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A Comparative Nutritional Assessments of Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum

Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Okezie Emmanuel , Celestine Nwabu Ekweogu, Emmanuel Ugochukwu Akara, Eziuche Amadike Ugbogu
American Journal of Biomedical Research. 2019, 7(2), 27-31. DOI: 10.12691/ajbr-7-2-1
Received September 16, 2019; Revised October 18, 2019; Accepted November 05, 2019

Abstract

Background: Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum are widely utilized medicinal plants employed in ethnomedicine for the treatment of myriads of health abnormalities including anaemia, constipation, inflammation and ulcers. The present study compared the nutritional compositions of these two medicinal plants. Methods: The leaf of these plants were destalked and air-dried differently for 8 days. The dried samples were milled into fine powder using an auto-milling machine. The homogenized samples were subjected to quantitative analysis and atomic absorption spectrophotometry for phytochemical and mineral determinations respectively, while proximate analysis was determined by the methods described by Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). Results: There were significant (p<0.05) increase in the percentage compositions of alkaloid, saponin and phytate in Solanum aethiopicum when compared to Ocimum gratissimum. On the other hand; tannin, flavonoid and phenols significantly increased (p<0.05) in Ocimum gratissimum more than Solanum aethiopicum. All the quantified proximate and mineral compositions (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, P, Fe2+, Zn2+) were significantly higher (p<0.05) in O. gratissimum compared to S. aethiopicum. Again, S. aethiopicum revealed higher moisture content (84.33 %) than O. gratissimum (8.99 %). Conclusion: The results revealed higher nutritional composition in Ocimum gratissimum than Solanum aethiopicum. Therefore, increase consumption of these nutritional and medicinal compliant plants will help in diet formulation and alleviate the scourges associated with malnutrition in the population.

1. Introduction

In recent years, the desire to adopt a healthy dietary lifestyle has rekindled the interest of scientists all over the world into investigation of nutritional potentials of vegetables. Again, the importance of vegetables as valuable sources of nutrients has been reported 1, 2, while some of them have medicinal properties 3. Vegetables contribute significantly to food security offering nutritional supports to pregnant women, lactating mothers, children under the age of 5 and as remedy against health abnormalities especially in developing countries 4, 5.

Ocimum gratissimum L (Labiataeg) is popularly known as scent leaf belonging to the family Lamiaceae. It is predominantly found in Asia, South America and Africa 6, 7. In Nigeria, O. gratissimum is commonly used as a spice in the preparation of soup, stew and its aqueous or ethanolic leaf extract is often employed in folklore medicine in treatment of some diseases 7. For example, the leaf extract of O. gratissimum is used in ethnomedicine in the treatment and management of bacterial infections, fever, diarrhea, respiratory-tract infections, pneumonia, coughs and diabetes 7. The chemical characterization of O. gratissimum revealed the presence of the following bioactives; α–pinene, β-pinene, 1,8-cineole, Terpineole, Eugenol, (E)-β-Caryoplyllene, Muurolere, Sehirene and β -selinerel 8, 9. Essential oils including eugenol, 1, 8-cineole and linalool, thymol, citral, linalool, ethyl cynnamate and geraniol have been reported present in O. gratissimum 9. Interestingly, these oils from O. gratissimum have been reported to possess bactericidal effects against Escherichia coli, Staphyloccocus aureus, Bacillus subtilis 10 and fungicidal properties against Aspergillus repens, Curvularia lunata, Fusarium moniliforme, Aspergillus niger, Mucor mucedo, Fusarium solani, Botryodiplodia theobromae and Rhizopus solani 10, 11. Researchers have reported various biological activities of O. gratissimum including wound healing potential 12, antioxidant 10, anti-inflammatory 13, antihelmintic 14 and hepatoprotective properties 15.

