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Aim: Mistletoes are highly utilized in traditional medicine to treat different kinds of diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and malaria, among others. The chemistry of African mistletoe is not sufficiently documented. This paper is therefore, aimed at determining the phytochemicals present in the crude extracts of mistletoe parasitic on plants that are commonly seen as hosts.
Study Design: This study was designed to compare the phytochemical profiles of mistletoe stem barks obtained from different plant hosts.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Chemistry, University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State Nigeria, between August and September, 2018.
Methodology: Powdered stem bark of mistletoe was extracted successively with hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol. Preliminary phytochemical screening was carried out on the extracts. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) was carried out on silica gel precoated plates in 9:1 (hexane/ethyl acetate), 1:1 (hexane/ethyl acetate), and 7:3 (ethyl acetate/methanol) mobile phases for hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol extracts respectively.
Results: The study revealed the presence of secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins/phenols, cardiac glycosides, steroids and triterpenoids. It was evident from TLC analysis that mistletoes from various plant hosts contain similar chemical profile.
Conclusion: We therefore debunk the claim by some herbalists that medicinal values of mistletoes vary due to host plant. This is the first time a study of this kind is reported on mistletoe parasitic on Vitellaria paradoxa Pilostigma thonningii, Combretum fragrans.
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