Nutrition, 2009, 12(4): 444-454.

Miliauskas G., Venskutonis P., Van Beek T. Screening of radical scavenging activity of some medicinal and aromatic plant extracts. Food Chemistry, 2004, 85(2): 231-237.

Mohammed F.A., Bchitou R., Bouhaouss A., Gharby S., Harhar H., Guillaume D., Harhar H., Guillaume D., Charrouf Z. Can the dietary element content of virgin argan oils really be used for adulteration detection? Food Chemistry, 2013, 136(1): 105-108.

Morales P., Ferreira I.C., Carvalho A.M., Sánchez-Mata M.C., Cámara M., Fernández-Ruiz V., Pardo-de-Santayana M., Tardío J. Mediterranean non-cultivated vegetables as dietary sources of compounds with antioxidant and biological activity. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 2014, 55(1): 389-396.

Mzoughi Z., Chahdoura H., Chakroun Y., Cámara M., Fernández-Ruiz V., Morales P., Mosbah H., Flamini G., Snoussi M., Majdoub H. Wild edible Swiss chard leaves (Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla): Nutritional, phytochemical composition and biological activities. Food Research International, 2019, 119(1): 612-621.

Nassif F., Tanji A. 3. Gathered food plants in Morocco the long-forgotten species in ethnobotanical research by Fatima Nassif and Abbes Tanji. Life Sciences Leaflets, 2013, 37(3): 17-54. Available at:

OECD. Test No. 425. Acute Oral Toxicity: Up-and-Down Procedure, OECD Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals, Section 4, Éditions OCD, Paris. 2008.

Omojate Godstime C., Enwa Felix O., Jewo Augustina O., Eze Christopher O. Mechanisms of antimicrobial actions of phytochemicals against enteric pathogens - a review. Journal of Pharmaceutical, Chemical and Biological Sciences, 2014, 2(2): 77-85. Available at:

Petropoulos S.A., Fernandes Â., Tzortzakis N., Sokovic M., Ciric A., Barros L., Ferreira I.C. Bioactive compounds content and antimicrobial activities of wild edible Asteraceae species of the Mediterranean flora under commercial cultivation conditions. Food Research International, 2019, 119(1): 859-868.

Pieroni A., Hovsepyan R., Manduzai A.K., Sõukand R. Wild food plants traditionally gathered in central Armenia: archaic ingredients or future sustainable foods? Environment, Development and Sustainability, 2021, 23(2): 2358-2381.

Rana ZH., Alam MK., Akhtaruzzaman M. Nutritional composition, total phenolic content, antioxidant and α-amylase inhibitory activities of different fractions of selected wild edible plants. Antioxidants, 2019, 8(7): 203.

Sánchez-Mata M., Cabrera Loera R., Morales P., Fernández-Ruiz V., Cámara M., Díez Marqués C., Pardo-de-Santayana M., Tardío J. Wild vegetables of the Mediterranean area as valuable sources of bioactive compounds. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 2012, 59(3): 431-443.

Stelle I., Kalea A.Z., Pereira D.I. Iron deficiency anaemia: experiences and challenges. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 2019, 78(1): 19-26.

Taghouti M., Martins-Gomes C., Schäfer J., Félix L. M., Santos J.A., Bunzel M., Nunes F.M., Silva A.M. Thymus pulegioides L. as a rich source of antioxidant, anti-proliferative and neuroprotective phenolic compounds. Food and Function, 2018, 9(7): 3617-3629.

USDA. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, USA: Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central 2018. Available at:

Winter WE., Bazydlo LA., Harris NS. The molecular biology of human iron metabolism. Laboratory Medicine, 2014, 45(2): 92-102.

How to Cite
ABOUKHALAF, Abdelghani et al. Phytochemical screening, nutritional value, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities and acute toxicity of Scolymus hispanicus: A wild edible plant in Morocco. Food Science and Applied Biotechnology, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 372-382, oct. 2023. ISSN 2603-3380. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 26 feb. 2024. doi: