Maerua angolensis DC is a medicinal plant widely used in ethnomedicine in northern Nigeria. It is used to treat disease conditions like skin infections, sexually transmitted diseases, peptic ulcers and wounds amongst others. The plant is well known in Fulani Fulfude as leggal baali (or leggal mbaali). The plant was subjected to pharmacognostic and physicochemical characterization to establish standard profiles for authentication of the plant which could be useful for further study on the plant. The chromatographic (TLC and HPLC) and phytochemical profiles were conducted along with the leaf microscopy and chemomicroscopy, using standard methods. The result established the chromatographic profile of the leaf extract. The qualitative phytochemical screening showed the presence of carbohydrates, saponins, anthraquinones and cardiac glycosides. The chemomicroscopy revealed the presence of lignin, cellulose, tannin, starch and oil, while mucilage and protein were not seen. The total ash content and moisture content were 12.1 and 7.0%, respectively and were within WHO limits. Extracts of the plant showed high hygroscopic character. The result provides good information for the authentication and use of the plant in further research and development.
Key words: Maerua angolensis, pharmacognostic character; phytochemicals, chromatographic profile.
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