Biologically active substances in plant extracts from mistletoe Viscum album and trees: fir (Abies alba Mill.), pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and yew (Taxus baccata L.)
Taking into account the growing number of reports which confirm the medicinal effects of preparations of plant origin, the paper analyzed the biochemical composition of extracts obtained from mistletoe parasitizing on fir and extracts from fir, pine and yew trees was analyzed. The mistletoe samples were collected in winter, spring, summer and autumn. Mistletoe’s extract is a source of viscotoxines – substances used in a treatment of heart diseases. Yew is also used as a plant which tissues contain substances of high therapeutic value. Extracts obtained from tissues of this plant are used for cancer treatment. The content of protein, soluble sugars and proline were determined in all samples. The biological activity of mistletoe may be connected with high concentrations of almost all investigated metabolites. The level of these compounds were higher than that of extracts from trees. An increased level of proline and malondialdehyde in the tissues of spring mistletoe is probably related to summary effect of environmental stresses in this season (temperature, insolation intensity and duration). Among polyamines, the highest concentration of spermidine in extracts from mistletoe and of spermine in extracts from trees may be a sign of specific metabolism pathway in investigated plants. Among extracts from trees tissues, fir was the richest in studied bioactive substances. The less amounts of all analyzed substances were found in tissues of pine.