The antimicrobial activity of alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, phenol and cardic glycoside present in the various parts of Chrysophyllum albidium plant were investigated. These phytochemical were determined quantitatively and tested against staphylococcus aureus, B. subtilis, pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli, C. tetani, and the fungus; candida albicans. Most the plant parts were found to contain alkaloids, tannins, phenols and flavonoids except for the absence of cardic glycosides in the root, tannins in leaves, and phenol in seed. The significance of the plant parts in traditional medicine and the importance of the distribution of these phytochemicals were discussed with respect to the role of these plant parts in ethno-medicine in Nigeria.
Keywords: Medicinal plants, ethno-medicine, photochemical constituents.
The Chrysophyllum albidium G.Don_Holl.( Sapotaceae) tree is common throughout the tropical Central, East and West Africa regions for its sweet edible fruits and various ethno-medical uses (Dalziel,1937,Amusa et al.,2003). Chrysophyllum albidum fruits(known as African star apple) are widely eaten in southern Nigeria. The fruit is seasonal (December-March), when ripe, ovoid to sub-globose, pointed at the apex, and up to 6 cm long and 5 cm in diameter. The skin or peel, is orange to golden yellow when ripe and the pulp within the peel may be orange, pinkish, or light yellow, within the pulp are three to five seeds which are not usually eaten. The seed-coats are hard, bony, shiny, and dark brown, and when broken reveal white-coloured cotyledons. The fruit has immense economic potential, especially following the report that jams that could compete with raspberry jams and jellies could be made from it (Okafor, 1975). The fleshy fruit pulp is suitable for jams and is eaten especially as snack by both young and old (Okafor, 1975, Amusa et.al., 2003) .The fruit has been found to have the highest content of ascorbic acid per 100g of edible fruit or about 100 times that of oranges and 10 times of that of guava or cashew (Pearson, 1976) It is reported as an excellent source of vitamins, irons, flavours to diets (Nwadinigwe, 1982; Adisa, 2000). In addition, its seeds are a source of oil, which is used for diverse purposes. The fruits also contain 90% anacadic acid, which is used industrially in protecting wood and as source of resin, while several other components of the tree including the roots and leaves are used for medicinal purposes (Adewusi, 1997). The Bark is used as a remedy for yellow fever and malaria, while the leaves are used as emollients and for the treatment of skin eruptions, diarrhea and stomach-ache, which are as a result of infections and inflammatory reactions (Adewusi, 1997).
It is rich sources of natural antioxidants have been established to promote health by acting against oxidative stress related disease such infections as; diabetics, cancer and coronary heart diseases (Burits & Bucar, 2002). Studies have shown a diminished risk of chronic diseases in populations consuming diets high in fruits and vegetables and it has been suggested that antioxidants found in large quantities in fruits and vegetables may be responsible for this protective effect (Halliwell, 1994). Generally, food antioxidants act as reducing agents, reversing oxidation by donating electrons and hydrogen ions. Much attention has been focused on natural antioxidants and some antioxidants isolated from natural sources with high activity have been reported by Parasakthy et al. (1996).
Materials and methods
Collection and identification of plants
The healthy plant parts of Chrysophyllum albidum were collected from uncultivated and cultivated farmlands, respectively located at Western parts of Nigeria. The two plant samples were identified and authenticated by comparison with corresponding herbarium specimens. The plant parts were thoroughly washed with water and air dried at room...