This paper discuss the elemental composition and concentration of Gliricidia sepium leaves by energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence. The element present are Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn. Also discuss on Phytochemicals of the leaves wish contain alkaloids, tannins ,and saponins. The used analytical method, the experiment setup and the procedure of the sample preparation are presented.
1.0 INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE REVIEW
Medicinal plants have been identified and used throughout human history. Toxic plants even have use in pharmaceutical development. (Division Magnoliophyta: eatu General Fres”.. 1993). Angiosperms (flowering plants) were the original source of most plant medicines. Some herbs and spices come from flowering plants.
Medicinal plants have been used for centuries, worldwide. Manuscripts have been found detailing medicinal plants and their uses as early as 2700 B.C.E. Before the technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution, humans relied heavily on remedies found in nature to treat illness and disease. Herbs were also used widely in religious and spiritual tradition and practice.
Several plants have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. St. John’s wort was traditionally used by American Indians to treat wounds and pain through a tea made from the leaves. Onions, garlic and other members of the allium family are also known for their disinfectant qualities. Applying a slice of onion directly to a would can help ease pain and decrease infection. Mohican and Penobscot Indians used wild indigo to treat snake bites, minor cuts and bruises. Yarrow’s use in poultices for wounds goes back to the time of ancient Greece. The plant is scientifically proven to have blood-clotting properties, making it a good natural remedy for stemming the flow of blood. (Duke 1993)
The use of medicinal plants can be found in the alternative therapies botanical medicine and herbalism, as well as in conventional medicine. Medicinal plants contain chemical substances that have beneficial properties to the body. While alternative medicine practitioners use only the leaves, stems, roots and berry extracts to treat illness, conventional medicine practitioners isolate and extract medicinal plants’ healing properties and use them as prescription drug ingredients.
Plants have been used in treating human diseases for thousands of years. Some 60,000 years ago, it appears that Neanderthal man valued herbs as medicinal agents; this conclusion is based on a grave in Iran in which pollen grains of eight medicinal plants were found (Solecki and Shanidar 1975). One of these allegedly ancient medicinal herbs, yarrow, is discussed in this work as a modern medicinal plant.
Up until the 18th century, the professions of doctor and botanist were closely linked. Indeed, the first modern botanic gardens, which were founded in 16th century Italy, in Pisa, Padova and Florence, were medicinal plant gardens attached to medical faculties or schools.
The use of medicinal plants is not just a custom of the distant past. Perhaps 90% of the world’s population still relies completely on raw herbs and unrefined extracts as medicines (Duke 1985). A 1997 survey showed that 23% of Canadians have used herbal medicines. In addition, as much as 25% of modern pharmaceutical drugs contain plant ingredients (Duke 1993).
Plant have been used for medicinal purpose for many centuries.
For many years the role and metabolic function of trace element in human body have been intensively investigate. Trace element are essential for the function of the human body. X-ray fluorescence technique for the analysis of medicinal plants. The important advanges of energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence for the quantitative and qualitative analysis are :
- simultaneous determination of many elements
- determination in a wide concentration range
- simple and fast sample preparation and
- much lower equipment cost than that of a convention wavelength x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, especially when a radioactive is used instead of x-ray tube.
1.1 MEDICINAL USES OF PLANTS
Alternant hera nodiflora R. Br. ( Amaranthaceae)
Vernacular name : Dagunro (Yoruba)
As a pain reliever : The leaves are put on a hot stone and later smeared with white palm oil.
The leaves and palm oil are then used to massage the affected part of the body.
Ceiosia trtgyna L. (Amaranthaceae)
Vernacular name : Ata (Yoruba)
As a treatment for guinea worm infection: The leaves together with three alligator pepper seeds (Amomum subulatum) are ground. Seven incisions are made on the affected part and the mixture rubbed in.
Gomphreno gtobosa L.-Bachelor’s button (Amaranthaceae)
Vernacular name : Kandiri (Hausa)
As a treatment for body sore: The feaves are crushed into a paste which is applied 10 the affected part.