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Assessment of the hepatic effects, phytochemical and proximate compositions of <i>Phyllanthus amarus</i>

CU Igwe
LA Nwaogu
CO Ujuwondu


Aqueous extract of pulverized whole Phyllanthus amarus was assessed for hepatic effects in albino rats. Its phytochemical, proximate and mineral constituents were also evaluated. The results showed
that the extract significantly reduced the plasma activities of alanine and aspartate transaminases and total bilirubin concentration (P < 0.01), with a non- significant increase in the plasma concentration of
total protein (P > 0.01). The extract contained 24.05% saponins, 17.50% tannins and 5.47% oxalates as well as 11.05% moisture, 6.80% ash, 6.03% fat, 6.10% protein, 24.50% fibre and 45.52% carbohydrate. The mineral content of the defatted pulverized P. amarus was found to be potassium (150.30), sodium (228.20), calcium (1.60), magnesium (2.40), iron (1.65), and phosphorus (1.00) mg per 100 g dry weight. The reduction of plasma activity of transaminases and concentration of total bilirubin, with a concomitant increase in total protein concentration suggest that the plant has a hepatic cell protection function and enhancement potential. The high saponin and tannin, potassium and sodium, and carbohydrate and fibre contents of the plant explain its use in folk medicine for the treatment of liver
problems, oedema and use as tonic, respectively.

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eISSN: 1684-5315