Distortion of the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species and the body’s antioxidant defenses against them produces oxidative stress, which intensifies tissue damage. Spices have been reported to possess antioxidant properties which protect against ROS. Monodora myristica is among the common spices in Nigeria with reported medicinal properties. Its proximate composition, phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities were investigated. The proximate composition ranged from 3.06 to 52.42% with nitrogen free extract having the highest value and ash content, lowest. Phytochemical screening of the spice showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins and saponins. The 1,1-diphenyl-2 picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity ranged from 16.9 to 71.15 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g. While the reducing power compared to the standard, gallic acid ranging from 0.028 to 0.126 mg GAE/g. Monodora myristica exhibited high antioxidant activities in vitro, signifying the protective potential of the spice against free radicals. The phytochemicals, phenolic and flavonoids in particular may be responsible for these effective antioxidant properties.
Key words: DPPH; Flavonoid; Phenol; Proximate