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Anti- nutrient contents of herbs used in the treatment of “ailments of ‘‘utmost native importance” in Cross River State, Nigeria

Vincent Tawo Ebu
John Edward Mgbang
James Oshita Bukie


The use of herbs as medications are enthusiastically recognized and extensively utilized in rural regions and in most developing countries. The lack of knowledge of the anti-nutrient contents of herbs reduces their use by the educated ones. To unveil these in the treatment of “ailments of utmost native importance” in Cross River State, this research carried out anti-nutrient analysis of the species used. Identified plants were separated from weeds and washed with water. The plant parts were processed and their extracts prepared according to the method described by Kumar et al., (2007). Hydrocyanic acid was estimated by the alkaline titration method, oxalate was determined according to procedures stipulated by Day and Underwood (1986) while phytic acid was determined using methods stipulated by Reddy and Love (1999). Results revealed that Phytic acid, oxalate and hydrocyanide all had low levels ranges of 2.47mg/100gDM to 6.17mg/100g DM, 12.82mg/100g DM to 30.41mg/100g DM and 1.62mg/100g to 6.23mg/100g DM respectively. Findings shows that these anti-nutrients are not within harmful ranges, and as such cannot interfere with the availability of potentially useful nutrients embedded in the species. These are below lethal doses to inflict any injury on humans.

Keywords: Herbs, Anti-nutrients, Ailments, Lethal dose, Efficacy.