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Comparative Evaluation of the Nutrients and Phytochemical Composition of <i>Ocimum gratissimium</i> (‘Nchu-Anwu’) and <i>Lasianthera africana</i> (‘Editan’) Leaves

PC Ojimelukwe
HO Okudu
OV Korie


Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare the nutrient and phytochemical composition of Ocimum gratissimium (‘Nchu-anwu’) and Lasianthera africana (‘Editan’) leaves.
Materials and Methods: The leaves (Ocimum gratissmium and Lasianthera africana) were randomly obtained from Umuahia Main Market and Uyo Central Market, respectively. Extraneous materials such as dirt, insect, larvae as well as dried and discoloured leaves were removed. The leaves were manually detached from the branches and spread in a laboratory tray and dried in an oven at 60oC until they were brittle enough to mill. The leaves were milled using Arthur Thomas Laboratory Mill. Nutrient and phytochemical compositions of the leaves
were assessed using standard methods. Data were analyzed using means, standard deviations; t-test was used to determine the differences between the nutrient components of the two leaves. Statistical significance was accepted at p<0.05
Result: The moisture content of L.africana (84.46±0.61%) was significantly higher (p<0.05) than the moisture content (78.09±0.04%) of O. gratissimium. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) found in their crude protein contents. However, crude lipid and crude fiber (5.25±0.07 and 6.24±0.04%, respectively) were found to be significantly higher (p<0.05) in O. gratissimium. Potassium and calcium content of O. gratissimum (556.00±1.41 and 425.87±0.01 (mg/100g)) were significantly (p<0.05) higher than the potassium and calcium contents of L.africana (13.62±0.02 and 168.00±1.41 mg/100g), while magnesium was significantly (p<0.05)
higher (45.60±0.03 mg/100g) in L.africana. ß- Carotene was significantly higher in O.gratissimum, while vitamin C was found to be significantly higher (p<0.05) (23.97±0.01mg/100g) in L. africana. Flavonoids, saponins, and alkaloids were found to be significantly higher (p<0.05) (4.67±0.00, 4.35±0.01 and 3.87±0.01 (%)) in O.
, while tannins was found to be higher (4.67±0.02%) in L.africana.
Conclusion: The study showed that O. gratissimum is richer in most of nutrients analyzed. Also, its high phytochemical (flavanoids, saponins and alkaloids) contents showed that it has better health benefit potentials than L.africana.

Keywords: Phytochemicals, Ocimum gratissmium, Lasianthera africana proximate composition, mineral composition, Beta-carotene, Vitamin C

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eISSN: 2805-4008
print ISSN: 0189-0913