Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences

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Studies of teh phytotoxicity of the seed of phytochemical screening of the leaf of Ricinus communis L.

CEC Ugwoke, CO Ezugwe


The phytotoxicity of the seed and phytochemical screening of the leaf of Ricinus communis were investigated. The secondary metabolites in the leaf were screened and identified. The leaves were sun dried, pulverized and sieved. The resulting powdered extract was subjected to phytochemical tests. A proximate analysis was also ran to determine the moisture  content, ash value, protein, fats, carbohydrate and fibre value of the seed. The results of the phytochemical screening showed that alkaloids, tannins and proteins occurred in very high  concentrations, while saponins, steroids, glycosides, flavonoids, resins and terpenoids occurred in high concentrations.The concentration of carbohydrates and acid compounds were low, while reducing sugars and oils were absent. Similarly, the proximate analysis showed that the seed contains 5.35% moisture, 14.0% protein, 47.8% fat, 5.05% total nitrogen, 25.15% crude fibre, and 2.1% ash. The studies indicate that despite the many uses of castor oil, the entire plant is poisonous if ingested, but the seeds are particularly potent. The seed coat contains ricin, one of the most poisonous naturally occurring chemicals known to man.

Keywords: Ricinus communis, phytotoxicity, phytochemical, proximate analysis, Euphorbiaceae, seed coat, ricin

Journal of Pharmaceutical and Allied Sciences, Vol. 7 No. 3 (2010)
AJOL African Journals Online