PHYTOCHEMICAL, VITAMINS AND MINERAL COMPOSITION OF MISTLETOE LEAVES ON SELECTED HOST PLANTS

PHYTOCHEMICAL, VITAMINS AND MINERAL COMPOSITION OF MISTLETOE LEAVES ON SELECTED HOST PLANTS


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PHYTOCHEMICAL, VITAMINS AND MINERAL COMPOSITION OF MISTLETOE LEAVES ON SELECTED HOST PLANTS

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CHAPTER ONE

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1     Background of the Study

 

          African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus) is a hemi-parasitic plant which belongs to the family Loranthaceae, commonly called mistletoe (Anslem, 2004). According to Judd et al., (2002), there are about 1400 species of Mistletoe around the world. Mistletoe belongs to Kingdom Plantae, subkingdom Tracheobionta, superdivision Spermatophyte, division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, subclass Rosidae, order Santales. There are six major genera found in Nigeria which are: Tapinanthus, Agelanthus, Loranthus, Globimetula, Phragmanthera and Englerina. (Omolaja and Gamaye, 1998). In Nigeria, mistletoe is called ‗afomo‘in Yoruba, ‗apari‘ in Igbo,it is ‗kauci‘ in Hausa and ‗ndoro eyong in Efik.  (Oluwole et al., 2013).

 

          The parasitic plant has its root sunk into the branches and trunks of other trees such as Cocoa, Pear, Citrus, Kola, etc instead of the soil; the seeds need sunlight to germinate unlike most other plants (Anselm, 2008). According to Job, (1969), the leaves produce chlorophyll even in the darkness unlike other plants that turn yellowish when there is no light hence, the name evergreen.

 

          The plant has been used for various medicinal purposes from ancient times, several studies show that  it possess a number of therapeutic applications in folk medicine in curing or managing of a wide range of diseases such as diabetes mellitus, chronic cramps, stroke, stomach problems, cancer, heart palpitation, to lower blood pressure, difficulties in breathing and hot flushing in menopause, arthritis, infertility and pneumonia (Inuwa et al. (2012, Osadebe and Ukwueze, 2004; Adodo, 2006). The Presence of various phyto- chemicals such as glycosides, alkaloids, viscotoxins, phenylpropannoids, tannins, lignnins and sugars has been reported in the mistletoe collected from different host plants (Jurin, 1993). Generally, phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds which have both stimulatory and inhibitory properties; they are bioactive and non – nutrient plant compounds with physiological action on human body (Okwu, 2001). Also, A few rural subsistent farmers use the leaves to feed their goats that have newly given birth to kids.

 

          Justification of the Study

          According to Ekhaise et al.,( 2010), The growth of mistletoes on different kinds of plants, is of disease curing specificity, for example, mistletoes grown on guava, kolanuts and citrus are said to be specific for curing diseases like cancer, hypertension, nervousness and insomnia, while those grown on cocoa are said to be best used for curing diabetes Although, without any literature supporting the claim, many herbalists in Akwa Ibom and Cross Rivers State Nigeria, have indicated that mistletoe plants parasitizing lemon trees are more effective for treating people suffering from typhoid, pneumonia and hypertension than any other mistletoe (though not being specific of the mistletoe species type) found on other trees species. This could be due to the differences in host tree species composition as indicated by Scheer et al. (1992), Obatomi et al. (1994), Wagner et al. (1996) as well as Osadebe and Ukwueze (2004) who reported that, the composition and activities of mistletoes are host tree and season dependent. Anselm (2008) reported that mistletoe from guava (Psidium guajava) is the best in treating cancer because it contains the highest concentration of lectins; a kind of proteins that science has discovered to destroy cancerous tumors and cells, he also showed that mistletoe from kolanut (Cola nitida) is the best for the treatment of hypertension, nervousness and insomnia, while those from cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is useful in the treatment of diabetes.

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African mistletoe (Loranthus micranthus) is a hemi-parasitic plant which belongs to the family Loranthaceae, commonly called mistletoe (Anslem, 2004). According to Judd et al., (2002), there are about 1400 species of Mistletoe around the world. Mistletoe belongs to Kingdom Plantae, subkingdom Tracheobionta, superdivision Spermatophyte, division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, subclass Rosidae, order Santales. There are six major genera found in Nigeria which are: Tapinanthus, Agelanthus, Loranthus, Globimetula, Phragmanthera and Englerina. (Omolaja and Gamaye, 1998). In Nigeria, mistletoe is called ‗afomo‘in Yoruba, ‗apari‘ in Igbo,it is ‗kauci‘ in Hausa and ‗ndoro eyong in Efik. (Oluwole et al., 2013). The parasitic plant has its root sunk into the branches and trunks of other trees such as Cocoa, Pear, Citrus, Kola, etc instead of the soil; the seeds need sunlight to germinate unlike most other plants (Anselm, 2008). According to Job, (1969), the leaves produce chlorophyll even in the darkness unlike other plants that turn yellowish when there is no light hence, the name evergreen... agricultural extension project topics

PHYTOCHEMICAL, VITAMINS AND MINERAL COMPOSITION OF MISTLETOE LEAVES ON SELECTED HOST PLANTS

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