Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Phytochemical Properties of Water Leaf and Scent Leaf

Phytochemical Properties of Water Leaf and Scent Leaf

Phytochemical Properties of Water Leaf and Scent Leaf

Chapter One

The Objective of The Study

Therefore the objective of this study was to determine the phytochemical properties present in scent leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) and water leaf (Talinum triangulare) using different drying methods.



Scent Leaf (Ocimum gratissimum)

Scent Leaf (Ocimum gratissimum) is an herbaceous plant which belongs to the Labiatae family. The plant is indigenous to tropical areas especially India and it is also in West Africa. In Nigeria, it is found in the Savannah and coastal areas. It is cultivated in Ceylon, South Sea Islands, and also within Nepal, Bengal, Chittagong and Deccan (Gill, 2008). It is known by various names in different parts of the world. In India it is known by its several vernacular names, the most commonly used ones being Vriddhutulsi (Sanskrit), Ram tulsi (Hindi), Nimmatulasi (Kannada). In the southern part of Nigeria, the plant is called “effinrin”in-nla” by the Yoruba speaking tribe. It is called “Ahuji” by the Igbos, while in the Northern part of Nigeria, the Hausas call it “Daidoya” (Lawrence, 2003).

Most members of this family such as Hyptis, Thymus, Origanum, Salvia and Mentha species are considered economically useful because of their basic natural characteristics as essential oil producers. These essential oils are composed primarily of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and have been the subject of extensive studies due to their economic importance (Lawrence, 2003).It is widely distributed in tropical and warm temperate regions. Ocimumgratissimum  is called ‘efinrin’ by the yorubas of the southwestern part of Nigeria, ‘nchanwu’ by the Igbos and ‘Dai’doya’ by the Hausas. It has been reported to contain the terpenoids, eugenol and thymol, saponins and alkaloides (Gill, 2008).

Ocimumgratissimum is germicidal and has found wide use in toothpastes and mouth washes as well as some topical ointments (Nakamura  et al.,1999; Holets et al.,2003; Pessoa  et al., 2003). It is used as an excellent gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis. It is also used as an expectorant and a cough suppressant. The plant extract is used against gastrointestinal helminths of animals and man (Fakae, 2000; Chitwood, 2003). In addition, Ocimumgratissimum carminative properties make it a good choice for stomach upset. It is used as an emetic and for hemorrhoids. The plant is also used for the treatment of rheumatism, paralysis, epilepsy, high fever, diarrhea, sunstroke, influenza, gonorrhea and mental illness (Dhawan et al., 2007; Oliver, 2000; Abdulrahman, 2002; Osifo, 2002; Sofowora, 2003; Sulistiarini, 1999).

In addition, the plant is used as a spice and condiment in the southern part of Nigeria. The plant is commonly used in folk medicine to treat different diseases such as upper respiratory tract infections diarrhea, headache, ophthalmic, skin diseases, pneumonia, cough fever and conjunctivitis (Onajobi, 2006). It is used by the Igbo’s in southern Nigeria in the management of baby’s cord. It is believed to keep the baby’s cord and wound surfaces sterile (Iwu, 2006). Ocimumgratissimum has been reported to be active against several species of bacteria and fungi (Nwosu and Okafor, 1995; Nakaruma et al., 1999).Much has been documented on the antimicrobial properties of the leaf extract of this plant. This work is therefore aimed at evaluation of the antimicrobial property of the leaf extract of these plants. The whole plant and the essential oil have many applications in traditional medicine, especially in Africa and India. In folk medicine, it is used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhoea, headache, ophthalmia, skin disease, pneumonia, cough, fever, conjunctivitis, gonorrhoeal, mental illness, high fever and influenza (Abdulrahman, 2002; Correa, 2002; Dhawan et al., 2007; Oliver, 2000; Osifo, 2002; Sofowora, 2003; Sulisfiarimi, 1999).





Scent leaf (Ocimumgratissimum ) and water leaf (Talinumtriangulare) were purchased from “OjaIkoko” market in Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. The leafy vegetables was identify in the department of Food science and Technology Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State.


 Preparation of Samples (Ocimumgratissimum  and Talimumtriangulare)

The scent leaf (Ocimumgratissimum ) and water leaf (Talimumtriangulare) were first separated from the stalk, rinsed with clean water to remove the dust and dirt. The vegetables were sliced after washing, one part of the water leaf and scent leaf was sundried while the other part was dried with cabinet dryer(Azu and Onyeagba, 2007).




Table 4.1: Phytochemical Properties of Scent leaf and Water leaf Samples




Results of this study revealed that leaves of T. triangulare and O. gratissimum contain an appreciable amount of oxalate, phytate, alkaloids, saponins and tannins. It was observed that the methods of drying has great influence on those phytochemical properties. Since it contains substantial amount of bioactive compounds, it can therefore be concluded that T. triangulare and O. gratissimum  leaves can contribute significantly to the health management of man and should be recommended in our daily nutritional need.


Based on the research of this study it is therefore recommended that the consumption and utilization of water leaf and scent leaf should be encouraged, because of its medicinal and nutritional values which can help a long way in treating disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular and other diseases regarding heart health.


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