Comparison of the selected secondary metabolite content present in the cancer-bush Lessertia (Sutherlandia) frutescens L. extracts
Extracts of in vitro leaves, field leaves and seeds of the leguminous plant Lessertia frutescens were analyzed using spectrophotometric and gravimetric methods, to the effect of quantitative comparison of their phenolic, flavonoid, alkaloid and saponin contents. As compared to the field leaves and seeds, saponins were found to be most abundantly represented in in vitro leaves, followed by phenolics, flavonoids and alkaloids. The extracts were also qualitatively analyzed so as to evaluate the presence of other phytochemicals of medicinal interest. This qualitative analysis indicated the presence of tannins, phlobatannins and cardiac glycosides. Having in mind the documented therapeutic use of these phytochemicals, the results of this study offer a strong rationale for further animal and clinical investigations of L. frutescens extracts.
Key words: alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, phytochemicals, saponins, spectrophotometry