Phytochemical Analysis of the Leaves of Phyllanthus amarus and Euphorbia hirta.
AbstractThe leaves of two plants in the family Euphorbiaceae; Phyllanthus amarus Schum and Thonn and Euphorbia hirta Linn, which are commonly used for medicinal purposes and also occurring among Nigerian pasture were analyzed using spectrophotometric and titrimetric methods to ascertain their levels of inorganic substances such as nitrate, nitrite, cyanide; and metallic constituents such as copper, manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, sodium and potassium. High levels of Mn (189 and 465 ppm), Cu (30.5 and 21.8 ppm), Zn (151.9 and 75.1 ppm), and NO3 (4,600 and 7,200ppm) were found in the leaves of E. hirta and P. amarus respectively. No traces of cyanide and nitrite were found in the leaves of these two plants. Varying proportions of Fe (2,225 and 1,563ppm), Mg (5,500 and 5,800ppm), K (33,000 and 32,000ppm), Ca (21,000 and 26,500ppm), and Na (558.1 and 125 ppm) were found in the leaves of E. hirta and P. amarus respectively. The levels of chemicals are high enough to constitute a source of toxicosis to animals consuming them and their use for medicinal purpose should also be a source for concern most especially if the fresh leave decoctions are used.
Key Words: Chemical analysis, toxicosis, Euphorbia hirta, Phyllanthus amarus, inorganic substances.
Trop. Vet. Vol.22: (1) 19-25 (2004)