Safrole is a natural compound extracted from various plants, and has shown various biological activities. The current study aimed to investigate the antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and anticancer activity of safrole oil and to study the influence of safrole nanoemulgel on these activities.
The antioxidant and antidiabetic in-vitro assays were conducted using standard biomedical methods. The safrole oil nanoemulgel was developed using a self-emulsifying technique. Then the antimicrobial activity of the safrole oil and safrole nanoemulgel were performed on different microbial species, and cytotoxicity was determined against Hep3B cancer cell lines using the MTS assay.
Safrole oil showed moderate antioxidant activity compared with standard Trolox, with IC50 value 50.28 ± 0.44 and 1.55 ± 0.32 μg/ml, respectively. Moreover, it had potent α-amylase inhibitory activity (IC50 11.36 ± 0.67 μg/ml) compared with Acarbose (IC50 value 5.88 ± 0.63). The safrole nanoemulgel had pseudo-plastic behaviour, droplet sizes below 200 nm, a polydispersity index (PDI) below 0.3, and a zeta potential of less than − 30 mV. Safrole oil has potential antimicrobial and anticancer activities, and these activities were improved with safrole nanoemulgel.
The safrole oil may be applied for the prevention and treatment of oxidative stress, diabetes, different microbial species and cancer, and these activities could be improved by nano-carriers.