Phytochemical, nutritional and medical properties of some leafy vegetables consumed by Edo people of Nigeria
AbstractA systematic survey of green leafy vegetables from Edo State of Nigeria was carried out to evaluate their frequency of use in local meals. Twelve commonest ones out of the twenty nine green leafy vegetables encountered with frequency 1.5% were selected for further evaluation to determine their nutritional and medicinal values. Fresh leaves were shredded and sun dried before milling into vegetable powder and then taken for qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analysis. The
vegetables were a major source of ascorbic acid and the mean values ranged from 100 to 421.6 mg/100 g with the Amaranthus (408 mg100-1g) and Celosia (421 mg100-1g) species containing higher quantities. Amaranthus and Talinum recorded high mineral contents. The crude protein ranged from 3.8 to 27.7 g/100 g and carbohydrate contents ranged from 2.9 to 47.9 g/100 g. The analysis further showed
presence of alkaloids, inulins, saponins and tannins which are known components of herbs used in traditional medicine. The ailments treated using the 12 selected leafy vegetables include common headaches, fevers, diarrhoea, anaemia, high blood pressure and female infertility.