Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activities on Dialuim Guineense (Velvet Tamarind)

Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activities on Dialuim Guineense (Velvet Tamarind)


Extraction of the constituents of dialuim guineense was done by batch method using ethanol. The removed mark was screened and indicated the presence of alkaloid, saponin, flavniod and terpenes. The screening for phenol or phenolic compound was negative. The layer chromatrography carried out on this marl in benzene- ethanol- aluminium hydroxide (9:9:1) gave Rf values of 0.35 and 0.28; in butanol-glacial acetic acid (5:1:4) 0.73 and 0.73 and also in ethylacetate-methanol-water (4:5:4). The antibacterial susceptibility tests on gram positive and gram negative bacteria showed great sensitivity on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa but no potency against Streptococcus faecalis and Klbsiella pneumonia with values ranging from 12-19mm.The ultraviolet-visible (uv/vis) spectrum showed absorption in the ultraviolent region while the infrared spectrum showed bands and stretches at 3790.28mm for OH, bands and stretches at.2917.92mm for =C-H, and stretches at 2153.64 for CC and other characteristic finger prints.



1.1       Background of the Study

The use of plants in the maintenance of good health is well reported (Osuagwu and Eme,2013). It has also been reported that the bases of many modern pharmaceuticals used today for the treatment of various ailments are plants and plant based product (Osuagwu  , 2013) plants have been generally utilised for the treatment of diseases worldwide. About 80% of the world populations depend on plants based medicine for their health (WHO 2010). WHO 1996 also observed that the majority of the population in the developing countries still rely on herbal medicine to meet their health need.

The use of plant and plant based product to meet up with societal health need stem from the fact that indiscriminate use of commercial antimicrobial drugs commonly utilised in the treatment of infectious disease has led to the development of multiple drug resistance Osuagwu  et a,l 2013) and high cost, aldultration and increasing toxic side effects of these synthetic drugs (SHARIFF, 2001)

Many of these indigenous plants contain bioactive compounds that exhibit physiological activities against bacterial and other microorganisms and are also used as precursors for the synthesis of useful drugs. Thus the usefulness of these plant products in medicine is due to the presence of bioactive substances such as alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, steroids, resins and other secondary metabolites which they contain and are capable of producing definite physiological action in the body (Okigbo, Amagasi and Amadi, 2009).

There are wide varieties of trees and plants whose seed, roots and leaves are widely used by all humans throughout the world because of their nutritional or medicinal values (Osuagwu  2013). Using CO2, water and other elements from the soil, plants are able to produce gliucose, starch, fatty acids termed the primary metabolites which serve as precursors to secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, steroids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, saponins etc. Which one of different medicinal value (Osuagwu  2013).

It has been proved that natural products which serves as the main source of drug. Providing about half of some pharmaceutical ingredients which are used today.

    Dialium guineense which are commonly called velvet tamarind or black velvet belongs to the family of leguminosac caesapinioleteae. It is a very strong wood and a tree of nearly 20m high, low in compact density, leafy crown, the leaves are hairy in nature and the flowers are usually white while the fruits are circular and can be chewed by some women in order to improve lactation. The bark of this plant is also used for medicine for naso-phaaryngal infection, stomach troubles while the leaves can be used for eye and heart treatment, pulmonary trouble, debility etc. It can also be used for treatment of infection such severe cough, wound, malaria fever (Okhale, Amanabo, Omachomu, Jegede, Ibikunle, Egharauba, Henry Omoregie, Muazzan, Ibrahim, Kunle, Ohuyemisi, 2010). Medicinal plant can be used for centuries as remedies for human diseases and give a new source of biologically active chemical compound as antimicrobial agent. Medicinal plants are the richest bio –resources of drugs of traditional medicinal system, modern medicines, and pharmaceuticals, intermediate and chemical entitled for synthetic. It has been estimated that (14-28 of higher plant species are used medicinally and that 74% of pharmacologically active plant derived component were discovered after the following up on ethno-medicinal use of plants. Also some plant parts have been used as antimicrobial agents, especially as their extract as decoctions, infusion, or oral administration. Importantly, plants have been known to exhibit medicinal properties on the internal organs of animals. If the toxic effect after administration is low, there is a possible chance of introduction of such drugs for therapeutic purpose (osuagwu , 2013).



2.1       Scientific Classification

Kingdom         plantae

Unranked        angiosperm]

Unranked        rosids

Order               fabales

Family            fabaceae

Subfamily       caesalpinioideae

Genus              Dialum

Species            Guineense

Dialium guineense, velvet tamarinda is a tropical, fruit-bearing tree. It belongs to the leguminosac family and has small typically grape-sized edible fruits with brown brown hard inedible shells.

2.2       Distribution (Ecology)

Dialium guineense grows in dense forests in Africa along the southern edge of the sahel. In Togo it is called Atchethewh The velvet tamarinda can be found in west African countries such as Ghana where it is known as yoyi, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau where because of its texture is called ‘’veludo’’, velvet in Portuguese  and Nigeria where it is known as  Awin in Yoruba, Ichekwu in Igbo and Tsamiyar Kurin in Hausa

2.2.1    Uses

The bark and leaves have medicinal properties and are used against several diseases

2.2.2    Production

Food: the pulp is red with a sweet-some astringent flavour similar to baobab, but sweeter. It is peeled and eaten raw, it can be a little constipating. The thirst quenching, refreshing fruit pulp can be soaked in water and drunk as beverage.

2.2.3    Fruit

Each fruit typically has one hard, flat, round brown seed, typically 7-8 millimetres across and 3 millimetres thick. The seed somewhat resembles a water melon seed (citrillus lanatus). Some have two seeds. The seeds are shiny and coated with a thin layer of starch.

The pulp is edible and may be eaten raw or soaked in water and consumed as a beverage. The bitter leaves are ingredients in a Ghanian dish called domodo.

 2.2.4    Timber

Sapwood is white with distinct ripple marks; the heartwood is red-brown. Because of the high moisture content of the wood, axes and saws quickly get blunt. The Wood is hard, durable, light, heavy, light brown with a fine texture. It is used for vehicle, housing, flooring and for construction. The wood is also used for firewood or charcoal production.

2.3       Biophysical Limit

Mean and annual rainfall- <2100-2600mm Soil type- naturally found on moist, sometimes brackish soils.

Local name

  1. English (tumbla tree, black velvet, velvet tamarind)
  2. Igbo (Icheku)
  3. Yoruba (Awin)
  4. Ezza (Iketanku)

2.4       Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals literally means ‘’plant chemicals’’ scientists have identified different phytochemicals found in vegetables. Phytochemicals refer to the compounds found in plants that are beneficial in protecting human from diseases. Chemical test for the screening and identification of bioactive chemical constituents like alkaloids, saponin flavouiniod terperiod and phenol in the medicinal plants under study were carried out in extract by using standard procedure in ((Osuagwu  2013).

2.4.1    Phytochemical Screening

Phytochemical screening refers to the extraction, screening and identification of the medicinally active substances found in plants.


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