Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine

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Providing Some Pharmacopoeial Standards for Nigerian Allium cepa Var. cepa Linn

AD Adelakun, AA Elujoba, CO Ajayi


The essence of standardization of medicinal plants is to produce herbal medicines with acceptable safety, efficacy, quality and reproducibility. Allium cepa var. cepa L. (Amaryllidaceae) bulbs purchased from Sasha Market, Ibadan, Nigeria during the rainy season was subjected to organoleptic, morphological and physico-chemical experiments. The total ash gave 5.40 ± 0.001%, acid-insoluble ash (0.62 ± 0.0001%), water-soluble extractive (2.30 ± 0.004%), alcohol-soluble extractive (1.14 ± 0.005%) and moisture content (91.1 ± 0.009%). Microscopical evaluation of the bulb showed distinct cell-walls devoid of nucleus while the inner epidermis possessed well delineated cell-walls, transparent cytoplasm containing nucleus but without stomata. Histochemical experiments showed lignified, suberized and cellulosic cell-walls, starch grains, oils, resins, tannins and anthraquinones. The study has provided some data for the pharmacopoeial monograph on Allium cepa var. cepa bulb as a possible antidiabetic agent for inclusion into the 2nd editions of the Nigerian Herbal Pharmacopoeial (NHP) and West African Herbal Pharmacopoeial (WAHP).

Keywords: Allium cepa var. cepa, Pharmacopoeial, Standardization, Monograph

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