Phytochemical Constituents And Antioxidant Activities Of The Chloroform Extract Of Ocimum Gratissimum Plant (Scent Leaf)

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Phytochemical Constituents And Antioxidant Activities Of The Chloroform Extract Of Ocimum Gratissimum Plant (Scent Leaf)


Abstract


Since ages, many plants have been used for preservative and medicinal purposes due to the presence of secondary metabolites referred as Phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are biologically active plant compounds having disease hampering capabilities and preservative action. The genus Ocimumcontains more than 200 species of herbs and shrubs which have been shown to have medicinal properties and also are used as a culinary herb, preservative and flavoring agents. In this study chloroform extracts from the leaves of Ocimumgratissimum was investigated for their phytochemical constituent (both quantitative and qualitative) and antioxidant activity. GCMS analysis was carried out to ascertain the specific amount and specific active component present in the leaf sample.

The extract was screened for the presence of phenols, alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, and Saponins. The test results were positive for all the phytochemicals, saponin and phytosterols which were absent qualitatively. The antioxidant activity was measured by the ferric reducing power assay, estimation of total flavonoids, saponins, tannins and phenols. The GC-MS analysis of the leaf sample suggested the presence ofthymol, alpha-carophyllene, phenol etc. The present investigation suggests that the phytochemical contents and antioxidant properties can be further studied for its application in health and in food industries. In addition, this plant can be used as a source of novel drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Plants show enormous versatility in synthesizing complex materials which have no immediate obvious growth or metabolic functions. These complex materials are referred to as secondary metabolites. Plants secondary metabolites have recently been referred to as phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring and biologically active plant compounds that have potential diseaseinhibiting capabilities. It is believed that phytochemicals may be effective in combating or preventing disease due to their antioxidant effect (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1992; Farombi et al., 1998).

Antioxidants protect other molecules (in vivo) from oxidation when they are exposed to free radicals and reactive oxygen species which have been implicated in the aetiology of many diseases and in food deterioration and spoilage (Halliwell and Gutteridge, 1992; Kasaikina, 1997; Farombi, 2000; Koleva et al., 2000). Medicinal plants have been used for centuries before the advent of orthodox medicine. Leaves, flowers, stems, roots, seeds, fruit, and bark can all be constituents of herbal medicines. The medicinal values of these plants lie in their component phytochemicals, which produce dedefinite physiological actions on the human body. The most important of these phytochemicals are alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids and phenolic compounds (Hill, 1952). Ocimumgratissimum Linn (Labiatae) is grown for the essential oils in its leaves and stems. Eugenol, thymol, citral, geraniol and linalool have been extracted from the oil (Sulistiarini, 1999). Essential oils from the plant have been reported to possess an interesting spectrum of antifungal properties (Dubey et al., 2000).

The antinociceptive property of the essential oil of the plant has been reported (Rabelo et al., 2003). The whole plant and the essential oil are used in traditional medicine especially in Africa and India. The essential oil is also an important insect repellant. O. gratissimum is germicidal (Nakamura et al., 1999; Pessoa et al., 2003; Holets et al., 2003) and has found wide use in toothpastes and mouth washes as well as some topical ointments. It is used as an excellent gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis. It is also used as an expectorant and a cough suppressant. The plant extract is used against gastrointestinal helminths of animals and man (Fakae, 2000; Chitwood, 2003). In addition, O. gratissimum carminative properties make it a good choice for upset stomach. It is used as an emetic and for hemorrhoids. The plant is also used for the treatment of rheumatism, paralysis, epilepsy, high fever, diarrhea, sunstroke, influenza, gonorrhea and mental illness (Dhawan et al., 1977; Oliver, 1980; Abdulrahman, 1992; Osifo 1992; Sofowora, 1993; Sulistiarini, 1999). In addition, the plant is used as a spice and condiment in the southern part of Nigeria.

