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Solanum aculeastrum is an important medicinal plant commonly known as soda-apple, soda-apple nightshade, goat apple, poison apple or more ambiguously as “bitter apple”. It is a poisonous nightshade species from Africa and not related to true apples. The term “soda apple” probably derives from “Sodom apple”, modified due to the detergent properties. The present study deals with the analysis of Phytochemical constituents by qualitative and quantitative analysis of Solanum aculeastrum leaves, flowers and seeds were done using methanol, chloroform, hexane, and benzene extract. Alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, protein and amino acids were analysed. Phenol and saponin were present in only methanol extracts of leaves and flowers. Phlobatamins, anthroquinone and glocosides were absent in the extract.



1.1     Background of the Study

The evaluation of all plant-based medicine is based on phytochemical and pharmacological approaches which leads to the drug discovery. (Foye et al, 2008). Any part of the plant may contain active components such as alkaloids, tannin, diterpenes, tritapins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and saponins. (Gordon and David, 2001).

Phytochemicals are chemicals produced by various parts of the plants. These bioactive constituents of plants are steroids, terpenoids, carotenoids, flavanoids, alkaloids, tannins and glycosides. These compounds have various activities such as antimicrobial antibacterial and some have been reported to exhibit heamolytic and foaming activity. (Feroz et al, 1993).

Number of various environmental’ factors such as climate, altitude, rainfall and other conditions may affect growth of plants which in turn affect the quality of herbal ingredients present in a particular species even when it is produced in the same country. These conditions may produce major variations in the bioactive compounds present in the plants (Kokate et al, 2004). Qualitative phytochemical screening will helps in understanding of variety of chemical compounds produced by plants and quantification of those metabolites after extraction, purification and identification of  the bioactive compounds will be useful to humans in various ways.

Plants have limitless ability to synthesize aromatic substances, mostly phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives (Geisssman, 1963). Most of the natural products are secondary metabolites and about 12,000 of such products have been isolated so far. These products serve as plant defence mechanisms against predation by microorganisms, insects and herbivores (Fransworth and Morris, 1976). Today there is growing interest in chemical composition of plant based medicines. Several bioactive constituents have been isolated and studied for pharmacological activities. During the last two decades, the pharmaceutical industry has made massive investment in pharmacological and chemical researches all over the world in an effort to discover much more potent drugs.

Furthermore, the use of herbal medicine for the treatment of diseases and infections is as old as mankind. The World Health Organization supports the use traditional medicine provided they are proven to be efficacious and safe (WHO, 1985). In developing countries, a huge number of people lives in extreme poverty and some are suffering and dying for want of safe water and medicine, they have no alternative for primary health care. There is therefore the need to look inwards to search for herbal medicinal plants with the aim of validating the ethno-medicinal use and subsequently the isolation and characterization of compounds which may be added to the potential list of drugs.

1.2     Aim of the Study

To determine the phytochemical analysis of Solanum aculeastrum.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this research work is:

1)      To determine qualitatively the different phytochemical present in S. aculeastrum.

2)      To determine the best solvent for the extraction of the bioactive constituents of the plant.

1.4     Research Question/Hypothesis

This research works seeks to answer the question:

“Was there any changes in the analysis of Solanum aculeastrum being extracted by chloroform, hexane and benzene”

1.5     Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to the following areas:

i.       Collection and preparation of plant material.

ii.     Extraction of this plant with various solvents.

iii.  Qualitative analysis result

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