Citrullus colocynthis L. Schrader is an annual plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, widely distributed in the desert areas of the Mediterranean basin. Many pharmacological properties (anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, analgesic, anti-epileptic) are ascribed to different organs of this plant; extracts and derivatives of C. colocynthis are used in folk Berber medicine for the treatment of numerous diseases-such as rheumatism arthritis, hypertension bronchitis, mastitis, and even cancer. Clinical studies aimed at confirming the chemical and biological bases of pharmacological activity assigned to many plant/herb extracts used in folk medicine often rely on results obtained from laboratory preliminary tests. We investigated the biological activity of some C. colocynthis stem, leaf, and root extracts on the mycotoxigenic and phytopathogenic fungus Aspergillus flavus, testing a possible correlation between the inhibitory effect on aflatoxin biosynthesis, the phytochemical composition of extracts, and their in vitro antioxidant capacities.
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