Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3835

Full Length Research Paper

Phytochemical properties and toxicity to brine shrimp of medicinal plants in Erute county, Lira district, Uganda

Christine Oryema1*, Remigius Bukenya Ziraba2, Olwa Odyek2, Nelson Omagor2 and Alfonse Opio1
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Gulu University, P. O. Box 166, Gulu, Uganda. 2Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda. 3Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Gulu University, P. O. Box 166, Gulu, Uganda.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 25 January 2011
  •  Published: 16 October 2011


Erute county is known to have a number of medicinal plants that are used commonly as remedies of many ailments. The study was conducted in 54 parishes of Erute county and aimed at determining the phytochemical constituents and toxicity of the medicinal plants used by the community. Questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions were used to obtain ethnobotanical data of these plants. Field visits were made with traditional medicinal practitioners (TMPs) and eleven key medicinal plants (Helicrysum gerberifolium Sch.BIP, Pseudocedrela kotschyi (Sceinf.) Harms, Clematis hirsute Perr. and Gull., Clerodendrum myricoides R.B, Stagnotaenia areliacea Hosct, Gladiolus psitticinus L., Trichilia emetica Vahl, Schkuria piñata (Lam.) O. Oktze, Dombeya kirtii Mast, Rhyncosia densifolia and Vernonia brachycalyx Hoffm.) collected and identified. Voucher specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of Botany Department, Makerere University. Roots for chemical analysis were collection, air-dried under mild sunlight and grinded into uniform powder using a metal mortar. The extracts were obtained by successively soaking 100 g in ether, methanol and finally water. The analyzed extracts showed the presence of steriods / terpenoids, alkaloids, flavanoid, coumarin and emodol. Toxicity to brine shrimp was analyzed to determine their ED50s using Finney probability analysis software. The ED50s were in the range of 0.0894 to 2.6045, 0.1108 to 3654 and 0.0298 to 1.8219 for ether, methanol and water, respectively. Further extraction with other solvents is necessary for confirmation hence enhancing specific toxicity test.


Key words: Phytochemical, toxicity, brine shrimp, medicinal plants, Erute.