Abstract
PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS OF THE AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF RAUWOLFIA VOMITORIA AFZEL

*Yorkum Leyira K. and Okenwa Chinemerem A.

ABSTRACT

Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel is a hermaphroditic shrub specie with oval or oblong shiny green leaves which grow in whorls of three. The common names include; Poison devil’s pepper, African serpent wood etc, traditional names for the plant includes Asofeyeje (Yoruba), Ira or Akanta (Igbo) and Wadda (Hausa). The shrub is distributed geographically across the globe. Various component of the plant has been reported to yield varying degrees of therapeutic results and adverse effects. The aim of this study was centered on the phytochemichal analysis of the aqueous leaf extract of Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel. The fresh leaves of Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel was obtained from a forest in Enugu State, Nigeria. The sun dried leaves were pulverized. The aqueous extract of Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel was obtained from the pulverized leaves by the ‘Rotary Extraction Method’ following standard operating protocols. Results of the phytochemical analysis of the plant carried out in the Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Port revealed; the most abundant phytochemical constituents to be alkaloids, flavonoids and saponin, the more abundant phytochemical constituents to be triterpenoid/steroids, carbohydrates and cardenolide while the least abundant phytochemical constituent was fixed oils. However, tannins and anthraquinone were absent. The study however revealed that the availability and presence of various phytochemical component is plant-component, specie and geographically dependent.

Keywords: Phytochemical analysis, aqueous leaf extract, Rauwolfia vomitoria Afzel.


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