Phytochemical, Proximate and Mineral contents of Leaves and Back of Ficus Capensis
The phytochemical, proximate and mineral contents of Ficus capensis (leaves & bark) were analyzed, using Trease and Evans and Harboure procedure, the Association of Official Analytical Chemist (AOAC) method and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry and Flame Photometry respectively. This study is aimed at evaluating (using ethanol and water as solvents) the nutrient composition, phytochemical constituents and minerals present. The results of the phytochemical screening showed the presence of tannins, terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides and reducing sugars, with steroids and anthraquinones absent in the water extract of the leaves and bark of Ficus capensis. Saponin was however present in the bark but absent in the leaves (water extract) of the plants. Terpenoids, flavonoids, steroids, cardiac glycosides and reducing sugars were present in ethanol extract of the leaves and bark, while anthraquinones were absent. Alkaloids were present in the ethanol extracts of the bark but absent in leaves. The proximate analysis of the leaves and bark of Ficus capensis yielded 25.80% and 10% for moisture, 17.47% and 3.73% for proteins, 1.80% and 2% for crude fat, 11.00% and 10.95% for ash, 41.00% and 20.5% for crude fiber and 2.93% and 52.82% for carbohydrates respectively. The mineral analysis of the leaves and bark of the plant yielded calcium-2640.00mg/kg and 1772mg/kg, magnesium- 2383.00mg/kg and 1605mg/kg, iron- 25.00mg/kg and 6.6mg/kg, zinc-29.30mg/kg and 4.4mg/kg, copper-14.60mg/kg and 6mg/kg and phosphorus-1012mg/kg and 305mg/kg. Manganese was absent in the bark but yielded 1.1mg/kg in the leaves. Sodium and potassium were not detected in the leaves but yielded the values 97.2mg/kg and 126.4mg/kg in the bark. The presence of some phytochemicals (saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides, tannins and terpenoids) and some essential minerals proves that it is really an alternative source of medicine.
Keywords: Ficus capensis, proximate, mineral, phytochemicals, alternative medicine