Phytochemical constituents of some medicinal plants used by the Nandis of South Nandi district, Kenya

Author(s): Pascaline J, Charles M, Lukhoba C, George O


Alkaloids, saponins, anthraquinones, glycosides, phenolics, terpenoids and flavonoids distribution in ten medicinal plants belonging to different families were assessed and compared. The medicinal plants investigated were Asparagus racemosus, Clutia abbysinica, Clerodendrum myricoides, Ehretia cymosia, Leucas calostachys, Toddalia asiatica, Rubia cordifolia, Spermacoce princeae,Carrisa edulis
and Ajuga remota. The leaves and roots of the plants were collected from their natural habitat
in Aldai division South Nandi district. All the plant samples were identified at University of Nairobi and confirmed in National Museums of Kenya. The Voucher specimens were deposited in the University Botanic Garden Maseno herbarium. The harvested roots were washed with water and the barks peeled off while still fresh and cut into small portions. The materials were then air –dried under a tree shade at room temperature for one week when possible, but in the sun whenthe humidity was too high. Phytochemical screening was carried out at Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research (CTMDR) KEMRI Nairobi according to Harborne, (1984 & 1973. All plants were found to contain alkaloids, terpernoids , saponins and flavonoids except for the absence of saponins in root extracts of
R. cordifolia and C.myricoides and flavonoids in leave extracts of L. calostachys and A. remota.
The significance of the plants in traditional medicine and the importance of the distribution of these constituents were discussed with respect to the role of these plants in ethnomedicine in South Nandi District.

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