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Total Alkaloids, Total Tannins Content and Antiulcer Assay of Four Selected Medicinal Plants


Total Alkaloids, Total Tannins Content, and Antiulcer Assay of Four Selected Medicinal Plants.


The total alkaloid, tannins contents and antiulcer activity of the extracts from four selected medicinal plants were investigated. The total alkaloids content (TAC) was evaluated according to the chloride colometric method in which atropine was used as standard. While the total tannins content (TTC) was also determined using Folin Ciocalteau assay in which gallic acid was used as a standard.

The antiulcer activity of the extracts was investigated using the ethanol induced model in wistar albino rats. Parameters such as gastric volume, pH and ulcer index were used as indicators for the antiulcerogenic activity of the extracts. The animals were orally treated with distilled water (Normal control group), ranitidine 5 mg/kg (standard control group), 0.5 mg/kg of ethanol (Negative control group) and 100,200 and 400 mg/kg of the extracts, 1 h before oral administration of absolute ethanol to induce gastric mucosal injury.

The result showed that E. deightonii extract has the richest source of alkaloids and tannins (0.850 ± 0.001 mg AE/g and 0.133 ± 0.001 mg GAE/g respectively, while A. hispidum and P. staudtii has the least TAC and TTC (0.800 ± 0.001 mg AE/g) and (0.124 ± 0.001 mg GAE/g) respectively.

The extract was considered safe with the LD50 greater than 5000 mg/kg for E. deightonii, 2154, 3808 and 2154 mg/kg for A. hispidum, P. staudtii and P. lunatus respectively.

The extracts at dose levels of 100, 200 and 400 exhibited significant decrease *(P˂ 0.05) in the gastric volume, while the pH of the gastric juice was significant increase *(P˂ 0.05) in the ethanol-induced model. The extracts showed minimum inhibition of gastric acid ranging from 16- 90%.

The results showed that the methanol extracts of the selected plants possessed antiulcer as well as cytoprotective ability which could be attributed to the presence of the secondary metabolites.


Title page i
Approval page ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgment v
Table of Contents vi
List of Tables x
List of Figure xi
List of Abbreviations xii
Abstract xiii
1.1 Background of Study 2
1.2 Statement of the Problem 5
1.3 Objectives of the Study 5
1.4 Justification of the study 6
2.1 Acanthospermum hispidum DC 7
2.2 Pachypodanthium staudtii Engl & Diels 7
2.3 Phaseolus lunatus 8
2.4 Euphorbia deightonii Croizot 8
2.5 Taxonomical classification of the Plants 9
2.6 Photochemistry 11
2.6.1 Alkaloids 12 Classifications of Alkaloids 13 Properties of Alkaloids 17 Identification of Alkaloids 18 Plant Alkaloids 20
2.6.2 Tannins 26 Classifications of Tannins 27 Properties of Tannins 28 Identification of Tannins 28 Plant Tannins 29 Pharmaceutical uses of Tannins 30
2.7 Ulcer 30
2.7.1 Peptic ulcer 31
2.7.3 Therapy for peptic ulcer 32
3.1 General 40
3.2 Plant collection and Identification 41
3.3 Preparation of plant materials and extracts 41
3.4 Preparation of reagents 42
3.4.1 Folin Ciocalteau reagent 42
3.4.2 2 N of Sodium Hydroxide solution 42
3.4.3 Bromo cresol green solution 42
3.4.4 2 M of Sodium phosphate solution 42
3.4.5 0.2 M of Citric acid solution 43
3.4.6 Phosphate Buffer solution 43
3.4.7 0.9% of Normal saline 43
3.5 Qualitative phytochemical analysis of the extracts 43
3.5.1 Test for alkaloids 43
3.5.2 Test for tannins 44
3.6 Quantitative phytochemical analysis of the extracts 44
3.6.1 Determination of alkaloid contents 44
3.6.2 Determination of tannin contents 44
3.7 Acute toxicity of the extracts 45
3.8 Antiulcer assay 46
3.8.1 Macroscopical evaluation of stomach 46
3.8.2 Gastric volume and pH measurement 47
3.9 Statistical Analysis 47
4.0 RESULTS 48
4.1 Qualitative phytochemical analysis of the extracts 48
4.1.1 Atropine and Gallic acid standards for the calibration curve 49
4.1.2 Total alkaloid and Total tannin content 51
4.2 Acute toxicity (LD50) tests on the plant extract 54
4.3 Antiulcer activity of the plant extracts 60
4.4 Histology of the stomach of the experimental animals 63
4.5 Discussion 69
5.1 Recommendation 71


Plants are gifts from God and have been utilized by human beings for basic preventive and curative healthcare since time immemorial1. In recent years, following the demonstration of the presence of active principles against many diseases and infections in a variety of plants extracts, there have been a great surge of public interest in the use of herbs and plants.

This phenomenon has been viewed by some scientists as modern Herbal- renaissance2. Though, pharmaceutical industries are moving towards synthetics and biotechnology research in search of novel medicine in the 21st century, consumers are expressing a greater awareness of the risk of using synthetic products3. Therefore, attention is now focused on the various medicinal plants, their potentials, safety and their levels of toxicities if any 4.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a medicinal plant is any plant which, in one or more of its organs contain substances that can be used for therapeutic purposes or which are precursors for the syntheses of useful drugs5. Furthermore, medicinal plants can be seen as herbal preparations produced by subjecting plant materials to extraction, fractionation, purification, concentration or other physical or biological processes and which may be produced for immediate consumption or as a basis for the herbal products6.

About 80% of the world‟s population uses medicinal plants in the treatment of diseases and in African countries, the rate is even much higher7. In Nigeria, due to the high rate of poverty amongst the populace, various synthetic drugs which have been produced for the treatment of ulcer are beyond the reach of the average citizen. Hence there is a heavy dependence on plants and herbal products for the treatment of diseases especially ulcer.

It is in this light that critical attention should be given to some indigenous medicinal plants such as Ancanthospermum hispidum DC, Pachypodanthium staudtii Engl & Diels, Phaseolus lunatus and Euphorbia deightonii Croizot in our locality with the hope of providing a fairly lasting solution to the health care problems.


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