Cornsilk of Zea mays is used in Ibibio traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments including diabetes mellitus, malaria and gastrointestinal disorders. Ethanol cornsilk extract of Zea mays (170-510 mg/kg) was evaluated for antiulcerogenic activity against indomethacin, ethanol and histamine-induced ulcers in rats. The cornsilk extract was found to possess significant (p<0.05) activity against indomethacin-induced ulcer. The effects of the extract against ethanol and histamine was not significant (p>0.05) and non-dose-dependent. These results suggest that the cornsilk extract of Zea mays possess antiulcerogenic potential which are due to the activities of the phytochemical constituents.
- Background of the Study
The intimate relationship between the human and plant world has evolved over generations of experiences and practices. The tribal people and ethnic races throughout the world have developed their own culture, customs, cults, folk-fores, food, medical practices. (Kumar, 2019).In the name of development, as people moved away from Mother Nature, they became more prone to diseases. Most of the present day diseases are lifestyle diseases, however, there is again a revival of drugs being obtained from vegetable sources than at any time in history. (Kumar, 2019).A medicinal plant is any plant which in one or more of its parts contain substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes or which are precursors for the synthesis of useful drugs (Okigboet al., 2009). They are those plants are commonly used in treating and preventing specific ailments and diseases (Oluwole, 2016). Medicinalplants are now in a “comeback” phase with the last two decades seeing people shifting their focus back to the forgotten traditional natural green remedies. (Kumar, 2019).
- Significance of Medicinal Plants to Man
Medicinal plants have provided mankind a large variety of potent drugs to alleviate or eradicate infections and diseases in spite of advancement in synthetic drugs, some of the plant derived drugs still retained their importance (Oluwole, 2016).
Medicinal plants contain a wide variety of secondary metabolites or compounds such as tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids; that dictates the therapeutic potency of the plants most especially the antimicrobial activities (Oluwole, 2016). The tannins present in medical plants makes it useful in production of antiseptic soap which are commonly used in bathing or cleansing of skin surfaces. Saponins have been traditionally used in detergents, pesticides and molluscides in addition to their industrial applications such as foaming and surface active agents. (Oluwole, 2016).
Many countries in the world, that is, two-third of the world’s population depends on herbal medicine forprimary health care. The reasons for this is because of their better cultural acceptability, better compatibility and adaptability with the human body and occurrence of lesser side effects (Oluwole, 2016).
The plant: Zea mays Chemical Composition of Zeamays
Proteins: Tryptophan, threonine, Isoleucine, leucine, Lysine, Methlonine, Valine, Histidine, Serine, Aspartic acid, Glycine, Proline, Alanine.
Vitamins: Vitamin B, (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Ribofllavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin C
Starch: Amylopectin (72-77%), Amylose (21-28%). Distribution of starch in grain components reveals that 98% is deposited in the endosperm, embryo 1.3% and 0.7% in the pericarp.
Oil Composition: Oleic acid 46%, Linoleic acid 41.5%, Palmitic acid 7.8%, and Stearic acid 3.5%.
Corn Steep Liquor: Widely used in research as a culture medium to grow many kinds of microorganisms.
Minerals: Iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, Potassium.