Phytochemical And Anticrobial Properties Of Bryophyllum Pinnatum

Phytochemical And Anticrobial Properties Of Bryophyllum Pinnatum (Odaa Opuo)



1.1     Background of the Study

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plant, some are responsible for colour and other organoleptic properties. Phytochemical is the term generally used to refer to those chemicals that may have biological significance; for example, Saponins, Flavonoids, Alkaloids e.t.c. There may be as many as 4000 different phytochemicals having potential to affect diseases such ascancer, stroke or metabolic syndrome. (Sneaker,2014). Some phytochemicals with physiological properties may be elements rather than complex organic molecules. For example, selenium, which is abundant in many fruits and vegetables, is dietary mineral involved with major metabolic pathway, including thyroid hormone metabolism and immune function.

An antimicrobial is an agent that kill microorganism or inhibit there growth, (Kingston, 2008). Antimicrobial substances or agents can be grouped according to the microorganisms they act primarily against. For example, antibacterial are used against bacterial and antifungals are used against fungi. They can also be classified according to their functions. Agents that kills microbes are called microbial, while those that merely inhibit their growth are called microbiostatics.

Bryophyllum is a plant genus of the Crassulaceae family, that has sometimes been included within the gene Kalanchoe and it is commonly known as sprouting leaf. Bryophyllum pinnatum is also known as life plant, air or maternity plant, love plant, canterbury bells, cathedral bell e.t.c.

Bryophyllum pinnatum is otherwise known as “o daa o puo” in Igbo Eastern Nigeria. The plant flourishes throughout the southern part of Nigeria. (Gill, 2002). A number of species are cultivated as ornamentals and are popular tropical house plant. It is a perennial herb growing widely and used in folkloric medicine in tropical Africa, tropical America, India, China and Australia. (Oliver, 1993; Dehbuti, Gupta and Devhbuti, 2012). According to world health organization, a medicinal plant is any plant in which one or more of its organs contains substances that can be used for synthesis of useful drug (WHO, 1997). Plant should be investigated to better understand their properties, safety and efficacy (Nascimento, Locatelli, Feitas and silvia, 2000). There are several published reports describing the antimicrobial activity of various crude plant extracts either in single or in combination. (Igoli. Ogaji, Torayiin and Igoli, 2005). It is estimates that there are about 2.5millio species of higher plants and majority of these have not been examined for their pharmacological activities. Plant based antimicrobials represent a vast untapped source. The use of plant extract for medicinal treatment has become popular especially now when people are beginning to realize that the effective life span of antimicrobial is limited and over-prescription and misuse cause antimicrobial resistance. Alam, Karim and Khan, 2009). This research is therefore aimed at determining the phytochemical potential and antimicrobial properties of Bryophyllum pinnatum against selected organism.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

In recent years, drug resistance to human pathogen bacteria has been commonly reported from all over the world. (Paddock and Wise, 1999; Singh, Chaud, Yadara and Sanyal, 2002; Davis, 2004, Robin, Anrily, Alexander, Loeto and Keith, 2008).

However, the situation is alarming in developing as well as developed countries due to indiscriminate use of antimicrobials. Therefore, alternative antimicrobial strategies are urgently needed and thus this solution was led to re-evaluation of the therapeutic use of ancient remedies such as of the therapeutic use of ancient remedies such as plant. (Mandal, Pal, Chaudhury and Deb, 2009; Basualdo, Syroyi, Finola and Juam, 2007).

1.3     Purpose/Aim  of the study

The main objectives of this study is to extract and investigate phytochemicals from Bryophyllum pinnatum and investigate its antimicrobial properties.

Specifically, this work will achieve the following:

  1. Extract a juice from Bryophyllum pinnatum.
  2. Test for the phytochemical constituents of Bryophyllum pinnatum.
  3. Examine the antimicrobial properties of the extract in some microorganism

1.4     Significance of the Study

At the successful completion of the study, the result will be beneficial to the indigenes which this plants abounds. They can use it to treat inflammatory diseases.

This plant can be used as an antimicrobial drug to cure inflammation, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

A tea made from the leaves can be used in treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, cholera and phthisis. The leaves are made pliable by hold over fire are applied to wounds, bruises, boils and also can be used as poultice in bad ulcer.

1.5     Scope of the Study

The plant B. pinnatum will be collected from Umuchu in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State, Eastern Nigeria, West Africa.

This study centered on the phytochemical screening and Antimicrobial properties of the leaves of this plant. The antimicrobial properties was done on the following microorganism: E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S.aureus and the phytochemical screening will be restricted to the following natural product: Saponins, Tannins, Steroids, Alkaloids, Flavonoid and Terpenes.

1.6     Research Question

  1. Are there biological active compounds in pinnatum?
  2. Are there agents in pinnatum that can kill microorganism or inhibit their growth?



Plants are rich source of natural product. They form major parts of ingredients in almost all system of therapeutics. Most of the pharmaceutical industries are conducing extensive research on plants collected from the rainforest and other places of their potential medicinal value. Modern allopathic system of medicine is also based on plants and herbs.

Medicinal plants are relevant in both developing and developed nations of the world as source of drugs or herbal extract. Various chemotherapeutic purposes continue to play a dominant role in maintenance of human health since antiquities. Over 50% of all modern clinical drugs are of natural products origin (Kokate, 1994) and natural products play an important role in drug developing program of the pharmaceutical industry.

The taxonomy of Bryophyllum pinnatum is presented below.

Kingdom                                             Plantae

Phylum                                              Angiosperm

Order                                       Saxifragales

Family                                               Crassulaceae

Genus                                                Bryophyllum

Species                                              B.pinnatum


The plant is an erect, more or less branched smooth, succulent herb. 0.4 to 1.4m in height, leaves are simple or pinnately compound with the leaflets elliptic, usually about 10cm long, thick, succulent and scalloped margins which can develop while still attached to the plant or when detached, a fascinating characteristic that ears its name.

Food contents are carbohydrates, protein, lipids, and iodine. The herb is good source of mineral elements such as Na, Ca, K, P, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn. Sugar content includes raffinose, lactose, sucrose, glucose, galactose, and fructose. The plant is also a good source Ascorbic acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine, and Niacin.

Traditional Uses of Bryophyllum pinnatum

The leaves and leaf juice have been used traditionally as anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcer, anti-septic, hypocholesterolemic and cough suppressant (Ali,et al. 2013).

The plant is effective in treating cough and bronchitis. Heated leaves helps cure swelling and abscesses. It is also used in cases of diabetes. (Cowan, 1999).

A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea and cholera. The juice of the leaves is used in treating eye inflammations, cuts and wound as well as ear sore. The plant performs the following functions. The plant is astringe (a substance which draws tissue together, thus restricting the flow of blood). A diuretic (a medicine that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney). An emollient (a substance that softens the skin). A hemostatic (a medicine that stops bleeding). A depurative (a medicine that purifies the blood or human). (Radominska, 2010).

Phytochemicals: Are complex chemical substances of different composition and are found as secondary plant metabolite in these plants. (Kayode and Kayode, 2011).

Alkaloids: Are a group of naturally occurring chemical compound (natural products) that contain nitrogen atoms. This group also include some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties (Manske, 1995). Some synthethic compounds of similar structure are also termed alkaloids.

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