Proximate and elemental composition of Bauhinia rufescens Lam (Leguminosae : Caesalpinioidaea)
This study is aimed at investigating the proximate contents, concentrations of some micro/macroelements and anions of the stem bark and leaves of B. rufescens with the view of validating its used as forage and medicinally by man in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and in wound healing. The stem bark and leaves of Bauhinia rufescens were collected from Gathla-Gwoza, Borno State, Nigeria. Proximate analysis was done following methods of Association of Official Analytical Chemists and the results showed that the stem bark had higher dry matter (94.50%), carbohydrate (82.03%), nitrogen free extract (54.53%), crude fibre (33.00%) and ash (3%), while crude proteins (15.58%), fats (5%) and moisture content (5.7%) were estimated to be higher in the leaves of this plant. The levels of 10 elements (Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr, Co) were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, the anions (nitrates, phosphates and sulphates) were estimated using the Smart Spectro Spectrophotometer. Results revealed higher concentrations of macroelements and microelements in the leaves sample except for Cr concentration which was higher (0.0247 mg/g) in the stem bark than in the leaves (0.0050 mg/g). The concentrations of nitrates and phosphates were higher in the leaves; on the other hand, sulphates concentration was higher in stem bark (12.0 mg/g) than found in the leaves (10.8 mg/g). In conclusion, both the proximate, elemental and anions concentrations for these parts of B. rufescens were mostly found within the permissible region set by World Health Organization.
Keywords: Anions, Bauhinia rufescens, leaves, elements, proximate, stem bark
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