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This research work was carried out to identify the bioactive constituents of the leaves and stem barks of Ageratum conyzoides Linn, a medicinally important plant of the Asteraceae family. This plant was selected on the basis of its widespread use in traditional herbal medicine.The present study deals with extraction, isolation and characterization of the bioactive compounds from the ethanol extract of leaves and stem barks of Ageratum conyzoides Linn. The extraction was done by macerating the air dried powdered samples into the solvent followed by filtration and concentration. Separation and purification of the various constituents of the crude extracts were done using chromatographic techniques.TLC and Column chromatography were  carried out using  different mobile phases and the solvent blends used were petroleum ether .ethyl acetate, chloroform and Methanol. Qualitative thin layer chromatography was used to monitor the column fractions and also to ascertain the purity of the isolates. The chemical constituents by GC-MS analysis of whole plant extract of Ageratum conyzoides Linn revealed seventy one phytochemicals ranging from high and low molecular weight chemical entities with varying quantities present. The chemical investigation resulted in the isolation of four compounds.  Compound [1] 3-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene  was isolated at Rf 0.69 from the stem bark The MS spectrum showed a molecular ion peak at m/z 426, which corresponded to a molecular formula of C30H50O.  Compound [2] (β-Amyrin acetate) was obtained  from the leaf extract of Ageratum conyzoides Linn with Rf 0.63. The MS spectrum showed a molecular ion peak at m/z 467, which corresponded to a molecular formula of C32H52O2. Compound [3] 3,3-dimethyl, (1- hydroxy) cyclohexene propanenitrile, 4-benzoate  was obtained from the leaf extract. The MS spectrum showed a molecular ion peak at m/z 297, which corresponded to a molecular formula of  C18H19O3N FTIR revealed the presence of alcohol (3298 cm-1),  nitrite (2250 cm-1), carbonyl (1726 cm-1), aromatic (1451 cm-1}. Compound [4] ] 3-keto lupane was obtained at Rf of 0.78 from the leaf extract. Mass spectrum gave a molecular ion peak at m/z 424, which was consistent with a molecular formula of C30H48O.The FTIR spectrum showed a carbonyl stretch at 1707 cm-1 and CH stretches at 2922 and 2858 cm-1. The structural elucidation of the compounds   were deduced using   MS, IR, 1D NMR (1H and 13C) along with 2D NMR Spectra ( DEPT ,COSY, HMBC and HSQC). . The antibacterial activity of crude extracts from parts of the plant were tested against four bacteria species; two gram positive pathogens namely (Salmonella typhi,, and Staphylococcus aureus ) and two gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa), using  disc diffusion technique. All the crude plant extracts showed inhibitory activity against the gram positive bacteria, and gram negative bacteria. At concentrations of 12.5-100 mg/ml, the extracts possesses antibacterial activity (from being partially active to very active)


Title Page                                                                                                                                i

Declaration                                                                                                                              ii

Certification                                                                                                                            iii        

Acknowledgement                                                                                                                  iv

Table of contents                                                                                                                    v

List of tables                                                                                                                           vi

List of plate                                                                                                                             vii

List of figures                                                                                                                         viii

Abstract                                                                                                                                  ix



1.1    Background of the Study                                                                                              1

 1.2   Justification of Research Work                                                                                      4

1.3    Objectives of the Research                                                                                            4


2.1       Origin of Geographical Distribution of the Ageratum conyzoides                             5

2.1.1    Description of the plant                                                                                              5

2.1.2    Ageratum conyzoides species                                                                                      8

2.1.3    Pharmacognosy of Ageratum conyzoides                                                                   8

2.1.4    Scientific classification of A. conyzoides                                                                    9

2.1.5    Ethnomedical uses of A.conyzoides                                                                            9

2.1.6    Chemical constituents of A. conyzoides                                                                      11

2.1.7    Pharmacological uses of Ageratum conyzoides                                                            19

2.1.8    Agricultural and environmental application                                                                21

2.1.9    Phytochemicals with medicinal activity                                                                     22

2.2.      Alkaloids                                                                                                                     24

2.2.1    Saponins                                                                                                                      25

2.2.2    Major actions of saponins in the body                                                                        26

2.2.3    Flavonoids                                                                                                                  27 

2.2.4    Carotenoids                                                                                                                 30

2.2.5     Anthocyanins                                                                                                             30

2.2.6     Reservatol                                                                                                                  31

2.2.7    Tanins                                                                                                                          32

2.2.8     Phenolic compounds as antioxidants                                                                         33

2.2.9     Overview of pants in Asteraceae family                                                                    33

2.3       Haemorrage Plant (Aspilia Africana )                                                                         34         

