Malaria remains one of the most prevalent diseases throughout tropics and subtropical areas and its effective chemotherapy remains a problem. Hence the need to continue to explore plants for their therapeutic potentials. In Nupeland, Lannea barteri (monkey’s faru), Piliostigma thonningii (camel’s foot tree or monkey’s bread), Clerodendrum aculeatum (haggar bush or garden quinine) and Crateva adansonii (Three leaved-caper) are some of the plants commonly used in the treatment of malaria. This study evaluated the phytochemical constituents and the acute toxicity of the methanolic extracts of these plants using standard procedures. Results of the qualitative phytochemical analysis showed that all the methanolic extracts of the plants tested positive to alkaloids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids and glycosides. While only P. thonningii shows the presence of anthroquinones. The analysis also shows the presence of flavonoids in all the plants extracts except C. adansonii root. Acute toxicity study of the extracts of L. barteri and P. thonningii leaves revealed an oral LD50 > 2500 mg/kg body weight, C. aculeatum leaf has LD50 >1500 mg/kg body weight and C. adansonii root has LD50 >2000 mg/kg body weight in mice. The presence of some of the phytochemicals in the plants’ extracts and the values of the LD50 recorded could explain their use traditionally for the treatment of wide array of illness including malaria.
Key words: Malaria, Lannea barteri, Piliostigma thonningii, Clerodendrum aculeatum, Crateva adansonii, phytochemical, acute toxicity.
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