Securinega virosa (Euphorbiaceae) together with condiments from natural sources serve as antisickling remedies in Nigeria. This study was aimed at establishing the pharmacognostic profile as well as the antisickling activity of the leaves of S. virosa Roxb. ex Willd (Euphorbiaceae). Evaluation of the fresh, powdered and anatomical sections of the leaves were carried out to determine the macromorphological, micromorphological and chemomicroscopic characters. Chemical tests were employed in phytochemical investigations. Evaluation of the antisickling activity involved the inhibition of sodium metabisulphite-induced sickling of the HbSS red blood cells obtained from confirmed sickle cell patients who were not in crises. Concentrations of the crude extract and its fractions were tested with normal saline and p-hydroxybenzoic acid serving as controls. Microscopical studies showed anomocytic stomata arrangement and glandular trichomes. Phytochemical evaluation revealed the presence of tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins and cardiac glycosides. Percentage sickling inhibitions of the aqueous methanol extract of S. virosa as well as all the fractions, except the petroleum ether fractions were significant all through the period of assay p < 0. 05 compared to normal saline. These results are suggestive of a potential role for S. virosa in the management of sickle cell disorders and a candidate for further investigations.
Key words: Securinega virosa, euphorbiaceae, pharmacognostic standardization, sickle cell disorders.
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