Phytochemical, proximate and elemental analysis of the African mistletoe (Tapinanthus preussii) crude aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts
Njoya HK, Chukwu E Onyeneke, Okwuonu CU and Erifeta GO
In ethnotherapy, the African mistletoe (Tapinanthus preussii) is implicated as being medicinal, without any scientific validation. Consequently, to ascertain this claim, this study was designed to investigate its phytoconstituents. The phytochemical analysis revealed that varied significant concentrations of alkaloids, carotenoids, flavonoids, anthraquinones, tannins, steroids, antioxidants and saponins were present in both the aqueous and ethanolic extracts; however terpenoids, phlobatannins, phenolics and cardiac glycosides were in trace concentrations. In the proximate analysis, moisture and protein content was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the aqueous extract compared to the ethanolic extract, carbohydrate and lipid contents were significantly higher in the ethanolic extract while trace amounts of the ash content was present in the aqueous extract. The essential minerals Fe2+, Ca2+, K+, Na+, Mg2+ and PO42- were significantly (p<0.05) higher in the aqueous extract relative to the ethanolic extract.. These findings, strongly suggest that Tapinanthus preussii leaves are relevant both nutritionally and medicinally.