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PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS ON MORINGA OLEIFERA AND AZADRICHTA INDICA LEAVES

PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS ON MORINGA OLEIFERA AND AZADRICHTA INDICA LEAVES

CHAPTER ONE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
From time immemorial, man depended on plants as medicine. From a historical perspective, it is evident that the fascination for plants is as old as mankind itself. The plant kingdom represent a rich store house of organic compounds, many of which have been used for medicinal purposes and could serve as lead for the development of novel agents having good efficacy in various pathological disorders in the coming years.Plants are the richest source of drugs for traditional medicine, modern medicines, nutraceuticals food supplements, folk medicine, pharmaceutical intermediates and chemical entities for synthetic drugs (Hammer et al., 1999). The use of plant product as medicines could be traced as far back as the beginning of human civilization. The earliest which is said to have been written between 4500-1600 B.C. and is supposed to be the oldest repository human knowledge. The active principle isolated, have provided leads in the development of several life saving drugs, which are in use today (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 2002). The isolated active compounds of the plants are secondary metabolites chemical compound that occur naturally in plant with no nutritional value to human life. These active compounds are generally called phytochemical. These phytochemicals play protective roles in plants, each chemical labeled phytochemical works in different ways, not all are the same for human, and not all come from the same plants. Some have shown more promise than others in fighting disease and illness in humans. There are some basic types of these active compounds that are found in different fruits and vegetables. We have some of them like antioxidants, they are present in onions and some other fruits and tea, they act as preventive measure for premature cell death and some forms of cancer and aging. Isoflavones or plant estrogen; they are found in soy and soy products; they are helpful in the year just before and after menopause. Capsaicin is found in hot pepper and it has been shown to significantly reduce prostate tumors in size, at least in mice. Taking capsaicin on a regular basis by eating spicy foods with hot peppers may prove an excellent preventative agent to prostate cancer and benign growth of prostate (Ahmedabad 382- 481). This experiment was carried out on moringaoleifera and Azadirachtaindica leaves. Moringaoleifera, or the horseradish tree, is a small or medium-sized about 10 m high perennial softwood tree with timber of low quality pantropical specie plant that is known by such regional name as benzolive, drumstick tree, kelor, marango, mlonge, mulangay, nebeday, saijhan and sajan. Over the past two decades, many reports have appeared in the mainstream scientific journals describing its nutritional and medicinal properties (Akerele, 1993).Moringaoleifera is the most widely cultivated species of a monogenetic family, the moringaceae that is native to the sub-Himalayan tracts of India, Pakistan Bangladesh and Afghanistan, it also now naturalizes in West Africa and Nigeria as a whole. Azadirachtaindicaon the other hand is a very useful traditional medicinal plant in the sub-continent and each part of the tree has some medicinal properties. The plant is native to Asia, but has now naturalized in West Africa and is widely cultivated in Nigeria as an ornamental as well as medicinal plant.

1.2 Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals which occur naturally in plants that have protective or disease preventive properties. They are nonessential nutrients, meaning that they are not required by the human body for sustaining life. It is well-known that plant produces these chemicals to protect them but recent research demonstrates that they can also protect humans against diseases. There are more than thousand known phytochemicals. Some of the well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavonesin soy and flavanoids in fruits.Alkaloids (examples are Caffeine, Theobromine,

 

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