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This study,ANTIMICROBIAL AND CYTOTOXICITY OF Mondia whitei contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.





  • Background of the Study

Plant medicine are the most widely medicine in the world today. A full eighty percent (80%) of the world’s population employs herbs as their primary medicine and while drugstore shelves in the world are stocked mostly with synthetic remedies. In the other parts of the world the situation is quite different pharmacies dispense herbs prescribed by physicians.

Historically, plants have provided sources of inspiration for novel drug compounds as plant derived medicine have made large contributions to human health and well being. Their roles are two folds in the development of new drugs (a)they may become the base of development of new drugs, (b) a phytomedicine to be used for the treatment of disease.



  • Medicinal Plants

The search for agents to cure diseases began long before people became aware of the existence of microbes. Plants have always played a major role in the treatment of human and animal disease. Early attempts to cure disease using natural substances usually native plants or their extracts or and many of these herbal remedies proved successful.

Like the eating the bark of cinchona tree for example, prevented and frequently cured malarial. Only in modern times was quinine shown to be active ingredient in the bark. As observed by ancient Egyptians, the eating of bread over grown with blue green mould helped person to be afflicted with certain diseases.(Sofowora, A. 1980)

Traditional medicine is wide spread throughout the world and it can be described as the total combination of knowledge and practices, whether explicable or not, used the diagnosing, preventing or eliminating a physical, mental or social disease and which may rely exclusively on past experience and observation handed down from generation, verbally or written. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined medicinal plant as a plant with one or more of its organs contain substances that can be used for therapeutically purpose or which are precursors for synthesis of useful drugs.

For many years, medicine depended exclusively on leaves, flowers and barks of plants, only recently has synthetic drugs come into used and in many instances, these are “carbon”  copies of chemical identifies in plants. In orthodox medicine, a plant may be subjected to several chemical processes before its active ingredients is extracted  refined and made ready for consumption while  in traditional medicine , a plant is simply eating raw, cooked or soaked in water or native wine or even prepared as food.

Plant species have played so many vital role in the development of medicine and these are deeply entwined in the history and survival of mankind, therefore leaving us with an appreciation for plant as the basic for human health or the medicine of mankind.

In the 19th Century, scientist began purifying the active from medicinal plant (e.g. the isolation of morphine from the opium poppy) advances in the feed of pharmacology led to the formulation of the first purely synthetic drugs based on natural products in the middle of the 19th century.

For example, salicylic acid was synthesized in 1853, and this active ingredient was identified to be curing pains or as pain reliever and this eventually led to the development of aspirin. It was estimated that 25% of prescription written in the us contain plant derived ingredient and even greater percentage are based on semi synthetic or wholly synthetic ingredients originated from plant. The renewed interests of medicinal plants have focused on herbal areas among indigenous populations around the world, especially those in the tropical rain forests.(Newman, D.J and Cragg, GM 2007)

1.3       Natural Product

These are chemicals compound or substances produced by a living organism found in nature that usually has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug design. It is considered as such even if it can be prepared by total synthetic. These small molecules provide the sources of inspiration for the majority of Federal Drug. Agencies approved agents and continue to be one of the major sources of inspiration for drug discovery. In particular, these compounds are important in the treatment of life threatening conditions.

A crude (untreated) extract from any plant typically contains novel, structurally diverse chemical compounds, which the natural environment is a source of chemical diversity in nature is based on biological and geographical diversity, plant sample were analysed and evaluated in drug discovery screens or bioassays.

Pharmacognosy  provides the tools to identify select and process natural products destined for medicinal use. Usually, the natural products compounds have some form of biological activity and that compound is known as the active compound. Many of today’s medicine are obtained directly from natural sources.

The secondary metabolites which are the most biological active natural products compounds but this complexity also makes many active principles synthesis difficult and the compound usually has to be extracted from its naturals source; a slow, expansive and inefficient process. (Newman D.J 2007)

1.4       Classes of Natural Products

Plants have always been a rich source of natural products (e.g. morphine, and quinine and others have been the basis for synthetic drugs (e.g. local anaesthetics developed from cocaine). Clinically useful drugs which have been recently isolated from plants include the anticancer paclitaxel (Taxol) from the yew tree and the antimalarial agent artemisinin from Artemsica annua.

Paclitaxel (Taxol) is a natural products derived from the yew tree. Therefore, the phytochemical analysis of plant leaves has revealed the presence of antimicrobial substances such as resins, tannins, glycosides alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin, steroids, phenols, cardiac glycosides and many more at different concentration. (Dossey and Aaron 2007)

1.4.1.  Alkaloids

Alkaloids are basic or alkaline i.e. they neutralize acids, their molecules contains chiefly atoms of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, which is the source of their basicity. Because most alkaloids were isolated from natural sources before their chemical structures had seen determined, they generally bear coined names which do not donate their chemical structures. Such names may reflect the names of the discoverer, the botanical source or the biological effect.

In principle, alkaloids could be classified either by the biological system in which they occur or by either chemical structures. In practice both methods are used, for example, it is common to speak of the opium alkaloids because they occur in the opium proppy. But are also common practices to speak of these indole alkaloids. These dual classification systems actually produce little confusion because the is a rough correlation between the chemical types of the alkaloids and their biological distributions.

  1. Pyrrolidine Alkaloids: These alkaloids are basically derived from the amino acid ornithine. The cluster of alkaloids comprise like tropane alkaloids, atropine, hyoscine, hyoscyamine from family of night shade. The nightshade family includes herbane, belladonna, datura (thormple) and bitter sweet.

Acting as a cluster, these alkaloids impede the activities of parasympathetic nerve (originating in the lower part of the spinal cord and brain stem, stimulates digestive secretions, opposes physiological effect of the sympathetic nervous system, constricts the pupils, slow the heart, dilates blood vessels).

Incidentally, the pyrrolidine alkaloids also comprise the “truthimedication” scopolamine (also known as hyoscine) and cocaine.

The unsubstituted compound, Pyrrolidine itself, has been found in the carrot, daucus carota and in tobacco. The Pyrrolidine alkaloids contain Pyrrolidine as a structural moiety.



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