2.3.1     Emilia coccinea –Asteraceae                                                                                     35

2.3.2     The botany of ethnobotanical history of Emilia coccinea                                         37

2.4.       Medicinal Plants as Important Source of Natural and Drug Lead Molecules           38

2.4.1     Significance of medicinal plants in drug discovery                                                   39

2.4.2     Bronchodilator                                                                                                           40



3.1   Research Design                                                                                                             42

3.2   Sample Collection                                                                                                           43

3.3   Sample Preparation                                                                                                         43

3.4    Phytochemical Determination                                                                                        44

3.4.1   Determination of alkaloid                                                                                            44

3.4.2   Determination of saponin                                                                                            44

3.4.3   Determination of tannin by Folin, Dennis colorimeter method                                   45

3.4.4   Determination of flavonoid                                                                                         45

3.4.5   Determination of phenol by A.O.A.C method                                                                        46

3.5     Extraction of the Plant Material                                                                                   46

3.6      Isolation and Purification of the Compounds                                                             50


3.7      Thin layer Chromatography                                                                                         50

3.7.1    Preparing plates for thin layer chromatography                                                          51

3.7.2    Spotting, developing and visualization                                                                       51

3.8       Experimental Procedure for Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry

             (GC –MS) of whole  Plant of Ageratum conyzoides living                                       52

3.8.1     Components identification                                                                                        53

3.8.2    NMR characterization technique                                                                                53

3.8.3    NMR structure elucidation                                                                                         53

3.8.4    1HNMR spectroscopy                                                                                                 54

3.8.5    13C NMR                                                                                                                     54

3.8.6    Correlation spectroscopy COSY                                                                                54

3.8.7    Heteronuclear multiple bond coherence (HMBC)                                                      55

3.9       Antimicrobial Evaluation of Ageratum conyzoides Plant Parts Leaves and Stem                                          Bark                                                                                                                            55

3.9.1    Test organisms                                                                                                55

3.9.2    Media preparation                                                                                                       55

 3.9.3   Sub-culturing of text organisms                                                                                  55

3.9.4    Antibacterial assay of the plant leaf and stem extracts                                              56



4.1       Percentage Yield of Extracts (leaves & stem bark)                                                    57

4.2       Phytochemical Composition of Leaves and Stem Bark of Ageratum conyzoides      57

4.3        Antimicrobial Activity of Organic Crude Plant Extract of A. conyzoides leaves

             and stem bark                                                                                                             59

4.3.1    Antibacterial activity of crude plant extract of Ageratum conyzoides leaf extract and

            Stem barks                                                                                                                  60

4.4       Isolation and Structural Elucidation of Compound [1]   (3-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene 63

4.5       Structural Characterization of Compound [1]   3-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene                 66

4.6       Isolation and Elucidation of Compound [2] β-amyrin acetate                                   71

4.6.1    Structural Characterization of Compound [2] β-amyrin acetate                                 74

4.7       Isolation and Structural Elucidation of Compound [3]

4.7.1    Structural Characterization of Compound [3] 3,3 dimethyl,(1 hydroxy) cyclohexene                      propanenitrile, 4-benzoate C18H19O3                                                                                                   ­­­­80

4.8       Isolation and Structural Elucidation of Compound [4] 3- keto lupine                       84

4.9       Structural Characterization of Compound [4] 3- keto lupine                                    87

4.9.3    G.C-MS of whole pant chloroform extract of Ageratum conyzoides                         107     



5.1       Conclusion     

5.2       Recommendations










3.1   TLC identification text                                          

3.2   Microbe names and type used

4.1   Phytochemical composition of Leaves and stem bark of Ageratum conyzoides

4.2   Minimum inhibitory concentration of plant extracts

4.3   ­­­­13C NMR and 1H NMR of compound [1]

4.4   FTIR Analysis of compound [1]

4.5   The m/z and the molecular formula of compound [1]

4.6   FTIR Analysis of compound [2]

4.6.1   ­­­­13C NMR and 1H NMR of compound [2]

4.6.2   The m/z and the molecular formula of compound [2]

4.7     Infra-Red Analysis of the compound [3]

4.8   ­­­­  13C NMR and 1H NMR of compound [3]

4.8.1   The m/z and the molecular formula of compound [3]

4.9      FTIR Analysis of compound [4]

4.9.1   13Carbon and 1H NMR data for compound [4] lupenone

4.9.2   The m/z and the molecular formula of compound [4]

4.9.3  GC-MS analysis of Ageratum conyzoides showing molecular formula,                                               molecular weight, percentage content, retention time



