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PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON THE LEAF OF Senna singueana (Delile) Lock(FABACEAE)

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 Sep 22, 2022 |  03:53 pm |  6


PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL STUDIES ON THE LEAF OF Senna singueana (Delile) Lock(FABACEAE)

1.1 Traditional Medicines

Countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America use traditional medicine to meet some of their primary health care needs. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2003) defined Traditional Medicine as the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and  experiences  indigenous  to  different  cultures,  whether  explicable  or  not,  used  in  the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. 


Many rural communities in the aforementioned countries have great faith in traditional medicine, particularly in the explicable aspects as they believed that it is the wisdom  of  their  fore  –  fathers  which  also  recognized  the  social,  cultural  and  religious background which orthodox medicines seems to neglect.  Traditional medicine is the oldest, most tried and tested form of medicine and it is as old as man himself (WHO, 2003). Plants have formed the bases of traditional medicine system.

 

1.2 Medicinal Plants

 

The World health organization (2008) defines medicinal plants as plants that contain properties or compounds that can be used for therapeutic purposes or those that synthesize metabolites to produce useful drugs. The medicinal qualities of plant is its ability to produce a host of bioactive molecules ( secondary metabolites) which can be used to perform important biological functions and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivores. 


Table 1.1 shows some common medicinal plants and their uses especially in microbial related ailments. The  therapeutic  activity  of  herbs  is  because  of  various  constituents  present  in  them therapeutic efficacy of medicinal plants also depends on the quality and quantity of chemical constituents which may vary depending on various factors, among which is the geographical localities which shows quantitative variation in their chemical constituents (Joshi et al., 2004).

It is important to stress the relevance of medicinal plants to the majority of Nigerian population and the world at large especially those living in rural areas that mostly have limited access to orthodox medicine. In such communities, the rising cost of imported medications and other raw materials for medicines remain a challenge.

Table 1.1 Some Common Plants with Antimicrobial and Therapeutic Properties

 


 

Specie Common name Traditional uses Family

 

Eugenia

caryophyllata

Clove


antiseptic and analgesic effects, anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory effect, expectorant and antiemetic Myrtaceae Cinnamomum cassia Cinnamon, cassia chinese As antimicrobial, dysmenorrhea, diarrhea and other GI disorders.

 

Lauraceae Myristica fragrans Nutmeg Used in higher doses for their aphrodisiac and psychoactive properties.

Myristicaceae.

 

Origanum vulgare Wintersweet, Mediterranean oregano As antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidiabetic, and antioxidant Lamiaceae Allium cepa Abrus precatorius Onion Indian licorice used as an antimicrobial, cardiovascular-supportive, anticancer/antioxidant Has been used as an antimicrobial, treatment of fever, cough and cold, aphrodisiac. Liliacea Fabacea (Joy et al. 1998)

 


 

 

1.3 Pharmacognosy

  

As practised today, pharmacognosy includes the extensive study of natural products from plants, bacteria, fungi and marine organisms, botanical dietary supplements as well as herbal remedies (Cardellina, 2002). It is estimated that 90% of the crude drugs are originated from plant sources while the remaining are from other two sources (Joy et al. 1998).


Pharmacognosy has a natural link with other scientific fields such as Pharmacology, Analytical Chemistry, Microbiology, Plant Tissue Culture, Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering etc. andencapsulates all of these fields into a distinct interdisciplinary science (Balunas and Kinghorn, 2005). 


Pharmacognosy has also a very vital link with pharmaceutics and various traditional systems of medicines which help the pharmacognosists to dispense, formulate and manufacture drugs of natural origin in the best accepted allopathic  form.  


The knowledge of chemotaxonomy,  extraction,  purification,  plant tissue culture etc helps in the complete understanding of pharmacognosy along with coming up of better technologies for collection and preparation of crude drugs (Jarald and Jarald, 2007).


Pharmacognosy,  nowadays,  focuses  on  finding  novel  and  unique  molecules  and  revealing unknown  targets  by  studying  such  molecules  in  nature.  It  is  now  well  understood  that pharmacognosy is one of several scientific disciplines that have strategic position in connecting biology with chemistry and even medicine. 


New and improved strategies regarding the selection of organism, bioassays techniques, isolation procedures, and structure elucidation are constantly developed  based  on  the  advancements  in  pharmacognosy  (Claeson  and  Bohlin,  1997). Pharmacognosy  provides  basis  for  the  study  of  secondary  metabolites  



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