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Pharmacognostic study and physiochemical assessment on the leaves of Melastomastrum capitatum Fern. anticancer plant in Nigeria

Cletus Anes Ukwubile, Emmanuel Oise Ikpefan, Troy Silvia Malgwi, Blessing Ogochukwu Umeokoli.


Background: This paper provides vital information about the pharmacognostic and physiochemical parameters of Melastomastrum capitatum leaf. The leaf has been used to treat ovarian cancer by the Fulani people in Nguroje Taraba State Nigeria. Objective: To evaluate the pharmacognostic and physiochemical parameters of M. capitatum leaf. Methods: Pharmacognostic parameters such as leaf surface data, cell inclusions and macroscopic data as well phytochemical screening of leaf extract were determined using standard procedures. Results: Phytochemical screening of n-hexane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and aqueous fractions of leaf methanol extract of leaf showed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, gums and mucilage, phytosterols, carbohydrates, proteins, phytosterols and saponins with no anthracene detected. The n-hexane fraction showed only tannins and fixed oils while n-butanol and aqueous also showed the presence of most metabolites indicated in ethyl acetate fraction. Paracytic type of stomata was observed on the upper surface of leaf with a covering trichome. Prismatic calcium oxalate crystals were observed as well on the leaves. Moisture contents and extractive values ranged from 0.41 to 11.04. Conclusion: Information derived from this study will help in formulating pharmacopeia standards of drug and in taxonomic identification of the plant.

Key words: Extractive values; Melastomastrum capitatum; Pharmacognostic; Physiochemical parameters; Phytochemical.

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