STUDIES ON THE PHYTOCHEMICAL AND NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF JUSTICIA CARNEA AND ITS EFFECT ON SOME BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN ANAEMIC RATS.

STUDIES ON THE PHYTOCHEMICAL AND NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF JUSTICIA CARNEA AND ITS EFFECT ON SOME BIOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS IN ANAEMIC RATS.

ABSTRACT

Anaemia is a common blood disorder that affects people of all ages, though people at greater risk are the elderly, young women and infants. Different drugs are used but many depend mainly on plants and herbal products for its treatment. In this study, the aqueous leaf extract of Justicia carnea was used. The percentage yield of the extract was 18.43. The proximate constituents of the extract were 4.61 ± 0.14 % (moisture), 2.66 ± 0.31 % (fats), 9.26 ± 0.02 % (ash), 3.68 ± 0.23 % (crude fibre), 26.71 ± 0.02 % (protein) and 53.07 ± 0.07 % (carbohydrates). The qualitative and quantitative phytochemical screening showed that it contained: 9.19 ± 0.15 mg/g (phenol), 7.06 ± 0.05 mg/g (flavonoids), 5.91 ± 0.30 mg/g (reducing sugars), 5.77 ± 0.40 mg/g (alkaloids), 5.39 ± 0.49 mg/g (glycosides), 4.10 ± 0.09 mg/g (carbohydrate), 1.18 ± 0.01 mg/g (saponins) and 0.70 ± 0.00 mg/g (tannins). The anti-nutrientive constituents were 0.06 ± 0.21 mg/g (phytate), 0.06 ± 0.00 TIU/mg (trypsin inhibitor), 0.06 ± 0.04 mg/g (oxalate), 0.07 ± 0.00 mg/g (hydrogen cyanide) and 0.38 ± 0.02 HIU/mg (haemagglutinin); while the vitamin contents were 1.37 ± 0.40 mg/g (B1), 2.50 ± 0.50 mg/g (B2), 0.04 ± 0.00 mg/g (B6), 0.05 ± 0.00 mg/g (B12), 0.77 ± 0.03 mg/g (B9), 2.97 ± 0.05 µg/g (A), 36.69 ± 0.83 mg/g (C), 0.30 ± 0.00 mg/g (E) and some minerals include 8.61± 0.38 µg/g (iron), 0.03± 0.00 mg/g (copper), 1.96 ± 0.01 µg/g (zinc), 1.06 ± 0.01 % (magnesium) and 4.59 ± 0.00 % (calcium) were also present. The acute toxicity test of the aqueous leaf extract of Justicia carnea showed no death in the mice up to 5000 mg/kg body weight of the extract. To assess the effect of the aqueous leaf extract of Justicia carnea on selected haematological and biochemical parameters, animals used were grouped into seven of four rats each. Anaemia was induced using the method described by Stone, 1954 in five groups (2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) while group 1 (not treated) and group 7 (treated with 500 mg/kg body weight of the extract) were not induced with anaermia. A significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in dose dependent manner in the PCV value of animals in groups 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (50 mg/kg b.w of astyfer, 100, 300, 500, 500 mg/kg b.w respectively of the extract), when compared to group 2 (induced with anaemia but not treated). Also, there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in groups 1 and 7, significant decrease (p < 0.05) in group 2 when compared to group 3 (50 mg/kg Astyfer) on days four and eight post-treatment. There was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the RBC count of animals in groups 1 and 7 when compared to the group 2. Similarly, there was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in groups 1 and 7 and non-significant decrease (p > 0.05) in groups 2, 4, 5 and 6 when compared to group 3. There was a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the Haemogloblin concentration of animals in groups 1, 5 and 7 when compared to group 2. There was a non-significant (p > 0.05) increase in group 5 when compared to group 3. There was an increase in the WBC count of animals in groups 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 but was significant (p < 0.05) in groups 1 and 7 when compared to group 2. A significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in group 1 when compared to group 3. The liver enzymes (alkaline phosphatas, alanine and alkaline transaminase) activities showed a non-significant increase (p > 0.05) when compared to group 1 on day fourteen post-treatment. Similarly, there was a non-significant increase (p > 0.05) in the urea and creatinine level of the treated anaemic rats when compared to group 1. From this study, it can be concluded that the leaves of Justicia carnea are rich in vitamins and minerals, possess no toxic effect and serves as an effective haematinic.