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amino acid -Vernomia amygdalina, Pterocarypus santalinoides, Azadirachta

Vernomia amygdalina, Pterocarypus santalinoides and Azadirachta Indica

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Amino acid- Medicinal plant, since times immemorial have been used in virtually all cultures as a source of medicine Idu and Onyibe (2007). Almost all trees and many plants have a place in medicinal folklore. The widespread use of herbal remedies and healthcare preparations, has been traced to occurrence of natural products with medicinal properties. Traditional medicinal practices are an important part of the primary healthcare delivery system in most of the developing world (Akerele 1998, Bodeker, 1994: Sheldon et al., 1997). The use of traditional medicine and medicinal plants in most developing countries, as a normative basis for the maintenance of good health; has been widely observed (UNESCO 1996). Furthermore an increasing reliance on the use

Healing with medicinal plants is as old as mankind itself (Petrovska, 2012). Connection between man and his search for drugs in nature dates from the far past of which there is ample evidence from various source (Emanuel et al., 2014).

Plants that possess therapeutic properties or exert beneficial pharmacological effects on the human body are generally designated as medicinal plants (Ghani, 2002). Indigenous people of different ethnic group inhabiting the hilly terrains use medicinal plants for treating various ailments affecting humans and domestic animals (Blatter et al., 1993). From time immemorial, they have developed a close ethno- botanical relation with the surrounding flora.

A lot of medicinal plants such as Gralic ginseng, Ginger, Ginkgo Isaphol, St  John’s work, saw palmetto and mucuna pruriens have gained popularity for the treatment or prevention of a lot of disorder (Tapsell et al., 2006).  Nowadays over 70% German physicias prescribe herb and St John wort is commonly used than any chemical medicine to treat mild to moderate depression (Ekorm, 2013). Phytotherapy is considered relatively safe as it contains multiple chemicals with a specific composition acting as effect enhancing and/or side effects neutralizing, though there is limited scientific evidence for the assumption (Collins, (2000).

There is increasing evidence that in several chronic disorders an increase in production of free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a critical role (Gimmel, 2008). High reactivity of free radicals causes changes in host of cellular components, leading to lipid peroxidation Crevotto et al., 2010).

Medicinal plants are a source for a wide variety of natural antioxidants and are used for the treatment of diseases throughout the world.(Soejarto,2011). Some of these properties are antimicrobial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-atherosclerosis, immunodulatory and even reno-protectionor hepatoprotective effects (WHO, 2003)

Recently, due to beneficial effects of antioxidants, particularly natural antioxidants, in the treatment and prevention of diseases, there has seen a considerable interest in finding natural antioxidant from plant sources (Ekor, 2013). The studies on medicinal plants show that most of them possess significant antioxidant activity. Various disease conditions like; diabetes, hyperlipidemia, autoimmune encephahomyelitis, inflammatory bowel disease, heptotoxicity, renal toxicity, radiation injuring and cataract for assessing antioxidative effects of medicinal plants have seen invest gated and most of them are treatable with specific medicinal plant (Atanasor et al., 2015).Medicinal plants with antioxidant activities have also been shown to be useful for the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases by reducing lipids peroxidation (Newman et al., 2012). Specific compounds, other than antioxidants, which are effective in the treatment or prevention of diseases were found in medicinal plants (Zhang et al., 2012).

In this regard, medicinal planthave also been a reliable source for preparation of new drugs (Sasalis-Lagoudakis et al., 2012). Nowadays, researchers more than before are dependent on medicinal plant for discovery of new drugs with fewer side effects. Due to the importance of oxidative stress in the pathophysiology of most of the hard curable diseases, the use of medicinal plant with antioxidant properties is important and should be considered more than before (Newman et al., 2012). Drug therapy and even drug discovery should also focus more than before on this source.

Most leaves found in southeast part of Nigeria serve as Vernoniaamygdalina is a shrub or small tree of 2-5m with petiolate leaf of about 6mm diameter and elliptic shape (Ijeh et al., 2011). The leaves are green with a characteristic odour and a bitter taste. No seeds are praoduced and the tree has therefore to be distributed through cutting. The plant grows in tropical Africa and produces large mass of forage and is drought tolerant (Hutchioson and Dalziel, 1963; cited by Bonsi et al., 1995).

The leaves are used for human consumption and are washed before eating to get rid of the bitter taste. They are used as vegetable and stimulate digestive system as well as reduce fever. They are also used as local medicine against leech, which are transmitting bihaziose. In Nigeria brewing, Vernoniaamygdalina is use instead of hops to make beer (Obori G. 2006). They are used in homes and villages as fence post and pot-herb Vernoniaamygdalina have astringenttaste, which affects its intake (Bousi et al., 1995). The bitter taste is due to anti-nutritional factors such as alkaloids, saponins, tannins and glycosides (Oweye et al., 2010). These compounds are the medicinal constituents of the Vernomiaamygdalina.

The leaves are widely used as a remedy for fever in Nigeria (Agbogidi 2013). The juice is widely use in the treatmentof nausea, diabetes, loss of appetite induced ambrosia, dysentery and other gastrointestinal tract problem (Agbogidi 2013) . The young leaves are used as an antihetmintic, antimalarial, laxative/purgative, enema, worm expeller and fertility inducer in subfertile women (Okoli et al. 2007). It is widely used in management of HIV/AID(Hodgson et al., 2002).

