Qualitative and quantitative phytochemical evaluation of Quassia undulata (Guill. & Perr.) D. Dietr. leaves using different solvent polarities

Ibraheem Lawal, Olufunso Adeniyi, Oluwole Ariwoola

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5937/leksir2141012L


This study investigated solvent effects on the phytochemical composition of Quassia undulata leaves a medicinal plant used in treating arrays of diseases including fever and cough. The leaves were collected, washed, air-dried, pulverized and evaluated for some inherent phytochemicals using four different solvent systems based on their polarities. The solvents are methanol, acetone, ethyl acetate and chloroform. The methanol extract was found to have the highest number of secondary metabolites (saponins, tannins, flavonoids, steroids, coumarins, anthraquinones, alkaloids and phenols). None of the extracts tested positive for the presence of phlobatannins, terpenoids and emodins. The methanol extract was further analyzed quantitatively for some of the determined phytochemicals. Tannins had a concentration of 3.131 mg of catechin equivalents per 100 mg sample (mg CE/100g), alkaloids - 5.200 %, total phenolics - 11.828 mg of gallic acid equivalents per gram of extract (mg GAE/g), flavonoids - 8.074 mg of quercetin equivalents per gram of extract (mg QE/g) while 0.673 % saponins were detected. The presence of these secondary metabolites might justify the ethnomedicinal uses of Quassia undulata leaves as their bioactivity has been found to be dependent on the solvent used for extraction.


Quassia undulata; secondary metabolite; medicinal plant; solvent system.

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