TABLE OF CONTENT
Table of content
of Piper methysticum (Awa)
of Piper methysticum
of Awa on the fungal growth
of Piper methysticum
of Piper methysticum
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Absorption Spectroscopy determination
herb is a plant that is valued
for flavor, scent, medicinal or other qualities other than its food value
(John, 2000). They are used in cooking, as medicines, and for spiritual
purposes. Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary and medicinal usage.
General usage differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs (John, 2000). Herbs are
“generally recognized as safe” by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), at
least at concentrations commonly found in foods (Kaefer et al, 2008). Medicinal plants continue to provide valuable
therapeutic agents, both in modern medicine and in traditional system (Reaven,
1983). The leaves, roots,
flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (cambium), berries and sometimes the
pericarp or other portions of the plant might be considered in medicinal or
spiritual use (John, 2000). In the medicinal uses, herbs (plants) contain phytochemicals
that have effects on the body (John, 2000).
the 20th century, (Sanusi et
al, 2008) most medicinal remedies all over the world were obtained from
plants. For example, purple forglove was found to be helpful in dropsy, the
opium poppy for pain, cough, and diarrhea, and the cinchona bark for fever.
With the emergence of chemical and pharmacological methods in the 20th
century, it became possible to identify the active ingredients in the plants
and study them. Furthermore, once the chemistry was understood, it was possible
to synthesize related molecules with more desirable properties. According to (Sodimu
et al, 2008), today, the two most
effective and widely accepted drugs for the treatment of malaria today emerged
through herbal traditional medicine viz: Quinine from the bark of the Peruvian
cinchona tree and artemisinin from the Chinese antipyretic Artemisia annua L. Hence,
throughout history, the medicinal benefits of herbs are quoted (John, 2000). There
may be some effects when consumed in the small levels that typify culinary
"spicing", and some herbs are toxic in larger quantities. For
instance, some types of herbal extract, such as the extract of St. John's-wort
(Hypericum perforatum) or of awa (Piper methysticum) can be used for
medical purposes to relieve depression and stress (John, 2000). However,
(Milner et al, 2008), large amounts
of these herbs may lead to toxic overload that may involve complications, some
of a serious nature, and should be used with caution. One herb-like substance,
called Shilajit, may actually help a lower blood glucose level which is especially
important for those suffering from diabetes.
comparative terms, (Metuh, 1987) the western idea of medicine and the
traditional African conception differ in scope. In the traditional sense, it
refers to a wholistic view of well being, while in the western sense, it is
strictly limited to bodily therapeutic purposes. Nze in his own comparative
analysis of medicine underscores the peculiarity difference, which defines the
traditional wholistic perception of medicine (Metuh, 1987).
to (John, 2000), modern pharmaceuticals had their origins in crude herbal
medicines, and to this day, many drugs are still extracted as
fractionate/isolate compounds from raw herbs and then purified to meet
pharmaceutical standards. Some herbs are used not only for culinary and
medicinal purposes, but also for psychoactive and/or recreational purposes; one
such herb is cannabis (John, 2000).
However, many herbs and their bioactive
components are being investigated for potential disease prevention and treatment
at concentrations which may exceed those commonly used in food preparation herbs
(Milner et al, 2008). It is therefore
imperative to identify any potential safety concerns associated with the use of
various dosages which range from doses commonly used for culinary purposes to
those used for medicinal purposes since there are often unclear boundaries
between the various uses of herbs (Milner et
Other uses of herbs other than medicinal uses are:
According to “Chinese herbal medicine” Herbs are used in many religions for
example, myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) and frankincense (Boswellia spp) in
Christianity, the Nine Herbs Charm in Anglo-Saxon paganism, the Neem tree (Azadirachta
indica) by the Tamils, holy basil or tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) in Hinduism, and many Rastafarians consider cannabis
(Cannabis sp) to be a holy plant
(John, 2000). Siberian Shamans also used herbs for spiritual purposes. Plants
may be used to induce spiritual experiences, such as vision quests in some Native
American cultures (John, 2000). The Cherokee Native Americans use sage and cedar
for spiritual cleansing and smudging.
Uses as pest control:
Herbs are also known amongst gardeners to be
useful for pest control. Mint, spearmint, peppermint, and pennyroyal are a few
such herbs. These herbs when planted around a house's foundation can help keep
unwanted critters away such as flies, mice, ants, fleas, moth and tick amongst
others. They are not known to be harmful or dangerous to children or pets, or
any of the house's fixtures (John, 2000).
1.2 Objectives of study
Piper methysticum being a plant used for
its medical and social purposes (Johnston et
al, 2008), may have been of great benefits in human health due to its
biochemical, pharmacological, and medical properties. This study, therefore,
was undertaken to evaluate the trace – element composition of the leaf extract.
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