The stem bark of Jatropha curcas Linn (Euphorbiaceae) widely used in ethno medicine was studied. The methanolic extract (ME) and methanolic extract fractions (MEF) namely: chloroform fraction (CF), ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) and methanol fraction (MF) of J. curcas were subjected to antimicrobial evaluation and phytochemical screening. Results showed that saponins and steroids were present only in the ME and CF. However, the ME and MEF were containing alkaloids, terpenoids, glycosides, resins, carbohydrates. Furthermore, on comparison with gentamicin sulphate (GS) (10 µgml-1), a known antibiotic, the ME and MEF (at the tested concentrations of between 0.625 and 20 mgml-1) elicited commensurate antimicrobial activity on the tested gram positive bacteria, but exhibited no activity neither on the tested gram negative bacteria, Plasmodium aeruginosa nor the fungus, Candida albicans. Altogether, the study suggests that methanolic extract and fractions of J. curcas stem bark may serve as source for compounds with therapeutic potentials and dietary energy. The study therefore prompts further investigations, including toxicological evaluation, to harness the possible potential use of J. curcas stem bark from Nsukka-Nigeria either as drug, food or pharmafood.
Key words: Phytochemicals, antimicrobial, Jatropha curcas, stem bark, pharmafood.
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