Different types of powdered antimalarial and blood-enriching (haematinic) recipes are used in traditional health system of Southwestern Nigeria. Two of these from Ogbomoso (that is Maloff-HB and Haematol-B, respectively) were recently named following a quantitative definition of their botanical constituents. However, information on the physico-chemical and phytochemical properties as well as the residual constituents of both polyherbal formulations (PHFs) is lacking. The amount of ascorbic acid in them was therefore determined using ultraviolet (UV)-visible spectrophotometric method. Their elemental compositions (magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, potassium, sodium and copper) were also quantified spectrophotometrically. Maloff-HB and haematol-B contain high quantities of ascorbic acid (mean values of 542.35 and 414.14 mg/100 g, respectively). This is the antioxidant that has been implicated in many redox reactions which promote good health. Both drugs are also rich in Mg (1319.04 and 2340.00 mg/100 g, respectively) and Ca (784.31 and 1011.67 mg/100 g, respectively), these values being comparable to the recommended dietary intakes. The values obtained for Fe/Cu and Fe/Zn ratios can promote bioavailability of these important mineral elements. The important role of ascorbic acid in enhancing iron absorption is discussed with the conclusion that the two drugs have the potential to meet some dietary requirements which promote healthy blood that prevents infections. The study recommends safety and efficacy evaluations of the two PHFs based on their residual constituents, in vivo activity and bioavailability of their beneficial constituents.
Key words: Antioxidants, ascorbic acid, herbal formulations, anti-malaria, mineral elements composition.
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