Pterocarpus santilinoides is type medicinal plant found alongriverine forest in Africa are southern America (Galant, 1972) it belong to the family of fabaceae and they occur throughout the tropics (Ogan, 2004). Nigeria species are frees with bright yellow flowers, usually have alternate leaflets. The fruit has usual irregular shape (Adetunji, 2007).

In Nigeria pterocarpus santalinoides are used as food or medicinal. The tender leaves are used as vegetables in soup making. The plant can be used in treatment of rheumatism, diarrhea, dysentery cough, asthenia, diabetes, malaria, elephantiasis, cold and others (Okwu and Ekeke 2003; Shulz et al., 2001). The tender stem bark and leaves extract of pterocarpus santalinoides usually called “Uturukpa” in Igbo language is used to stop stooling and vomiting in both children and adults. The nitrogen fixation ability of the plant roots has been reported (Tian et al., 1992). The leaves of pterocarpus santalinoides are used in treating skin diseases such as eczema, candidiasis and acnes. Concoctions made from its root were use in treating asthmatic patients (Adesina, 1982). Antimalaria activity has been reported as well as use of stem bark decoction in treating infertility  in females (Alexis et al., 2000). It has been proven anti-enteropooling activity in traditional medicine which made it possible in use of treatment of diarrhea that is major cause of death (Nworu et al., 2009). The bark extracts is used in treatment of cough and diabetes.

Amino acid- Azadirachta indica ( Neem)  is an attractive broad-leaved, evergreen free which can grow up to 30m tall and 2.5cm in with it trunk usually straight is 30-cm in diameter. It spread branches form a rounded crown of deep-green leaves and honey- scented flowers as much as 20m across. Azadirachta indica the legendary medicinal tree of india, has grown with the human settlementall over the country and has been an integral part of Indian way of life for centuries. Azadirachta indica fruit is smooth, olive like drupe which varies in shape from elongate oval to nearly roundish. The flowers are arranged in more or less drooping axillary panicles which are up to 25cm long.

The composite, pinnate leaves are 20-40cm long, with 20 to 31medium to dark green leaflets about 3-8 cm long (Mordue, 2000). It fruits and seeds are the source of neem oil. Famous and celebrated for promoting healthy, skin and a clear complexion. Its detoxifying effects on the body make it a great immune booster especially for the cleansing of ama from the body. Azadirachta indica reduces conanted heat and toxins in the Gastrointestinal tract (Biu etal.,  2010). Azadirachta indica support clear breathing and a healthy respiratory system. Azadirachta indica kapha reducing properties encourage proper fat and water digestion and elimination, keeping water retention from accumulating in the body.

For those with excess pitta and heat trapped in the scalp and hair follicles, neem is terrific for cooling the scalp and supporting the growth of lustrous, smooth hair.

Because herb/drug interactions have not been researched extensively, exercise caution when combining neem with prescription drugs.

The amino acids are the basic building block of the body (Clark, 2015). Amino acid carryout many bodily functions such as giving cells their structure, transport and storage of nutrients.

Amino acids play central roles both as building block of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism (Stryer, L et al., 2002).Analysis of amino acids plays a significant role in the study of the composition of proteins, foodstuffs and other materials of biological origin (Tymoczk, 2012). In amino acids are important constituents of food. They supply the required building blocks for protein biosynthesis. In addition, amino acid directly contribute the flavor of food and are precursors for aroma compounds and colours formed during thermal or enzymatic reactions in production, processing and storage (Nelson, 2000). Plant synthesize amino acids from the primary elements, the carbon and oxygen obtained from air, hydrogen from water in the soil, forming carbon hydrate by means of photosynthesis and combing it with the nitrogen which the plants obtained from the soil, reaching to synthesis of amino acids by collateral metabolic pathways (Hausman et al., 2004).Only L-amino acids are part of these proteins and have metabolic activity (Smotry, et al., 2004). The amino acids produced in plant systems act as osmolyte, regulate ion transport, modulate stomata opening, activate phytohormones and growth substance, generate chelating effect in micronutrients and play a vital role in detoxification of heavy metals (Rai, 2002). They are also responsible for the synthesis and functional properties of specific enzymes, gene expression and redox-homestasis (Rai, 2002). Most importantly, in higher plants the amino acids serve as precursors for secondary metabolism (Zhao et al., 1998).Thus amino acid strengthens cell walls

1.2       Aim and Objectives

The aim of this study was to evaluate the amino acid composition of Vernomia amygdalina, Pterocarypus santalinoides and Azadirachta Indica. The objective of the study were to:

  1. Determine amino acid profile of Veronica amygdalina, Pterocarpus santalinodes and Azadirachta indica.
  2. Compare amino acid profile of Vernonia amygdalina Pterocarpus santalinodes and Azachirachta indica
  3. Determine the phytocompounds in the leave methanol extract of vernonia amygdalina, pterocarpus santalinoide and Azadiratcha indica.

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