Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2019)
Comparative Phytochemical Analysis of Ziziphus mauritiana Lam, Ziziphus mucronata Willd. and Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf.
Author(s): Umar M Umar, Ibrahim T Babalola
Abstract: The three Ziziphus species namely Ziziphus mauritiana, Ziziphus mucronata and Ziziphus spina-christi (all belong to the Rhamnaceae family) are used by traditional medicine men in Yobe state to treat various medical conditions. The present study was undertaken to analyse in order to determine the presence some major phytochemicals in the roots and leaves of the three Ziziphus species and to compare the distributions according to polarity. The root and leaf samples were dried under shed in the laboratory at ambient temperature, pulverised and extracted with n-hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol using Soxhlet method. The extracts were dried to determine percent yield and phytochemical composition. Results showed no significant differences in extraction yields (0.71 to 1.32%) and the main phytochemicals found in all plant species were alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, reducing sugars, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Comparative studies on the distribution of these phytochemicals (except for reducing sugars which were detected in all samples analysed) has revealed marked species variations especially in the n-hexane and ethyl acetate crude extracts of the roots and leaves of the three plants. The types of secondary metabolites detected in both Z. mucronata and Z. Mauritiana put together almost matched those found in Z. spina-christi. This species' difference can be exploited in the treatment of various diseases and ailments.