Medicinal plants based drugs owe the advantage of being simple, effective and exhibit broad spectrum activity. The revival of interest in the use and importance of African medical plants by WHO and many developing countries has led to intensified efforts on the documentation of ethnomedical data of medicinal efforts. This is because most traditional healers keep no records and their information is passed on mainly verbally from generation to generation. Researchers are increasingly turning their attention to natural products looking for new leads to develop better drugs against cancer, as well as viral and microbial infections. The phytochemical evaluation of Ocimumgratissimum shows that it is rich in alkaloid, tannins, phytates, flavonoids and Oligosaccharides (Ijeh, et al., 2004). In the coastal area of Nigeria, the plant Ocimumgratissimum is used in the treatment of epilepsy, high fever and diarrhea (Sofowora, 1993; Ladipo et al., 2010). The plant Ocimumgratissimum is one of those plants widely known and used for both medicinal and nutritional purposes. It is a perennial plant that is widely distributed in the tropics of Africa and Asia. It belongs to the Family Labiatae and it is the most abundant of the genus Ocimum. The common names of the plant are Basil Fever plant or Tea bush and vernacular names include Daidoyatagida (Hausa), Nichonwu (Igbo), Tanmotswangiwawagi (Nupe) and Efinrin (Yoruba) (Abdullahi et al., 2003; Idris et al., 2011).
The present work is to phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of the choloroprom extract of ocimumgratissium plant (scent leaf).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Ocimumgratissimum is a herbaceous plant which belongs to the Labiatae family. The plant is indigenous to tropical areas especially India and it is also in West Africa. In Nigeria, it is found in the Savannah and coastal areas. It is cultivated in Ceylon, South Sea Islands, and also within Nepal, Bengal, Chittagong and Deccan. Nadkarni K.M. (1999). It is known by various names in different parts of the world. In India it is known by its several vernacular names, the most commonly used ones being Vriddhutulsi (Sanskrit), Ram tulsi (Hindi), Nimmatulasi (Kannada).
Ocimumgratissimum popularly referred to as scent leaf because of its aroma is commonly used as spices for food or soup preparation in Nigeria (Akinjogunla et al., 2009). It is a medicinal plant which has been used traditionally for the treatment of various infections (Abdullahi, 2012). The plant is cultivated in abundant in different part of Nigeria and it contains some bioactive substances such as tannis, saponins, alkaloids, glycosides, phenols and flavonoids, also referred to as phytochemicals. These phytochemicals when consumed served as medicine for protection and treatment of human or animal disease (Abdullahi, 2012). Treatment of diseases has always been associated with the administration of drugs gotten from plants, animals and mineral sources. The use of plants or herbs extract in the treatment of human ailments is a very ancient art. Investigation of African medicinal plants for antimicrobial activities ranks highest among biological test carried in many plants and their extracts. Herbal medicines tend to look primitive and unscientific when compared to synthetic (conventional) drugs, which are thought to be more reliable than those made from plants. Herbal medicine is still the mainstay of about 75- 80% of the world population, mainly in developing countries for primary health care.

Scent leaf has been used traditionally for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, dysentery, diarrhoea and candidiasis caused by various gastrointestinal inhabiting microorganisms. Direct oral administration of raw scent leaf juice has been used for long in many tribes in order to treat gastrointestinal disorders, dysentery, diarrhoea and candidiasis of varying degrees. Traditional medicine is more accessible to most population in the world than orthodox medicine. In fact, it is reported that 60-80% of the population of every country of the developing countries has to rely on traditional or indigenous forms of medicine


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of the choloroform extract of ocimumgratissium plant (scent leaf).

The specific objectives include;

  1. To evaluate how often is the use of choloroform extract of ocimumgratissium plant
  2. To determine the antimicrobial effect of scent leaf (O.gratissimum) and to identify the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. How often is the use of choloroform extract of ocimumgratissium plant?
  2. What is the antimicrobial effect of scent leaf (O. gratissimum) and toidentify the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract.?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

H0: There is no statistical relationship on the effect of scent leaf (O. gratissimum) and the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract.

