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Background: “Aju Mbaise” is a combination of plant leaves decocted and administered to women after childbirth. The bioactive compounds are not known and claims associated with the use have not been scientifically substantiated.
Objective: The study was conducted to evaluate the antibacterial activity, phytochemical properties and mineral composition of “Aju Mbaise” decoction.
Methods: Leaves making up Äju Mbaise” were obtained from the Botanical Garden, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Their antibacterial activity was determined using the disc-diffusion method with Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as test isolates. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration were determined to establish its antimicrobial potentials. The mineral content was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer while phytochemical analysis was conducted using standard analytical methods.
Results: The decoction inhibited the growth of Gram negative bacteria used in the study with maximum inhibition observed against E. coli (9.5mm). The Gram positive bacterium, S. aureus was resistant to the
decoction. The decoction contained appreciable amounts of bioactive compounds: alkaloids (5.46%), tannins (2.59%), flavonoids (0.39%), cyanogenic glycoside (0.07%), and saponins (7.50%) as well as potassium (125.63 mg/100ml), calcium (11.48 mg/100ml), magnesium (8.81 mg/100ml), sodium (3.50 mg/100ml), iron (1.15 mg/100ml), zinc (1.13 mg/100ml), phosphorus (0.90 mg/100ml), copper (0.06 mg/100ml), manganese (0.06 mg/100ml) and chromium (0.05 mg/ml).
Conclusion: The decoction contains bioactive compounds believed to be responsible for the observed antibacterial activities. Intake of adequate amounts of the decoction can make some contributions to the macro- and micro-mineral intake of lactating mothers, thus achieving the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) for these minerals. This provides the basis for their folkloric use by nursing mothers.