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Basella alba Linn is a succulent mucilage plant in Basellaceae family. Its mucilage is the water soluble polysaccharide. The aqueous extracts from stem of Basella alba Linn were investigated for the general physical properties and pharmacological activities. Lyophilized mucilage extract was hygroscopic and could swell in water with a swelling capacity of 4.33 + 0.29 mL/g dry weight. Its aqueous solution was viscous with pH 5.3-5.4 and film forming upon drying. The TLC analysis of hydrolyzed polysaccharide which was purified by using anion exchange chromatography yielded D-galactose as the major component. Basella alba extract presented antioxidant activity by DPPH scavenging assay (IC50 = 514.41 μg/mL) but not antityrosinase. The mucilage extract 2 mg/mL exhibited relatively mild toxicity to Chang liver cell with 84.4% cell viability. Preliminary gel formulations from Basella mucilage for further development as cosmetic and topical medicine showed good physical properties and stability.
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