Hi: There is a statistical relationship on the effect of scent leaf (O. gratissimum) and the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is on the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of the chloroform extract of ocimumgratissium plant (scent leaf).

Ocimumgratissimum, also known as clove basil, African basil, and in Hawaii as wild basil,[2] is a species of Ocimum. It is native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Asia, and the Bismarck Archipelago, and naturalized in Polynesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, West Indies, Brazil, and Bolivia.

In the southern part of Nigeria, the plant is called Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pharmacognosy, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Science, Manipal-576104, Karnataka, India; E-mail: annieshirwaikar@yahoo.com “effinrin-nla” by the Yoruba speaking tribe. It is called “Ahuji” by the Igbos, while in the Northern part of Nigeria, the Hausas call it “Daidoya”. Effraim K.D, Jacks T.W, Sodipo O.A. (2003).

Therefore, some leafs will be compared to find out their importance to life.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Phytochemical:

Phytochemicals are defined as bioactive nutrient plant chemicals in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods that may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases

Antioxidant:

A substance that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of aging

Chloroform:

Is an organic compound part of the trihalomethane. It is colorless and has a pleasant, nonirritating odor with a slightly sweet taste. Chloroform evaporates easily into the air and dissolves easily in water.

Ocium Gratissium:

Is an aromatic herb that been introduced extensively across tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It has escaped cultivation and can be found growing as a weed in disturbed sites, waste areas, pastures andalong roadsides, but also invading disturbed natural vegetation, savannas, coastal thickets and riparian areas. In this species, seeds are small and numerous and easily dispersed by gravity, animals, human activities and as a contaminant in soil and garden debris.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

The purpose of this study was to investigate the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of the chloroform of ocimumgratissium plant (Scent Leaf). The hypotheses were meant to know if there is a statistical relationship on the effect of scent leaf (O. gratissimum) and the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract.

Findings from the study revealed the null hypotheses and the alternative hypotheses, that majority of the respondents were of the opinion that

  1. There is a statistical relationship on the effect of scent leaf (O. gratissimum) and the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract, thereby the null hypothesis Ho is rejected.

5.2 Conclusion

The antioxidant activity of O. gratissimum was verified by an array of in vitro antioxidant assays which exhibited a strong free radical scavenging activity. OGE showed protective effects against H2O2/AAPH induced macromolecules such as DNA, protein and lipid damage. Further OGE also exhibited anxiolytic effects as analyzed by behavioral study of mice.

This review has covered the morphology and microscopy, natural products, pharmacology and clinical studies of the plant O. gratissimum. O. gratissimum is a plant with much potential and is useful in many diseases. Hence this article will be useful to those researchers interested in validating the hidden truth which has not been scientifically validated Presently there is an increasing interest worldwide in herbal medicines accompanied by increased laboratory investigation into the pharmacological properties of the bioactive ingredients and their ability to treat various disease. Numerous drugs have entered the international market through exploration of ethnopharmacology and traditional medicine. Although scientific studies have been done on a large number of Indian botanicals, a considerably smaller number of marketable drugs or phytochemical entities have entered the evidence-based therapeutics.

The analyses of collected data assess on investigate the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant activities of the chloroform of ocimumgratissium plant (Scent Leaf), the objectives of the study were to;

  1. To evaluate how often is the use of choloroform extract of ocimumgratissium plant
  2. To determine the antimicrobial effect of scent leaf (O.gratissimum) and to identify the common phytochemicals constituents of scent leaf that may be inhibitory to gastrointestinal pathogens as well as the in vivo toxicity level of the extract

5.3 Recommendation

However, there is a need for more studies in animal models for further confirmation, which is already in progress in our laboratory.


5.4. Limitation of the Study

The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all businesses or organizations but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted.

Financial constraint:

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint:

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.


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