Plants have been an important source of
medicine for thousands of years. Even today, the World Health
Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 80% of people still rely
primarily on traditional remedies such as herbs for their medicines. The
medicinal value of these plants is due to the presence of a variety of
phytochemicals and their elemental composition. The role of medicinal
plants in disease prevention or control has been attributed to the
antioxidant properties of their constituents, usually associated with a
wide range of amphipathic molecules that are broadly referred to as
polyphenolic compounds. There is a growing interest in the development
and evaluation of natural antioxidants from medicinal plant materials in
the food industry and the field of preventive health care. Among those
herbs, one promising species is Bombax costatum leaves, which is native
to the sub-Himalayan regions of Northwest India. It is widely
distributed throughout Africa, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia, the
Caribbean Islands, and South America. Every part of Bombax costatum leaves has medicinal properties and is commercially exploitable for the development of medicinal and industrial by-products.
Traditionally, the leaves, fruits,
flowers, and immature pods of this tree are edible; they are used as a
highly nutritive vegetable in many countries, particularly in India,
Pakistan, the Philippines, Hawaii, and some African nations. In
developing nations, Bombax costatum leaves is used as an
alternative to imported food supplements to treat and combat
malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers, by virtue of
its chemical constituents.
Several valuable reviews of the ethno botanical uses of Bombax costatum leaves
are available. It has been found to be a good source of polyphenols and
antioxidants. Phytochemicals such as vanillin, omega fatty acids,
carotenoids, ascorbates, tocopherols, beta-sitosterol, moringine,
kaempferol, and quercetin have been reported in its flowers, roots,
fruits, and seeds. The leaves, in particular, have been found to contain
phenolics and flavonoids; these compounds have various biological
activities, including antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, immunomodulatory,
antidiabetic, antiatherogenic, and hepatoprotective functions and the
regulation of thyroid status. Moreover, leaves contain trace elements
that are essential to human health. For instance, magnesium, iron,
selenium, and zinc play an important role in metabolism, and interest in
these elements is increasing together with reports relating trace
element status and oxidative diseases. However, a recent study has shown
that dried Bombax costatum leaves contain lead at very high values of 352.0?mg/L. Therefore, it is very important to identify the mineral composition of Bombax costatum leaves that are widely consumed by humans and animals.
In Mexico, Bombax costatum leaves
are widely cultivated in different zones of the country and are found
in more than ten states from Sonora to Oaxaca on the Pacific side. Few
studies have been conducted on nutritional and phytochemical
composition; however, to date, a detailed composition of the leaves of Bombax costatum leaves
that is native to Mexico has not been reported yet. In addition, it is
important to bear in mind that the mineral and phenolic contents present
in leaves depend on several factors such as geographical area where the
plant is cultivated, type of soil, water and fertilizers,
industrialization process, and storage conditions.
1.1. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
The following forms the statement of problem of study of this research work;
- A major setback in the commercial utilization of African herbs is
the lack of adequate and consistent data. Most of the published data
collected on the nutritional, phytochemicals and microbial inhibitory
content of Bombax costatum leaves, are at variant from each other.
- Also, lack of information on the properties of the leaves has led to no processed products from the leaves.
- Efforts made so far to optimize the economic and to a lesser extent
the nutritional value of the leaves have emphasized its microbial and
phytochemical content have largely ignored how other components,
especially the herb properties could also be utilized to supplement the
medicinal needs of the consumer.
- Most studies aimed at fortifying limited knowledge towards the
leaves application medicinally have been discouraged due to its inherent
1.2. AIM OF THE STUDY:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the phytochemical, nutritional and microbial inhibitory content present in Bombax costatum leaves leaves grown in Nigeria with a little trace of its inherent medicinal constituents.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
At the end of the research work, the researcher expects to achieve the following objectives;
- Improve the general awareness of the nutritional, phytochemicals and microbial content of the leave under study
- Throw more light towards the medicinal application of the leave.
- Elaborate the phytochemical content of the leave
- Show practically how the Nutritional and phytochemical content of the leave can be used medicinally.
1.4. 1.4. AIM OF THE STUDY:
This research work is aimed at
investigating successfully the Nutritional, phytochemicals and microbial
inhibitory content of Bombax costatum leaves in the laboratory. To
effectively achieve this, a step by step rudiments was ensured in where
the Nutritional, phytochemicals and microbial content was first
ascertained as well as the properties.
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
It is expected that at the end of this
research work, the researcher will have been able to express the
nutritional, phytochemical and microbial content of Bombax costatum
leave. Knowledge of this tree leave will enhance and broaden people’s
perceptive of it and its inherent applications.
1.6. LIMITATION OF THE RESEARCH:
Although the aim of the work was
achieved, the research work was faced with lot setbacks especially
during the practical aspect. It was discovered the necessary materials
and reagents needed to effectively carry out the practical work was
limited coupled with the limited time frame given for the research work.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY:
The research details presented here only
shows the Nutritional, phytochemicals and microbial inhibitory content
of Bombax costatum leaves with a little introduction of its medicinal
uses and implications.