                                                       LIST OF PLATE


2.1   Ageratum conyzoides plant, stem, leaves and flowers

3.1   Beakers of extracted samples (leaves and stem extracts) of A conyzoides

 3.2   Picture of the student carrying out column chromatographic in the night

 4.1   TLC Chromatogram showing different spots

 4. 2  TLC Chromatogram showing different spots on different solvent bend











 3.1      Flow chart of research design for the thesis

3.2       Milled plant parts of Ageratum conyzoides (a) Whole plant for GC-MS (b) Leaves (c)         Stem

 3.3      Extraction procedure of the leaves and stem barks of Ageratum conyzoides


4.1       Structural characterization of Compound [1]     3-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene,  m/z 426           molecular formula of C30H50O


 4.2      Fragmentation pattern of Compound [1] 3-hydroxylup-20(29)-ene

4.3       Structural characterisation of Compound [2]  β- Amyrin acetate

 4.3.1   Fragmentation Pattern of Compound [2]

 4.4      Structural characterisation of Compound [3] 3, 3-dimethyl, (1 hydroxy) cyclohexene             propanenitrile, 4-benzoate C18H19O3   M/Z =   297

 4.5      Fragmentation pattern of the Nitrile [3]

 4.6      Structural characterization of Compound [4 ] 3-Keto lupine

 4.7      Fragmentation pattern of compound [4]

  4.8     GC-MS chromatogram of Ageratum conyzoides whole plant extract

   4.9    GC- MS of Mass Spectra Ageratum conyzoides whole plant extract









Plant-based remedies enjoy a reputable position today, particularly in the developing countries, where basic health care facilities are inadequate. Herbal medications which are more effective, safe and cheap are gaining ground in both urban and rural communities (Shariat and Noor, 2018). Information from ethnic groups or traditional medicine practitioners has played an important role in the development of novel bioactive medicinal products from herb as therapeutic agents (Katewa et al., 2004)

Medicinal plants are in high demand in the developed as well as developing countries for basic healthcare need, because of their wide biological and medicinal properties, higher safety margins and lesser costs. Over the years, the WHO suggested that countries should get involved in the use of herbal medicine with the aim of exploiting the secondary metabolites that provide effective and safe solutions for diseases of both non-microbial and microbial origins (Fatema., 2013). Medicinal plants have been revealed to have valid utility and over 80% people living in rural communities rely on its efficacy for their primary health care. The efficacy of herbal medicines against ill health is possible due to presence of so many bioactive constituents such as nutrients, phytochemicals, etc, which have pharmacological activities in the body of living organisms (Amadi et al., 2012).

Ageratum conyzoides Linn is among the annual herb with a long history of traditional medicinal applications in both sub-tropical and tropical zones of the world. Ageratum is coiled from the Greek words ‘a geras’ meaning non-aging which refers to long life-time of plant. It is generally refered to as billy goat weeds. Asteraceae family comprises over 35 species with Ageratum conyzoides as one of the genus in the family (Okunade., 2002). Among the species is the Ageratum conyzoides L., which is generally refered to as “billy goat weed”, “mentrasto” and “catinga-de-bode” (Asicumpo., 2005).

It can survive in both tropical and subtropical areas where it thrives as ornamental during summer (Greuter., 2016).  The species is now common in Europe, Africa, North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and Oceania. A.conyzoides is generally used in folk medicine in many nations of the world as analgesic, febrifuge, anti-inflammatory agent and purgative  (Okunade., 2002).The plant when mature is used for its antispasmodic haemostatic, anti-inflammatory, antiasthmatic,properties for bacterial infections and the treatment of wounds  (Gonzalez et al., 1991; Adetutu et al., 2012). Ageratum conyzoides is used for treatment of infective hepatitis, constipation, intestinal worms, filariasis and cuts. The whole plant possesses antiallergic, antinematocidal, anticoagulant, smooth muscle relaxant, haemostatic, analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial and hypothermic activities (Nogueira et al., 2010; Adetutu et al., 2012).The essential oil found in it can inhibit the growth and production of toxigenic strain of Aspergillu sparasiticus (Patil et al., 2010). A. conyzoides has growth inhibitory actions and larvicidal activities in the second and fourth instar larvae of the Anopheles stephensi (Neetu et al., 2011). Phytochemical examination of A. conyzoides indicated presence of alkaloids, resins, saponins, tannins, glycosides and flavonoids (Kamboj and Saluja., 2008).