Solanum aethiopicum L. is a seasonal plant which belongs to the family Solanaceae. It is popularly known as garden egg or scarlet eggplant. Solanum aethiopicum is evenly distributed in Asia, Africa (Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia), Brazil, and Southern Europe 16, 17. In a similar role as O. gratissimum, the leaves of S. aethiopicum are used to prepare yam porridge, soup and stew. Morphologically, the leaves are alternately arranged, oval shaped and wavy margined having about 10 to 30 cm long and a range value of 4 to 15 cm wide. Komlaga et al. 18 reported high contents of crude fibre, calcium, iron, zinc, protein, fat, vitamins and phytochemicals on the leaves of Solanum aethiopicum. In ethnomedicine, myriads of ailments such as anaemia, constipation, overweight, inflammation, swollen joints and ulcers have been treated using S. aethiopicum 17, 19. Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum are considered as nutritional plants, but there is no published work that compared their nutritional compositions. Therefore the aim of this study was to evaluate the phytochemical, proximate and mineral compositions of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Collection and Authentication of Ocimum gratissimum

Fresh leaves of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum were purchased from Eke Okigwe, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria. The leaves were authenticated by a plant taxonomist at University of Nigeria Nsukka as Ocimum gratissimum with herbarium number UNH No 360 and Solanum aethiopicum with herbarium number UNH No 331.

2.2. Sample Preparation

The identified leaves were destalked and air-dried differently for eight (8) days. After this time, the dried samples were differently homogenized using an auto-milling machine.

2.3. Phytochemical Determination

The tested phytochemical parameters: Alkaloids, saponins, flavonoid, phenols, oxalate and phytate were quantified using the methods described by Harborne 20, while tannin was spectrophotometrically quantified by Folin-Denis methods described by Shabbir et al. 21

2.4. Proximate Determination

The proximate compositions; crude protein, crude fibre, crude lipid, ash, moisture and carbohydrate contents were determined according to the methods of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists 22.

2.5. Mineral Determination

Mineral constituents including calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), potassium (K+), iron (Fe2+), and zinc (Zn2+) were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, while sodium (Na+) and phosphorus (P) were determined using a flame photometer 22.

2.6. Statistical Analysis

Data presented are triplicate values ± SD. The mean and standard deviations were calculated using Excel package 2010. The values were subjected to Students’ T-test using GraphPad prism statistical software at probability level of 0.05.

3. Results

The comparative phytochemical composition of leaf extract of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum is shown in Table 1. There were significant (p<0.05) increase in the percentage composition of alkaloid, saponin and phytate present in Solanum aethiopicum compared to Ocimum gratissimum. On the other hand; tannin, flavonoid and phenols were significantly more (p<0.05) in Ocimum gratissimum than Solanum aethiopicum.

Table 2 shows the results obtained from the percentage proximate compositions of the dried leaf extract of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum. From the result, all the proximate parameters were significantly higher (p<0.05) in O. gratissimum than in S. aethiopicum. The result also revealed higher moisture content (84.33 %) in S. aethiopicum.

Table 3 shows the results obtained from the percentage proximate compositions of the dried leaf extract of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum. From the result, all the tested mineral constituents (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, P, Fe2+, Zn2+) were significantly higher (p<0.05) in O. gratissimum than in S. aethiopicum.

4. Discussion

Various parts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum are employed in ethnomedicine in the management of different diseases including diabetes, pile, rheumatism and hypertension 23, 24. In addition, the leaves are recommended for people with anaemia and low iron especially during pregnancy and post-delivery. Therefore, this study evaluated the phytochemicals, proximate and mineral compositions of leaf extracts of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum.

Phytochemicals or plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) are chemicals associated with plants, which are not produced for the growth and development of plants. They are often synthesized for defence and protection. PSMs offer medicinal advantages to the cell due to their active ingredients 25. The phytochemical compositions of O. gratissimum revealed a decreasing trend in tannin > saponin > phenol > oxalate > alkaloid > phytate. Comparatively, significant (p<0.05) increase were observed in the percentage compositions of alkaloid, saponin and phytate in Solanum aethiopicum compared to Ocimum gratissimum, while tannin, flavonoid and phenols were significantly greater (p<0.05) in Ocimum gratissimum than Solanum aethiopicum. Alkaloids are groups of plant secondary metabolites that have nitrogen as their elemental constituent. Traditionally, alkaloids act as anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and antibiotics agents 26, 27. No wonder several researchers have reported its bactericidal and analgesic potentials 28, 29. Saponins are glycosylated triterpenoids eliciting antifungal activities. This is owed to their detergent-like properties by distorting cell membranes of the fungal pathogens 30. Again, they play significant role in the synthesis of steroid hormones 31. Tannins have stringent characteristics with strong affinity for proline (imino acid) capable of interfering with protein synthesis 32. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties. Thus, it prevents oxidative stress that may arise from reactive oxygen species (ROS) 29, 33. Phenols and flavonoids are free radical scavengers. Their presence in plant may lend credence on the use of such plant in the management of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis 34. The appreciable number of phytochemicals present in these plants suggested that O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum have antioxidants, anti-cancer and antiallergic activities 33, fungi-static and fungicidal properties 30.

