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Pharmacognostic evaluation of the leaves and stem bark of Euphorbia lateriflora schum&thonn (Euphorbiaceae)
Euphorbia lateriflora is well known in Nigerian ethnomedicine for its usefulness in the treatment of skin mucosae, veneral disease, cutaneous and subcutaneous parasitic infections and as remedy for head lice and ring worm. This study is aimed at establishing the pharmacognostic profile of the plant with the hope of assisting in its proper identification as well as standardisation and quality control of its products. The fresh and powdered samples were examined to determine the macromorphological, micromorphological, chemomicroscopy and physiochemical parameters such as moisture content, total ash, acid insoluble ash, sulphated ash and extractive values. The macro and microscopic studies indicated that the bark is smooth and transversely fractured with the surface being granular. The epidermal walls are straight with distinctively shaped calcium oxalate crystals clustered in the row of parenchymatous cells. The starch grains are of varying sizes and contains eccentric helium. The trichomes are uniserrate and the fibre is spindle – shaped. Chemomicroscopy revealed the presence of cellulose, lignin, tannins, starch and oil. The physicochemical constants are; moisture content 16.5± 0.05, total ash value 10.0% ± 0.05, acid insoluble-ash 1.0% ± 0.01, sulphated ash value 8.0% ± 0.05 alcohol soluble extractive 0.42 ± 0.01 and water soluble extractive 0.96 ± 0.02.