A number of flavones have been identified including 8-hydroxy-5, 6, 7, 3, 4, 5- hexamethoxy flavones (Singh et al., 2013). Humans do not eat the plant except for medicinal purposes; however, the leaves are used to feed fish, domestic guinea pigs, cattle and horses. It has also been reported that the plant might contain allele chemicals when the acetone extract residue of the plant inhibits the growth and germination of the shoots and roots of other plants (Kato-Naguchim., 2001). Thus,it has been discovered that crude extracts from A. conyzoides offer the possibility of biological control of plant pathogenic fungi (Iqbal et al., 2004). The plant leaves have been   reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, with no apparent hepatotoxicity (Moura et al., 2005). A tea made from Ocimum tenuifolium mixed with flower heads is used to treat colds, catarrh and coughs. The juice from the flower heads is applied externally to treat scabies, and then a paste made from the flower head is used in treatment of rheumatism. The juice of the plant is also used to treat bruises, cuts and wounds. An extract of the dried plant or the fresh juice of the plant is used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis and also in treating post-partum uterine haemorrhage. Ageratum conyzoides is the only plant Igede people in Nigeria use in the treatment of HIV/AIDS (Igoli et al., 2005).

The plant as a whole produces strong smelled volatile oil which has several biological activities. It is used for dressing wounds, curing various skin diseases, ophthalmic, colic, ulcers treatment, as purgative and febrifuge. The infusion or decoction of the herb is taken in stomach ailments such as intestinal colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, flatulence, (Chopra et al., 2002), Many other traditional remedies include mouthwash for toothache, anti-itch, sleeping sickness, antitusive, vermifuge, tonic and killing lice (Burkill, 1985; Kapur, 1993).A freshly made decoction of the plant is used as a hair wash, leaving the hair soft, fragrant and dandruff free. The plant leaves are reported to have hematopoietic activity which could possibly cure anemia (Burkill., 1985). It was further reported to have gastroprotective potentials (Shirwaikar et al., 2003). The WSF of the plant extract produces peripheral analgesic activity and an anti-inflammatory action, which seems to occur in leucocyte-dependent inflammatory events. They are implicated in the mediation of acute pain in the central nervous system of mammals (Sampson et al., 2000). Aqueous extract of the plant was tested against three Gram-positive bacteria and seven Gram-negative bacteria and evaluated by the filter paper disc diffusion method. Results showed a significant control of the growth of Alcaligenes viscolactis, Klebsiella aerogenes, Bacillus cereus and Streptococcus pyogenes (Moody et al., 2004). N-hexane extracts of A. conyzoides with LC50 values 1925.60 and 267.90 ppm respectively was found to have inhibitory activity against the mosquito, Culex quinque fasciatus larvae (Preeti et al., 2009). The most important considerable biological activity of Ageratum conyzoides is in fact, its insecticidal activity which may play a valuable role in agriculture economically as well as effectively. Both the oil as well as its extracts have insecticidal activity (Liu and Liu, 2014) It can exhibit insecticidal property against cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus F. (Gbolade et al., 1990) and high nymphal mortality, that is, 90 % to the nymphs of Schistocerca gregaria (Pari et al., 1998). N-hexane extract was active against the larvae of mosquito, C.quinquefasciatus (Preeti et al., 2009). The crude plant extract also showed insecticidal and pesticidal activities against various types of insects and pests.


Ageratum conyzoides Linn has been described to possess various biological activities. It is used in folk medicine as a purgative, febrifuge, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anesthetic and in treatment of ulcers. The mature plant is used for its haemostatic, anti-spasmodic, anti-asthmatic, properties for the treatment of wounds and in bacterial infections. The plant has played a valuable role in agriculture economically as the extract has showed insecticidal and pesticidal activities against various types of insects and pests. Ageratum conyzoides has been reported to have displayed considerable larvicidal activity and inhibited emergence of adult mosquitoes, thus improved mosquito control and reduced malaria transmission rates. The bioactive constituents of the leaves and stem bark of Ageratum conyzoides Linn have not been fully documented.


Ageratum conyzoides Linn plant is quite popular in Nigeria. The objectives of this research are as follows:

To identify the chemical constituents of the leaves and stem bark of Ageratum conyzoides Linn

Extraction, fractionation and isolation of pure compounds from the plant using chromatographic techniques, TLC and Column Chromatography.

Structural elucidation of pure compounds by spectroscopic (1D NMR and 2D NMR, IR) and spectrometric (MS) method

Identify the phytochemicals present using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analyses.

To examine the antimicrobial activity of the crude extracts against Pseudomonas aeruginosa ,Escherichia coli, Staphylococus aureus and Samonella typhi.

To ascertain the usefulness of the plant in the treatment of various diseases as claimed by herbalist.

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