The results of proximate analysis revealed significant increase (p<0.05) in percentage proximate composition of O. gratissimum compared to S. aethiopicum. However, S. aethiopicum had higher moisture content (84.33 %) than O. gratissimum (8.99) (Table 2).. Proximate analysis is carried out to quantify the protein, crude fibre, lipid, ash, moistures and carbohydrate contents of a food sample 35. Moisture content is used in evaluating the shelf life of food. Moisture availability is one of the factors that contribute to microbial growth 36. The recorded higher moisture content in S. aethiopicum suggested a lower shelf-life than O. gratissimum. Carbohydrate in food offers nutritional support by providing energy, endurance, poor mental function and stamina 37. The body system needs Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to drive cellular activity. This study suggested that ingestion of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum could act as source of ATP to the cell due to the presence of carbohydrate found in the plant samples. Proteins are macromolecules having several amino acid compositions. They help in repairing and replacing of worn out tissues 29. Crude fibres are polysaccharides usually non-hydrolysable capable of increasing faecal bulk. When ingested, help in increasing gastro-motility and promoting a healthy digestive system 38. Again, it also helps in alleviating the risk associated with colon cancer 29. Ash content in food has a direct relationship with mineral constituents 39. This implies the higher the ash content, the more nutritional the plant would be. The present result showed that O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum are nutritionally sound and could solve the problems associated with constipation due to its high crude fibre.

The results of mineral compositions of the tested leaf samples revealed higher mineral compositions including Ca2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+, P, Fe2+, Zn2+ in O. gratissimum than S. aethiopicum. Calcium cation (Ca2+) helps in the maintenance of strong bones and teeth. It is significantly involved in muscular activity 40. Magnesium cation (Mg2+) is a divalent inorganic ion found in the cell which has been implicated in cardiac rhythmical activity. It helps in the dilation of arteries and hence, decreases blood pressure 41, 42. Sodium ion (Na+) as well as potassium ion (K+) is responsible for co-transport and also play role in communication between neurons. Sodium ions (Na+) help molecules cross through the membrane (co-transport). It also plays a role in the absorption of glucose in the small intestine 43. Iron (II) ion (Fe2+) plays role in carrying oxygen. It is a key for oxygen transport in haemoglobin, which is mainly found in red blood cell. Traditionally, O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum have been used in the treatment of anaemia. This may be owed to the significant presence of iron (II) ion present in these plant samples. Oboh et al. 16 have reported the haemolytic activity of Solanum macrocarpon. Zinc ion (Zn2+) is a crucial micronutrient involves in human growth and immune cellular response. It also acts as cofactor 29. Zinc deficiency manifests in a number of ways including thin brittle nails, low sense of taste and smell, alopecia, increased susceptibility to disease and infection, slow healing and recurring colds 29, 42. These results suggested that O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum are enriched with mineral and could meet up with the required daily allowance of some of the investigated minerals when consumed adequately.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, the study revealed that there is a significant increase (p< 0.05) in all the tested proximate and mineral compositions recorded in O. gratissimum when compared to S. aethiopicum. These suggested a higher nutritional composition in O. gratissimum than S. aethiopicum.

The study also showed that the leaf extracts of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum could be used in fortification and supplementation of other food samples. Therefore, increase consumption of these leaves will help alleviate the scourges associated with malnutrition in the population.

The result also justifies the use of O. gratissimum and S. aethiopicum in ethnomedicine as an anti-anaemic tonic in the treatment and management of anaemia condition due to its appreciable iron (II) ion (Fe2+) values.

