Malaria has been a menace to the health conditions of both rural and urban populations in Nigeria. Ethnobotanical survey revealed the use of Anthocleista djalonensis A. Chev, Lophira alata Banks ex C.F. Gaertn. and Olax subscorpioidea Oliv. in the treatment of malaria in Akure, Southwestern Nigeria. The powdered plant samples were screened for phytochemical constituents, proximate composition and mineral elements according to standard protocols. There was no significant difference in the alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, saponins and tannins of the three samples. Anthraquinones and flavonoids were altogether absent. Available carbohydrate was highest in A. djalonensis (66.48%) and least in O. subscorpioidea (66.40%) whereas crude fibre was highest in O. subscorpioidea (19.93%) and least in L. alata (15.84%). The crude protein in A. djalonensis and L. alata almost tied with the least recorded for O. subscorpioidea (2.39%). The fat content in the three samples was generally low. Calcium was highest in L. alata (11767.83±29.17 mg/kg) and least in A. djalonensis (7413.67±17.16 mg/kg); whereas, magnesium was highest in A. djalonensis (1582.33±26.10 mg/kg) and least in O. subscorpioidea (1180.33±33.38 mg/kg). However, L. alata was found to contain 333.63±1.74 mg/kg of iron while A. djalonensis and O. subscorpioidea had 301.33±4.04 and 249.68±4.72 mg/kg, respectively. Similarly, phosphorus content was highest in L. alata (934.58±0.51 mg/kg) and least in O. subscorpioidea (552.95±2.38 mg/kg). The zinc content was highest in A. djalonensis (80.67±2.08 mg/kg). Manganese was found to be 67.71±4.19 mg/kg in L. alata, 50.71±1.58 mg/kg in A. djalonensis, and 30.94±2.13 mg/kg in O. subscorpioidea. Lead tested negative in all the three samples. The plant samples contained major mineral elements and nutritive compounds. They may help to prevent opportunistic infections associated with malaria, as well as help to manage metabolic diseases. Anti-nutritive compounds and heavy metal composition in the samples are negligible and as such make the plants safe for consumption.
Key words: Malaria, Anthocleista djalonensis, Lophira alata, Olax subscorpioidea, phytochemicals, minerals, Akure, Nigeria.