SCREENING OF THE LEAF AND STEM BARK OF MAGIC PLANT (JATROPHA CURCAS)

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ABSTRACT

In this study, the elemental composition of Jatropha Curcas leaves and its stem bark that was collected from mayor street in Bori, was evaluated using atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The result revealed the presence of Iron (Fe), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K) and Zinc (Zn). The result showed that Potassium had the highest concentration of 12,2896,mg/l, followed by sodium 1,289.12mg/l, Calcium 662.24 mg/l, Magnesium 520.17mg/l, Iron 30.28mg/l and Zinc with the least concentration of 13.32mg/l in the stem bark of Jatropha Curcas. The elemental composition of leaves of Jatropha Curcas showed that potassium had the highest concentration with 14,444.0mg/l, followed by sodium 1,074.51mg/l, Calcium, 664.14mg/l, Magnesium 537.37, Iron 75.89mg/l and Zinc 23.59mg/l. Comparing the individual elemental concentrations of zinc  had the highest concentration of 23.59mg/l in the leaf of Jatropha Curcas, and the least concentration of 13.32mg/l in the stem bark. Therefore the work recommended that these stem bark and leaf be consumed in limited quantities so as to avoid bioaccumulation of these metals in the body tissue, which in turn could lead to damage of vital organs like the brain, kidney, liver, heart etc. or even death. 

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Jatropha curcas (J. Curcas) or Nettlespurage is a non-edible multipurpose shrub (Jiang et al, 2012; Atamgba et al, 2015). It is a medicinal herb that is a member of the plant family euphorbiaceae, and an uncultivated no-food wild species with branched and erect parts growing up to 6m in height and predominantly found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world (Liu et al., 2002; Saetae and suntornsul, 2010; Atamgba et al., 2015).

Recently, there is an increasing use of J. curcas in the management of diabetes and other carbohydrate metabolic related syndromes other ethno medical use of the extract of J. carcus leaves include use as a remedy for cancer, as an abortifacient, antiseptic (Dalziel, 2005, Mishra et al., 2010; Nwamarah et al., 2015). Jatropha curcas leaves have been observed to be consumed by people with many ailments traditionally including diabetes mellitus in the north east of Nigeria without scientific explanation.

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Plant are a rich source of many natural products most of which have been extensively used for human welfare, and treatment of various diseases. Jatropha Curcas, a multipurpose , drought resistant, perennial plant belonging to Euphorbiaceae family is gaining a lot of economic importance because of its several potentials in  industrial application and medicinal values. Jatropha Curcas has been used as traditional medicine to cure various infections. Researchers had isolated and characterized numerous biologically active compounds from all parts of this plant. In addition, the mechanisms of action of these active compounds have been studied in relation to the applications in traditional medicine. Before  exploiting any plant for medicinal  application, it is crucial to have complete information about the medicinal uses of each part of the plant. The medicinal uses of the leaves, stem bark, of Jatropha Curcas are discussed in this review. If the full potential of the plant is to be revealed, much more research is required to develop herbal medicine using modern science and technology. A potential aspect based on markets for all of its  medicinal products should be conducted thoroughly, to promote the ability of this plant co cure so many illnesses.

According to World health Organization (WHO) more than 80% of the world’s population relies on traditional medicines for their primary health care requirements since time immemorial plants and their parts (bark, leaves, flowers, roots, fruits, seeds etc.) have been essential element of phytomediciens (Criagg and David, 2001; Shakoor et al., 2013).

Medicinal plants have been used as a source of medicine to treat illness since time immemorial for a long time, plants have provided a source of emerging modern medicines have provided a source of emerging modern medicines have made large contributions to human health. Their role is two fold in the development of new drugs (Iwu; 2003; Reddy et al., 2012). Active compound present in the medicinal plant provide the bountiful resource of active compound for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and  food industries and more recently in agriculture for pest control (Rice, 2005; Reddy et al.; 2012).

The chemical compounds present in herbal product are a part of the physiological functions of living organisms and hence they are believed to have better compatibility with the human body (Kharna et al.; 2006; Reddy et al; 2012). Medical plants like Jatropha Curcas have played major role in the treatment of various disease, including bacterial and fungal infections (Reddy et al., 2012).

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Soil pollution by heavy metal is a global problem with ramification to humans, animals, and environmental health. An increase in heavy metal pollution has long been associated with population growth, fuelled by industrial advancement. Plants have been reported to have high accumulation rate of these heavy metals in them, due to the pollution of their growing site by these heavy metals like Ca,Na,Fe,Zn,Mg,K etc.

1.3 AIM/OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1.3.1 AIM:

In this present study an attempt will be made to investigate the proportion of some selected elements present in the leaves and stem of Jatropha Curcas.

1.3.2 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Ascertain the presence of mineral elements in Jatropha Carcus (Magic plant).
  2. To evaluate the accumulation level of these mineral element in Jatropha Carcus also known as magic plant.
  3. To ascertain its medicinal, nutritional, economic role to man.
  4. To proffer relevant recommendation based on the findings of the study.

1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study focuses only on the elemental composition of the stem (bark) and leaf of Jatropha Curcas as a magic plant.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Jatropha Carcus is a medicinal plant that has been unknown to the public. Facts and information’s obtained from this study would serve as an eye – opener to the member of the populace on the mineral composition resident in Jatropha Carcus and its medicinal importance. Also this study would serve as a baseline information to upcoming researchers who would wish to undertake a study on Jatrohpa Curcas (magic plant).

1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study on the elemental composition of Jatropha Curcas is limited to the analysis of the elemental (mineral) composition of the leaves and stem (bark) of Jatropha Curcas known generally as magic plant.

 

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