Phytochemical Evaluation of So me Kenyan Medicinal Plants
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11 th NAPRECA Symposium Book of Proceedings, Antananarivo, Madagascar Pages 9-19 Midiwo et al. 9 Phytochemical Evaluation of So me Kenyan Medicinal Plants J. Ogweno Midiwo, A. Yenesew, B.F. Juma Kerubo L Omosa, Irene L Omosa, Daniel Mutisya. Department of Chemistry, University of Nairobi, P.o. Box 30197, Nairobi. Kenya. E-mail: email@example.com Abstract There are more than 1200 described medicinal pl ants in Kenya from a flora of approximately 10,000 members. Strong cross-medical informati on from the 42 ethnic groups points to the high potential of some of these species. The Myrsinaceae are well established ethno-anthel mintics and anti-bacterials. They are harbingers of long alkyl side chain benzoquinones which clearly have a protective function from their histochemical disposition. The main benzoqui none in the sub-family Myrsinodae is embelin while for the Maesodae it is maesaquinone together with its 5-acetyl derivative; the distribution of these benzoquinones by their alkyl side chain le ngth or the presence / absence of 6-methyl group is in accord with morphological sub-fam ily de-limitation. The benzoquinones showed anti- feedant, anti-microbial, phytotoxic, acaricidal, in secticidal and nematicidal activity. Many other benzoquinones of medium and mi nor concentration were also isolated and characterised. Some plants belonging to the Polygonaceae which are widely used as ethno-anthelmintics have been studied. The common anthelmintic anthraquinones were obtained from all five Rumex species while the naphthalenic acetogenin deriva tive, nepodin was more selectively distributed. The leaf of Polygonum senegalense is upto 17% surface exudate; about thirteen non polar flavonoid derivatives (chalcones, di hydrochalcones, flavanones and a flavone) have been isolated from it. From the internal aerial tissues of this plant, the major flavonoids were common flavonoids, quercetin, kaempferol, luteolin a nd their glycosides. The only unique compound isolated from this plant was 2'-glucosy l-6'-hydroxy-4'-methoxychalcone whose aglycone, uvangolatin is part of the exuda te mixture. Other leaf exuda te plants studied included the stomach-ache medicine, Psiadia punctulata (Compositae) from which novel methylated flavonoids, kaurene and trachyloba n diterpenes have been found.