The Health-Promoting Potential of Salix spp. Bark Polar Extracts: Key Insights on Phenolic Composition and In Vitro Bioactivity and Biocompatibility


Salix spp. have been exploited for energy generation, along with folk medicine use of bark extracts for antipyretic and analgesic benefits. Bark phenolic components, rather than salicin, have demonstrated interesting bioactivities, which may ensure the sustainable bioprospection of Salix bark. Therefore, this study highlights the detailed phenolic characterization, as well as the in vitro antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, Staphylococcus aureus growth inhibitory effects, and biocompatibility of Salix atrocinerea Brot., Salix fragilis L., and Salix viminalis L. bark polar extracts. Fifteen phenolic compounds were characterized by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection-mass spectrometry analysis, from which two flavan-3-ols, an acetophenone, five flavanones, and a flavonol were detected, for the first time, as their bark components. Salix bark extracts demonstrated strong free radical scavenging activity (5.58-23.62 mu g mL(-1) IC50 range), effective inhibition on angiotensin-I converting enzyme (58-84%), and S. aureus bactericidal action at 1250-2500 mu g mL(-1) (6-8 log CFU mL(-1) reduction range). All tested Salix bark extracts did not show cytotoxic potential against Caco-2 cells, as well as S. atrocinerea Brot. and S. fragilis L. extracts at 625 and 1250 mu g mL(-1) against HaCaT and L929 cells. These valuable findings can pave innovative and safer food, nutraceutical, and/or cosmetic applications of Salix bark phenolic-containing fractions.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Pharmacology & Pharmacy; Food Science & Technology


Ramos, PAB; Moreirinha, C; Silva, S; Costa, EM; Veiga, M; Coscueta, E; Santos, SAO; Almeida, A; Pintado, MM; Freire, CSR; Silva, AMS; Silvestre, AJD

our authors


The authors acknowledge FCT/MCTES for the financial support to the CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials (UID/CTM/50011/2019), to the QOPNA (UID/QUI/00062/2019), to the CBQF/ESB-UCP (UID/Multi/50016/2019), and to the CESAM (UID/MAR/LA0017/2019) through national funds; co-financing, where applicable, came from FEDER within the PT2020, and also to the Portuguese NMR Network. P.A.B.R., S.S., and E.C. acknowledge the MultiBiorefinery project (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016403) for their post-doctoral grants. C.M. and S.A.O.S. thank the AgroForWealth project (CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000001) funded by Centro2020, through FEDER and PT2020 for the post-doctoral grant and the contract, respectively. C.S.R.F. also thanks FCT/MCTES for her contract under the Stimulus of Scientific Employment 2017 (CEECIND/00464/2017).

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".