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Keywords: Natural Sciences
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Euphorbia granulata Forssk and Euphorbia prostrata Aiton are two medicinal plants belonging to family euphorbiaceae. The present study was aimed at biochemical, environmental and medicinal exploration of these two plants. Biochemically the two plants and their parts were investigated for proximate composition, important phytochemicals and mineral elements. Nutritionally both plants were found with almost identical and excellent quantities of crude fibers (18.3 ±0.68 to 20 ± 0.49), proteins (17.5 ±0.52 to 18.3 ± 0.18) and carbohydrates (39.64 ±0.29 to39.9 ±1.32) however E. prostrata was comparatively more nutritious than E. granulata. Similarly more lipids were noted for E. granulata compared to E. prostrata. Vertical distribution in plant parts showed comparatively more protein and lipids in seeds, more carbohydrates in stem and roots and more fibers in roots than other parts. Phytochemicals are medicinally important secondary metabolites. The composition of the two plants showed the presence of total phenolics, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, glycosides and saponins in good quantity. Comparing the two plants, showed high amount of phenolics, flavonoids and alkaloids in E. granulata however tannins and glycosides were found more in E. prostrata. Both plants contained equal amount of saponins. Leaves were found the highest contributor to the total phytochemicals quantified in whole plant. Macro and micro minerals in plants are important for the health of its consumers. The composition of E. granulata and E. prostrata revealed that the two plants were good source of most minerals. The plants contained micronutrients Fe, Mg, Mn, Zn, Mo and Se in sufficient amount to supply them well above the recommended dietary allowances (RDA). Only Cu was present in small amount. On the other hand only Cl was present in small amount while the rest of macronutrients (S, Ca, P, Na, N and K) were present in good dietary quantity. Some plants have the unique ability of accumulating toxic heavy metals from contaminated soil called phyto-extractor. The phyto-extraction ability E. granulata and E. prostrata was checked for Hg, As, Pb, Cd, Co, Cr, Ag, Mo, Ni and Sn. Out of these tested heavy metals E. granulata was found to take up Mo, As and Ni actively while E. prostrata tend to extract Hg and Mo with bio-accumulation coefficient more than 1. The levels of heavy metals accumulated in the two plants were also evaluated for toxicity. The observed concentrations in the two plants were not enough to produce toxicity specified by WHO/FAO and other authorities are mentioned in this dissertation. The two plants exhibited pronounced effects on biochemical and physiological parameters. Diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary heart diseases (CHDs), hypertension, hepatitis, osteoporosis, and blood related diseases have posed challenge to the health care providers. Synthetic therapeutics is not only expensive but a number of adverse side effects are associated with them. Plants are possible sources of novel structural entities that could provide effective treatment to the prevailing diseases. Extracts of E. granulata and E. prostrata were noted to decrease the blood glucose level in normal rabbits more than in alloxan induced DM rabbits. The hypoglycemic effect was more pronounced with E. granulata than with E. prostrata. The two plants were also found effective in modulating the levels of serum lipid profile. The levels of TC, LDL and VLDL decreased with E. granulata extract, in normal, isoprenaline treated and diabetic rabbits but had no effect on the levels of HDL, TG or FFA. However in case of E. prostrata, additionally FFA levels also normalized with extract. The results of preventive groups revealed that both E. granulata and E. prostrata have the ability to minimize the myocardial cell injury caused by isoprenaline. ALT, AST, bilirubin, urea, albumin and total protein are biochemical markers that indirectly reflect the health of liver. Rabbits having hepatic injury when treated with extract of E. granulata had brought down significantly (p <0.01) the levels of ALTand AST but had increased that of urea, TP and Alb. This was an indirect reflection of improved liver health. The impact of E. prostrata on these markers was not equally effective. In latter case, although ALT and AST decreased significantly (p<0.05) with extract dose but TP and Alb were not improved to any significant degree. The extract dose of both E. granulata and E. prostrata, before inducing liver injury was effective in minimizing the CCl4 induced injury. The impact on bone health was monitored from the level of bone health markers (ALP, Ca and P levels). It was noted that the extract of E. granulata and E. prostrata had significant (p > 0.05) and similar to PTH effects on bone health profile. There were increased activities of ALP and high serum levels of Ca and P levels which were clear indications of positive impact on bone health. Three major electrolytes levels were monitored with different extract doses. The plant extract had no indication on influencing the levels of serum electrolytes. The two plants had also exhibited to have therapeutic effect in improving anemia in experimentally induced animals. It was noted that with extract dose of E. granulata the values of Rbcs, Hb and PCV increased but no change was noted for MCH, MCHC and MCV. This represented that after treatment with extract Rbcs were produced having normal size and optimum Hb concentration. It was further investigated the plant extract had no effect in preventing the damage caused by PHZ. In case of E. granulata the ant anemic property was observed in both normal as well as in anemic rabbits but E. prostrata was effective in anemic subject only. Studying the impacts of the two plants on immunological parameters (Tlc, neutrophils, eosinophil, basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes and thrombocytes) unveiled that they have no role in modulating immune system. The two plants were evaluated for antioxidant potential using DPPH free radical scavenging activity. E. prostrata whole plant exhibited more DPPH inhibition (67.37 ± 0.949%) than E. granulata (59.93 ± 1.058%) had. Stems of the two plants had equal activities while leaves of E. prostrata were more scavenging properties than E. granulata. However the case of roots was reversed of the leaves. Brine shrimp lethality bioassay results proved the non-cytotoxic nature of the two plants with high LC 50 of 33.88 (E. granulate) and 25.7 mg / ml (E. prostrata). The plants were further checked for phytotoxicity using lemna bioassay and radish seeds germination and radical growth methods. The results suggested that E. granulata extracts had stimulant effect on Lemna minor growth but had no effects either on seed radish seed germination or radical growth. Furthermore phytotoxicity study revealed that E. prostrata had neutral activity towards Lemna minor and radish seeds germination. However the extracts had inhibitory effects on small doses but were stimulatory towards radical growth at large doses. Three methods were used to check the insecticidal potential of the two plants but both E. granulata and E. prostrata were ineffective against Tribolium castaneum. Antibacterial potential of the two plants were checked against eight pathogenic bacteria (Klebsiella pneumonia, Bacillus cerus, Citrobacter frundii, Streptococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escheritia coli and Serratia marcscens). Of all the tested strains Serratia marcscens was found most sensitive while Citrobacter frundii (QUF-ATCC) the most resistant to both extracts. Similarly antifungal activities of the two plants were evaluated against four important fungal strains (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus parasiticus, and Fusarium oxysporum). Out of them Aspergillus niger was found sensitive to E. granulata while Aspergillus flavus to E. v prostrata. In combination with standard drug the extracts of both E. granulata and E. prostrata exhibited additive properties, against both bacterial strains as well as fungal strains. Antitumor potential were also tested using Agrobacterium tumefaciens on potato discs and carrot discs methods. The two had no tumor suppressing activities rather a 10% stimulatory effect on potato discs was noted for E. granulata.
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