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Biological and phytochemical screening of major compounds in Cephalanthus natalensis

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. R.W.M. Krause; Mrs. D.K. Olivier en_US
dc.contributor.author Ngwenya, Nomcebo Marcia
dc.date.accessioned 2012-05-02T07:40:53Z
dc.date.available 2012-05-02T07:40:53Z
dc.date.issued 2012-05-02
dc.date.submitted 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4673
dc.description M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.abstract Cephalanthus natalensis of the Rubiaceae family of plants is used in traditional medical systems. Different parts of this shrubby plant are used to treat different ailments. In this study, the use of C. natalensis for medicinal purposes was investigated. Plant materials (leaves, bark and fruits) were collected from different localities in Swaziland. Extraction of phytochemicals in C. natalensis was done by maceration in four solvents of increasing polarities: hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol. Amino acids and alkaloids were also extracted in boiling water and mild acid, respectively. Phytochemical screening of compounds was done by means of TLC, HPLC and GC-MS. Previously reported TLC screening of C. natalensis indicated the presence of alkaloids. This study also confirmed the presence of alkaloids, although these were not isolated. No other chemical compounds have been reported from this plant in literature. Phenolic compounds and terpenes were extracted and detected by the chromatographic methods employed. GC-MS analysis was also used to identify and quantify amino acids in the extracts. A phytochemical assessment of compounds was done by investigating the leaves, bark and fruits of C. natalensis. A further phytochemical variation study was conducted by comparing these phytochemicals and their relative concentrations in C. natalensis plants collected from five different localities. While the same compounds were present in all the plants sampled, the concentrations of the different compounds seemed to vary irrespective of the geographic location of the plants sampled. In the different plant parts collected, some common compounds were present in the leaves, bark and fruits and other compounds varied between the different parts studied. The traditional usage of C. natalensis as fever and malaria remedy was investigated in vitro. Antibacterial and antimalarial tests of crude extracts were done. The antibacterial test on the extracts against five bacteria: Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed an average activity in all the plant parts tested. The average MIC values ranged from 0.917 mg/mL to >100 mg/mL. In the antimalarial test the extracts inhibited 50% of Plasmodium falciparum growth at concentrations ranging from 27 μg/mL to >100 μg/mL. Hexane extracts of the bark had notable antimalarial activity with the highest inhibition at the lowest concentration of 27 μg/mL. The fruits were not as active as expected since they are particularly used as malaria remedy in traditional medicine. Two compounds were also isolated from methanol extracts of C. natalensis for the first time. A volatile isoprenoid ketone, (5E,9E)-6,10,14-trimethylpentadeca-5,9,13-trien-2-one, was isolated and characterised. The structure of the second compound could not be completely characterised due to complex data obtained from the NMR experiments. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Biological screening en_US
dc.subject Phytochemical screening en_US
dc.subject Cephalanthus natalensis en_US
dc.subject Medicinal plants
dc.subject Materia medica, Vegetable
dc.title Biological and phytochemical screening of major compounds in Cephalanthus natalensis en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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