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Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2019 Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Okezie Emmanuel, Celestine Nwabu Ekweogu, Emmanuel Ugochukwu Akara and Eziuche Amadike Ugbogu

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Normal Style
Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Okezie Emmanuel, Celestine Nwabu Ekweogu, Emmanuel Ugochukwu Akara, Eziuche Amadike Ugbogu. A Comparative Nutritional Assessments of Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum. American Journal of Biomedical Research. Vol. 7, No. 2, 2019, pp 27-31. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajbr/7/2/1
MLA Style
Ikpeazu, Victor Okezie, et al. "A Comparative Nutritional Assessments of Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum." American Journal of Biomedical Research 7.2 (2019): 27-31.
APA Style
Ikpeazu, V. O. , Emmanuel, O. , Ekweogu, C. N. , Akara, E. U. , & Ugbogu, E. A. (2019). A Comparative Nutritional Assessments of Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum. American Journal of Biomedical Research, 7(2), 27-31.
Chicago Style
Ikpeazu, Victor Okezie, Okezie Emmanuel, Celestine Nwabu Ekweogu, Emmanuel Ugochukwu Akara, and Eziuche Amadike Ugbogu. "A Comparative Nutritional Assessments of Leaf Extracts of Ocimum gratissimum and Solanum aethiopicum." American Journal of Biomedical Research 7, no. 2 (2019): 27-31.
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[1]  Nesamvuni C, Steyn NP, Potgieter MJ. Nutritional value of wild, leafy plants consumed by the Vhavenda. S Afr J Sci. 2001; 97: 51-54.
In article      
 
[2]  Gemede HF, Haki GD, Beyene F, Woldegiorgis AZ, Rakshit SK. Proximate, mineral, and antinutrient compositions of indigenous Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) pod accessions: implications for mineral bioavailability. Food Sci Nutr. 2016; 4(2): 223-233.
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[3]  Hilou A, Nacoulma OG, Guiguemde TR. In vivo antimalarial activities of extract from Amaranthus spinosus L., and Boerhaavia erecta L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006; 103:236-24.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[4]  Yiridoe EK, Anchirinah VM. Garden production systems and food security in Ghana: characteristics of traditional knowledge and management systems. Renew Agric Food Syst. 2005; 20:168-180.
In article      View Article
 
[5]  Tchientche KR, Kouamé C, Atangana A R, Chagomoka T, Ndango R. Nutritional evaluation of five African indigenous vegetables. J Horticult Res 2013; 21:99-106.
In article      View Article
 
[6]  DeBaggio T, Tucker AO. The Encyclopedia of Herbs: A Comprehensive Reference to Herbs of Flavor and Fragrance. Timber Press. 2009.
In article      
 
[7]  Shivashankara AR, Azmidah A, Haniadka R, Rai MP, Arora R, Baliga MS. Dietary agents in the prevention of alcohol-induced hepatotoxicty: preclinical observations. Food Funt. 2012; 3(2): 101-109.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[8]  Vieira RF, Simon JE. Chemical characterization of basil (Ocimum spp.) found in the markets and used in traditional medicine in Brazil. Econ Bot. 2000; 54(2): 207-216.
In article      View Article
 
[9]  Pandey S, Ganeshpurkar A, Bansal D, Dubey N. Hematopoietic effect of Amaranthus cruentus extract on phenylhydrazine-induced toxicity in rats. J Diet Suppl. 2016; 13, 607-615.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[10]  Hussain AI, Anwar F, Sherazi STH, Przybylski R. Chemical composition, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oils depends on seasonal variations. Food Chem. 2008; 108(3): 986-995.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[11]  Nweze EI, Eze EE. Justification for the use of Ocimum gratissimum L in herbal medicine and its interaction with disc antibiotics. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009; 9(37)
In article      View Article  PubMed  PubMed
 
[12]  Orafidiya LO, Agbani EO, Abereoje OA, Awe T, Abudu A, Fakoya FA. An investigation into the wound-healing properties of essential oil of Ocimum gratissimum linn. J Wound Care. 2003; 12(9): 331-334.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
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