Plantago lanceolata and Malva neglecta are two plants from eastern regions of Turkey used by the local population to cure multiple medical conditions, such as promoting maturation of abscesses, wound healing, abdominal pains and cancer. Both plants exhibited high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC assay) and total reducing capacity (ferric reducing antioxidant power, FRAP assay), comparable to or higher than herbs such as rosehip, cinnamon or oregano and multiple Chinese medicinal plants. Phenolic compounds were the major constituents of hydrophilic extracts and their levels correlated well with antioxidant activities. Leaf and flower/fruit, which are predominantly used as a medicine, contained the highest levels of phenolics, and comprised predominantly flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids. This may suggest that flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids play an essential role as physiologically active constituents of these traditional medicinal plants. Crown Copyright (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.