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This paper discuss the elemental composition and concentration of Gliricidia sepium leaves by energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence.  The element present are Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn. Also discuss on  Phytochemicals of the leaves wish contain alkaloids, tannins ,and saponins. The used analytical method, the experiment setup and the procedure of the sample preparation are presented.



Title page





Table of content


1.0      Introduction

1.1    Medicinal uses of plant

 1.2  Gliricidia Sepium

1.3   Cultivation

1.4   Antinutritional factor

1.5   uses

1..5.1 Food

1.5.2 Fodder

1.5.3 Apiculture

1.5.4 Fuel

1.5.5 Timber

1.5.6  Pioson

1.5.7 Medicine

1.5.8 Soil improver

1. 6 Aims and objective



2.1 Materials:

2.1.1 Apparatus

2.1.2 regent

2.2 Methods

2.2.1 phytochemical screening Test for tannins Test for alkaloids Test for flavourniods Test for saponins

2.2.2 Basic principle of x-ray fluorescence


3.0      Result and Discussion

3.1     Result

3.1.1  Result on phytochemical screening

3.1.2. Result on trace element determination

3.2   Discussion









       Medicinal plants have been identified and used throughout human history. Toxic plants even have use in pharmaceutical development. (Division Magnoliophyta: eatuGeneral Fres".. 1993).  Angiosperms (flowering plants) were the original source of most plant medicines. Some herbs and spices come from flowering plants.

Medicinal plants have been used for centuries, worldwide. Manuscripts have been found detailing medicinal plants and their uses as early as 2700 B.C.E. Before the technological advancements of the Industrial Revolution, humans relied heavily on remedies found in nature to treat illness and disease. Herbs were also used widely in religious and spiritual tradition and practice.

Several plants have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. St. John's wort was traditionally used by American Indians to treat wounds and pain through a tea made from the leaves. Onions, garlic and other members of the allium family are also known for their disinfectant qualities. Applying a slice of onion directly to a would can help ease pain and decrease infection. Mohican and Penobscot Indians used wild indigo to treat snake bites, minor cuts and bruises. Yarrow's use in poultices for wounds goes back to the time of ancient Greece. The plant is scientifically proven to have blood-clotting properties, making it a good natural remedy for stemming the flow of blood. (Duke 1993)

The use of medicinal plants can be found in the alternative therapies botanical medicine and herbalism, as well as in conventional medicine. Medicinal plants contain chemical substances that have beneficial properties to the body. While alternative medicine practitioners use only the leaves, stems, roots and berry extracts to treat illness, conventional medicine practitioners isolate and extract medicinal plants' healing properties and use them as prescription drug ingredients.

Plants have been used in treating human diseases for thousands of years. Some 60,000 years ago, it appears that Neanderthal man valued herbs as medicinal agents; this conclusion is based on a grave in Iran in which pollen grains of eight medicinal plants were found (Solecki and Shanidar 1975). One of these allegedly ancient medicinal herbs, yarrow, is discussed in this work as a modern medicinal plant.

Up until the 18th century, the professions of doctor and botanist were closely linked. Indeed, the first modern botanic gardens, which were founded in 16th century Italy, in Pisa, Padova and Florence, were medicinal plant gardens attached to medical faculties or schools.

The use of medicinal plants is not just a custom of the distant past. Perhaps 90% of the world's population still relies completely on raw herbs and unrefined extracts as medicines (Duke 1985). A 1997 survey showed that 23% of Canadians have used herbal medicines. In addition, as much as 25% of modern pharmaceutical drugs contain plant ingredients (Duke 1993).

Plant have been used for medicinal purpose for many centuries.

For many years the role and metabolic function of trace element in human body have been intensively investigate. Trace element are essential for the function of the human body. X-ray fluorescence technique for the analysis of medicinal plants. The important advanges of energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence for the quantitative and qualitative analysis are :

(1)        simultaneous determination of many elements

(2)        determination in a wide concentration range

(3)        simple and fast sample preparation and

(4)        much lower equipment cost than that of a convention  wavelength x-ray fluorescence spectrometer, especially when a radioactive is used instead of x-ray tube.


