Determination of Phytochemical Constituents in Cnidoscolus aconitifolius Leaves Extracts by GC-FID

Adindu, J. C. *

Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Ezebialu C. U.

Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Chukwukaelo, D. C.

Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Okpala, C.O

Department of Applied Biochemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, P. M. B. 5025 Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, commonly called ‘Chaya’ and in Southeastern Nigeria ‘hospital too far’, or ‘catholic vegetable’ is a medicinal plant from the family Euphorbiaceae that has been used since pre-Columbian times as food and in treating diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the phytochemicals present in the ethanol, methanol, and aqueous extracts of Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaves, which could be accountable for the plant’s acclaimed therapeutic properties, using Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) technique. Cold maceration was used in the extraction process while GC-FID was employed for the qualitative and quantitative analysis. The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of lunamarine, cardiac glycoside, anthocyanin, spartien, cyanogenic glycoside, flavonones, steroids, keampferol, epicatechin, flavones, oxalate, resveratol, sapogenin, epihedrine, flavan-3-ol, proanthocyanin, naringin, ribalinidine, naringenin, catechin, tannin, rutin, and phytate. However, the extracts did not all contain the same phytochemicals nor quantity of phytochemicals. While the ethanol extract recorded phytate (18.9224µg/ml) as the highest yield, methanol had spartein (17.2035µg/ml) and the aqueous extracts had epicatechin (9.2402 µg/g). The presence of these pharmacologically active substances, which has been researched to have antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties amongst others, supports the efficacy of Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaves in treatment of various pathologies and use in ethnopharmacology. It also projects Cnidoscolus aconitifolius leaves as a probable raw material for antibiotic formulation.

Keywords: Cnidoscolus aconitifolius, GC-FID, medicinal plants, phytochemicals, aqueous extracts, ethanol extracts and methanol extracts

How to Cite

J. C., Adindu, Ezebialu C. U., Chukwukaelo, D. C., and Okpala, C.O. 2024. “Determination of Phytochemical Constituents in Cnidoscolus Aconitifolius Leaves Extracts by GC-FID”. Asian Journal of Research in Biochemistry 14 (4):60-71.


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