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PHYTOCHEMICAL AND SOME PHARMACOLOGICAL STUDIES OF THE LEAF OF OCHNA RHIZOMATOSA (VAN TIEGH.) KEAY [OCHNACEAE].

 Format: ms word   Chapters: 1-6

 Pages: 1-175   Attributes: downloadable

 Amount: 3,000

 Sep 22, 2022 |  09:34 pm |  7


PHYTOCHEMICAL  AND SOME PHARMACOLOGICAL  STUDIES OF THE LEAF OF OCHNA RHIZOMATOSA (VAN TIEGH.) KEAY [OCHNACEAE].

1.1 General Introduction

The exploration of the plant kingdom for chemical compounds of medicinal value has been going on for many centuries (Dastur, 1964). Medicinal plants have been the source  of  useful  drugs.  Classical  examples  include  quinine,  morphine,  cocaine, reserpine, vinblastine and atropine to mention but a few; serve to remind us of the debt that modern medicine owes to plant. During the past century, the extra ordinary results of research have unquestionably led to success at an exponential rate that the practitioner  of  modern  medicine  now  enjoys.  


However  the  exclusive  use  of  this research oriented approach with little regard for knowledge acquired through the empirical  method  has  served  to  delay the  application  of  many potential  benefits (Dastur, 1964).Since time immemorial, humans have relied on plants for the provision of medication, food, clothing, shelter and transportation (Cragg and Newman, 2009). 


For thousands of years plants have been the foundation of traditional medicine systems where the knowledge on the plants has been passed on from generation to generation (Koehn and Carter, 2005). In African, Indian and Chinese communities, plants have formed the main ingredient of traditional medicines (Gurib-Fakim, 2006; Magassouba et al., 2007). 


Over 80% of the population residing in developing countries were estimated by WHO  in  2008  to  be  depending  directly on  plants  for  their  primary  medical requirements (WHO, 2008); this is attributed to the fact that plant-derived medicines can be easily accessed and are also cheap (Amin and Mousa, 2007;


Ramawat and Goyal, 2008; WHO, 2008). Even the people of the developed world are also dependent directly or indirectly on plants for their health care. In the United States, 25% of the prescriptions given from community pharmacies consisted of plant extracts  or  active  ingredients  of  plant  origin  (Cragg and  Newman,  2009).  Plant- derived  medicines  are  often  taken  in  the  form  of  tinctures,  teas,  poultices  and powders,  depending  on  the  knowledge  of  the  use  and  application  method  of  a particular plant for a given ailment (Balunas and Kinghorn, 2005; Fennell et al., 2004). 


World Health Organization has estimated that perhaps about 80% of more than 4 biillion people on earth rely chiefly on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs (Akerele, 1990). It can safely be presumed, that a major part of traditional therapy involve the use of plant extract or their active principles (Akerele, 1990). Such treatments include the administration of infusion boiled parts, as some of the natural drugs are not usually in the form of tablet or pills (Oliver, 1960). 


A great number of efficacious plant extracts appears to be available for the alleviation of many  symptoms  involving  the  gastro  intestinal  tract.  Certain  plants  are  equally important  from  the  commercial  point  of  view.  Plants  have  been  used  in  city as plasters, as an ointment base as well as emollient, as a coloring agent for food, as an antioxidant, as an essential oil and as flavoring agents (Chambers, 2006). Thus nature is still man kinds‟ greatest Chemist (Chambers, 2006).   


Plants produce compounds of varying diversity as a means of defence against bacteria, fungi, pests and predators, hence the plants are efficient natural chemical factories, producing compounds of various  structures  that  result  in  different  physiological  effects  in  the  body  once ingested (Edeoga et al., 2005). 


In 1985, Farnsworth et al. estimated that at least 119 substances isolated from plants were used as important drugs in one or more countries and that 74% of these compounds were discovered as a result of phytochemical studies  on  plants  used  for  medicinal  purposes  (Farnsworth  et  al.,  1985).


The development  of  some  synthetic  drugs  also  uses  plant-derived structures  as  leads (Ganesan, 2008; Vuorela et al., 2004). An analysis of the origin of new drugs that came onto the market during the period 1981-2006 indicated that only 37% of 974 new chemical entities were devoid of natural origin (i.e., purely synthetic) and that the remaining  drugs are either a natural  product  or have  a natural  origin  by having pharmacophores derived from a natural product (Newman and Cragg, 2007). 


The isolation and characterisation of natural products began over 200 years ago, when morphine  (I)  was  first  isolated  from  Papaver  somniferum  by  a  21-year-old pharmacist‟s trainee called Friedrich Serturner. 


This was the first plant-derived pure compound with biological activity to be isolated and it formulated a foundation for alkaloid chemistry which consequently resulted in the development of more effective analgesic agents (Ramoutsaki et al., 2002). After this discovery, an era began where purification and administration of plant-derived drugs were made possible.





 


 


 




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