Alternant hera nodiflora  R.   Br. ( Amaranthaceae)

Vernacular name : Dagunro (Yoruba)

As a pain reliever : The leaves are put on a hot stone and later smeared with white palm oil.

The  leaves and  palm  oil are then used to massage the affected part of the body.

Ceiosia trtgyna L. (Amaranthaceae)

Vernacular name : Ata (Yoruba)

As a treatment for guinea worm infec­tion: The leaves together with three alligator pepper seeds (Amomum subulatum) are ground. Seven incisions are made on the affected part and the mixture rubbed in.

Gomphreno gtobosa  L.-Bachelor's    button (Amaranthaceae)

Vernacular name : Kandiri (Hausa)

As a treatment for body sore: The feaves are crushed into a paste which is applied 10 the affected part.


Kingdom:   Piantae

(unranked): Angiosperms

(unranked); Eudicots

(unranked): Rosids

Order:         Fabales

Family:       Fabaceae

Genus:        Gliricidia

Species:      G. septum

 Binomial name


(Jacq.) Kuntli ex Walp.

Gliricidia septum, often simply referred to as Gliricidia (common names: Mata Raton; Cacao de nance, Cachanance it is commonly known as "Madreado" in Honduras; Kakawate in the Philippines: Madre Cacao or Madre de Cacao in the Philippines and Guatemala: or Agunmaniye in Yoruba: and Madero negro in Nicaragua), is a medium size leguminous tree belonging to the family Fabaceae. It is considered as the second most important multi-purpose legume tree, surpassed only by Leucaena leucocephala^

Gliricidia septum is a medium-sized tree and can grow to from 10 to 12 meters high. The bark is smooth and its color can range from a whitish gray to deep red-brown. It has composite leaves that can be 30 cm long. Each leaf is composed of leaflets that are about 2 to 7 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide. The flowers are located on the end of branches that have no leaves. These flowers have a bright pink to lilac color that is tinged with white. A pale yellow spot is usually at the flower's base. The tree's fruit is a pod which is about 10 to 15 cm in length. It is green when unripe and becomes yellow-brown when it reaches maturity. The pod produces 4 to 10 round brown seeds . The tree grows well in acidic soils with a pH of 4.5-6.2. The tree is found on volcanic soils in its native range in Central America and Mexico. However, it can also grow on sandy, clay and limestone soils. This Action Sheet is about how to plant and use Gtiricidia sepium (Mother of cocoa or quickstick) in agroforestry. Gliricidia septum is a South American nitrogen-fixing tree with many uses on the farm.


Countries in Africa where Gliricidia is naturalized or grown on farms: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'lvoire, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Martinique, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.

When species are introduced from another continent, they often start to grow in the wild, and may compete with native vegetation. In West Africa, the Global Invasive Species Programme irsts Gliricidia sepium as invasive alien species, as rt has become wild in many areas. However, due to its many uses, it is not so far considered a pest. Gliricidia sepium grows between 0-1200m, and can survive where the mean annual temperature is between 15-30°C with no frost. It needs a mean annual rainfall of between 600-3500 mm. It can therefore grow from the semi-arid subtropics to the wet tropics. It can be grown on a wide range of soils from pure sand to deep lake-bed deposits. If you are obtaining seed, it is worth seeking seed from plants that have been tested and shown to grow well on the soil in your area (See Action Sheet 56: Where to get tree seeds). In areas where Gliricidia seeds well, you can collect pods when they begin to turn yellow/brown, and then dry in the sun to extract the seeds.

G. sepium can be planted directly in the field or grown in a nursery before transplanting to the fieid after 6 to 8 weeks. Direct sowing of seeds requires good land preparation and regular weeding. It is not necessary to treat fresh seeds before planting. However, when seeds are not fresh, they need to be soaked overnight in hot water and planted immediately. Nearly all the seeds will germinate within a week.

Seed or seedling inoculation with suitable strains of rhizobium is necessary where G. sepium is not naturalized (See Action Sheet 36: Planting Nitrogen-Fixing Trees). In countries where Gliricidia is native or naturalized, local bacteria will already live in association with the roots of Gliricidia. in this case, using local soils in the nursery will automatically provide the right bacteria.

