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The ultimate aim of scientific investigation about plants is to make active ingredients which are very useful in production of some chemical compounds which on the other hand contribute immensely in enhancing the standard of some chemical industries in Nigeria and the world at large. Most of these chemical compounds are used largely in production of modern commercially proven drugs used in arresting ailments for health need of the people. These drugs were used initially in crude form and equally used for traditional healing practices or for other purposes that suggested potentially useful for biological activities. The primary benefits of using plants derived medicines are that they are relatively safer than synthetic alternatives. Offering profound therapeutic benefits and more affordable treatment. The prevalence of bioactive principles such as tannins, alkaloids, glycosisdes, terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids, etc underscores the need for continuous search for bioactive or active ingredients extracted from plants, though some of the active ingredients of crude rugs become obsolete because of the drug resistant problems. The consequence of drug resistant implies that new techniques will be adopted to meet up with the resistance of the drug by diseases. Most bioactive compounds of natural origin are secondary metabolites (that is species). Species chemical agents that can be grouped into various categories. A tropical protocol to isolate a pure chemical agent from natural origin is bio assay guided fractionation, meaning step by step separation of extracted components based on differences in their physiochemical properties and assessing their bioactivity followed by separation and assaying.
In most cases, biologically active compounds have not been determined, therefore it is important to use chromatographic techniques to isolate, then analyze active components not only for the quality control of crude drugs but also for the elucidation of their structures and therapeutic mechanisms. Most of the drugs employed for the treatment of human ailments are obtained by extraction either by infusion or decoction process using water, natural gin of palm wine as solvents. Correct selection of solvent is vital in the study of activities of plants constituents or active ingredients.
Presently, scientific and technological advancement have made possible in the investigation of a large number of medicinal plants employing a systematic screening method using chromatographic techniques and spectroscopic techniques to establish the actual effects. Among the many plants understudy in this research, Anchomanes difformis. Thus, the quest for plant metabolites which help cure the diseases of man and give him a healthy living prompted a research into this study. The present study will isolate, identify and characterize the active principle in Anchomanes difformis. Extraction and isolation of bioactive agents from plant is one of the intensive areas of natural product chemistry and field is not yet exhausted.
1.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
Nwatagbuo Odagide, Igbo akabi, okanangba
Anchomanes difformis is a genus of flowering plants in the family araceae. It is herbaceous plant with stout prickly stem (leaf petiole) to 2m high bearing a much divided leaf, spathe is 20-25cm long, both stem and spathe arising from a horizontal tuber to 80cm long by 20cm across. It shows lack of style and often pale colours. The herb is perennial, wetland or terrestrial and occasionally emergent or floating. The rhizomes are vertical or horizontal which is either creeping at or near surface and sometimes branched. It has a parallel or pinnate or palmate – netted venation, but usually Anchomanes difformis exhibits typical monocotyledonous parallel leaf venation the leaves are very large with notched base. The flowers are purple while the others are green.
1.3 HABIT AND DISTRIBUTION
Anchomanes difformis is a terrestrial plant occurring from Ghana to Nigeria and widespread in savanna zones of tropical Africa. It also occurs in forest of Sierra Leone to wet Cameroons.
1.4 LOCAL USES OF Anchomanes difformis
Food, Medicine and social uses
1.4.1 FOOD USES
Samples of stem, leaves, shoots and fruit from lowland African rain forest are analyzed for nutrients, digestibility and digestion inhibiting substances which is important in the diets of western gorillas, large generalist herbivores in coastal Cameroon
The plant extracts provides good protection to stored grains
1.4.2 MEDICINAL USES
The rhizomes are used to make rubefacients for external application and alternatives for internal medication in Ghana but care has to be exercised on account of the caustic nature of the sap. In Ivory Coast the plant is a powerful purgative and is used to treat oedema, difficult child birth, as a poison antidote and as a strong diuretic for treating urethral discharge, jaundice, kidney pains, liver veneral diseases. Sap from the stem is used as an eye medicine in Ghana and the liquid obtained after cooking the crushed leaves with other drug plants is drunk as a cough cure. The plant stem and leaves are used for re-conditioning of the health of elderly people. Presence of phenolic compounds in the plant had been said to be accounted for most of the antioxidant activity of the plant extract.
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