Tannins, phlobatannins, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides and alkaloids distribution in six Malaysian medicinal plants, where each medicinal plant belongs to different families were examined and compared. The plants used areAzadirachta indica, Centella asiatica, Emblica officinalis, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Imperata cylindrica, and Moringa oleifera. Qualitative analysis carried out on each plant shows that tannins, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids and alkaloids were present in all the plants. Phlobatannins were found to be present in C. asiatica andM. oleifera only and were absent in the rest of the plants. Cardiac glycosides were present in A. indica, C. asiatica and I. cylindrica and found to be absent in E. officinalis, H. rosa-sinensis and M. oleifera. The significance of the phytochemical constituents with the respect to the role of these plants in traditional medicine treatment is discussed.
Key words: Medicinal plants, traditional medicine, phytochemical constituents.
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