NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT
Journal of the Faculties of Science and Agriculture, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
Keywords: Justicia secunda, anthocyanins, phenols, flavonoids, phlobataninins, phytochemicals.
Medicinal plants are a primary source of healing and widely used for the treatment of various ailments. This present study evaluates phytochemicals and in vitro antioxidant activities of the methanolic leaf extract of Justicia secunda, Acanthaceae family. Fresh leaves of the plant were collected, and shade dried. The dry leaves were pulverized, and the resultant powder extracted with 0.1% hydrogen chloride (HCl) in methanol, and 1% HCl in methanol respectively. Extracts obtained were subjected to qualitative phytochemical screening and in vitro antioxidant assays. Results obtained confirm the presence of saponinis, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, and alkaloids in equal degree in both 0.1% and 1% HCl methanolic leaf extract. Concentrations of anthocyanins, phenols and phlobatannins were quantitatively higher in 0.1% HCl extract as compared to 1% HCl extract. However, the presence of carbohydrates was not confirmed in either extracts. The results also indicated that phenolic and anthocyanins content of the leaf extracts were significantly higher (p < 0.05) in 0.1% HCl extract as compared to the 1% HCl leaf extract. Also, flavonoids contents were comparable (p > 0.05) in both extracts. The antioxidant scavenging efficacy showed that higher percentage inhibition was observed from the 0.1% HCl methanolic extract of Justicia secunda in its ability to scavenge hydrogen peroxide, 1,1 – diphenylpicrylhydrazyl, and superoxide anion. Overall, from this study, it could be concluded that Justicia secunda may be a good source of phytochemicals and natural antioxidants that will be useful in the food, medicine, and pharmaceutical industries.
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