PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF LORANTHUS MICRANTHUS LINN. PARASITIC ON SIX DIFFERENT HOST PLANTS, A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON PLANT SCIENCE
Qualitative and quantitative screenings of the leaves of Eastern Nigerian mistletoe, Loranthus micranthus L., parasitic on six different plant species namely, Kola accuminata, Albizia adiantifolia, Anona cherimola, Citrus sinensis, Citrus auriantifolia and Pentaclethra macrophylla were carried out in the laboratories of Pharmacognosy and Biochemistry Departments of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka respectively. The results showed the presence of eleven phytochemicals namely: reducing sugars, terpenoids, resins, carbohydrates, saponins, proteins, alkaloids, steroids, glycosides, tannins and flavonoids and absence of oils and acidic compounds. The results also showed variations in concentrations of the phytochemicals in the leaves of L. micranthus from the various trees investigated. It is recommended that further studies be done to isolate, characterize, and identify the phytochemicals responsible for curing diseases, so as to facilitate biotechnological exploitation of the species in the production of potent orthodox drugs.
1.0 CHAPTER ONE
In the developing countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Ghana and Cameron over 80% of the population, especially in the rural areas rely on traditional/ herbal medication for their health care delivery (Singh, 2004). Sofowora (2008) pointed out that dependence on herbal drugs for treating different ailments in rural areas was caused by the absence of orthodox medical doctors, low cost of the services rendered by the herbalists, and above all, the herbalists quickly attend to their patients, unlike in the hospitals where protocols bore down the patients before they (Patients) are given attention. Sofowora (1982) reported that every ailment has a cure in plants. The author further reported that in traditional medicinal practice, different parts of the plants are used either singly or in combination with other plant parts (The same plant or some other plant species) (Singh, 2006).
The appraisal of the roles of herbal drugs in health care delivery resulted in several declarations which led to the acceptance and encouragement of the development and use of herbal/ medicinal plants of known ethno-botanic origin by the World Health Organization (Paridhavi and Agrawal, 2007).