• Background of the Study

Immense benefits have been derived by man from using medicinal herbs in disease management because they are relatively safer, more affordable and sometimes offer better therapeutic value than synthetic drugs (UNESCO, 1998). The increase discovery of more medicinal plants demanded for increase scientific scrutiny of their bioactivity so as to provide data that will help physician and patients more wise decision before using them.

Phytochemicals exhibit a wide range of biological effect as a consequence of their antioxidant properties. Several types of polyhenols (phenolic acid, hydrolysable, tannins and flavonoids). Show anti –carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic effect (Okwu, 2005). Antioxidant such as dietary flavonoids intake has been shown to promote health and prevent disease in humans (Temple, 2000). High intake of flavonoid – rich foods are associated with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk. Flavonoids are a large family of compounds synthesized by plants. Scientist over the years have become increasingly interested in the potential for various dietary flavonoids to explain some of the health benefits associated with fruit and vegetables rich diets. These potential health benefits are being used to promote the consumption of flavonoids rich foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

Jatropha tanjorensis is a native of Central America and has become naturalized in many tropical subtropical countries including India, Africa and North America (Prabalearan and Sujatha, 1999).

Its primary use is for fencing while it’s secondary uses are as a source of edible leafy vegetable and as medicine (O’Htara et al, 1998). The leaf is used as heart tonic and remedy for hypertension in some part of Nigeria (Iwalewa), however, there is no sufficient scientific validation of these claims. Toxicity and histopathological studies of leaf extract on rats revealed no significant abnormalities in the tissues except for a mild effect on the lungs and liver (Omobuwajo, 2011).

Therefore this present study seeks to determine the phytochemical constituents of Jatropha tanjorensis plant leave extract to assertion the said medicinal claims.

1.2     Aim and Objectives of the Study

This study is to determine the phytochemical Contents of Jatropha tanjorensis leaf. Under the following objectives:

  1. To Identify and collect Jatropha tanjorensis plant leaves
  2. To examine the bioactive components present in the leaves
  • To compare the observe result with WHO, EUEPA, SON standards and with other medicinal plant leaves
  1. To draw a conclusion based on the obtained result and proffer possible utilization of the plant leaves.


1.3     Scope of Limitations

The scope and limitation of this research work is limited to the determination of phytochemical contents of Jatropha tanjorensis leaves. This is due to time and financial constraint.