In the nursery, almost any type of seedling container can be used, although an open-ended container allowing regular root pruning will he!p avoid spiral growth of the seedling root as it becomes rootbound in the container. A rich soil mixture is recommended for the nursery, with added organic matter to enrich poor soils. Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Steud. (Syn. Gliricidia maculata H.B.K.) is a fast-growing, tropical, leguminous tree up to 10-15 m. high. It is one of the commonest and best-kiown multipurpose trees in many parts of Central America, where it probably originated, but it has also spread to West Africa, the West Indies, southern Asia and the tropical Americas. (28 provenances have been collected fron Central America by the Oxford Forestry Institute and are being tested world-wide.)

Used for timber, firewood, medicinal purposes, charcoal, liviig fences, plantation shade and green manure, ithas good potential as fodder for livestock.

The plant grows best in warm, wet conditions with optima1 temperatures of 22-30°C and rainfall 800-2300mm. It flourishes on fertile soils but has also been observed to grow well on acidic soils and those with a high clay content. It is easily established fron cuttings or seed, althougfi seed-establishment is recommended when used in situ because of deeper rooting.

Gliricidia may be harvested at 3 month intervals to maximix foliage yield. Reported yields are 14.9 tonnes green foliage/ha/y (6.6 tonnes DM) over 5 years (30.2 tonnes fresh/ 11.9t DM in tte first year) but in a trial of different provenances in Colombia (562), 53-98 tonnes/ha/yr of biomass was obtained, corresponding to 15-25 tonnes DM/ha/yr. Leaf represented 53-63% of edble biomass. Total yield of crude protein was up to 4.7 tonnes/ha/yr.

Available data indicate that Gliricidia is rich in protein (23% CP) and calcium (1.2%), two nutrients found at only lowlevels in non-leguminous tropical forages. Its high fibre content (45% NDF) makes it a good roughage source for ruminants. The plant contains sufficiently high levels of most minerals (except phosphorus ani copper) to meet tropical livestock requirements and it wouU therefore make an excellent feed during the dry season.

Nutrient content varies with age, season and physiological stae (before and after flowering). In leaves of older plants (after flowering), protein and calcium decline whereas fibre, phosphons and other minerals increase.

Digestibility of DM is moderately high (c. 60%) and it shouH improve the digestibility of poor quality feeds when used as a supplement. Rumen (nylon-bag) degradability of Gliricidia is high

(62% DM and 19% N in 24 hours cp. to49% and 7% forLeucaena}.


Some potentially toxic substances have been found in. Gliricidia. HCN content has been reported upto 4mg/kg and cyanogens may be present. High levels of nitrates (during the rainy season) ae suspected of causing 'cattle fall syndrome' in Colombia but levefc declined to negligible in winter. Gliricidia may be a 'nitrate accumulator'. Un-identified alkaloids and tannins have also beoi reported.

However, evidence of toxicity under practical feeding conditions has been rare. The balance of evidence suggests that the plant could be toxic to non-ruminants but conclusive evidence of toxicity t> ruminants under normal feeding is lacking.( Elevitch, Craig R. (2004))

1.5 USES

Gliricidia is most likely to be used as a green fodder/protefa supplement to low-quality tropical forages aid by-products for cattle, sheep and goats. It may be used as the sole feed in the dry season There is some localised evidence of poor palatability and reducd intake of basal diet (there is some suggestion that a period cf adjustment may be required) but substitution of Gliricidia for grass, rice straw/rice polishings, cocoa-pods and bagasse/molasse^ rice-polishing/poultry manure diets to weaner lambs, goats, growing heifers and growing bulls have produced the same or improvsl growth performance. Normal'feeding levels ha\e been 1-3% of body weight (i.e. 3-9kg/day fresh to 300kg cattle. Gliricidia sepmm in Agoo. La Union (foreground tree, with numerous other examples behind it), used as a landscaping/reforesting tool. In this case the main means of preventing erosion and a quick way of providing shade.

The tree is used in many tropical and sub-tropical countries for various purposes such as live fencing, fodder, coffee shade, firewood, green manure and rat poison.Live fences can be grown from 1.5 m to 2.0 m stakes of Gliricidia septum in just a month. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

G sepium is also used for its medicinal and insect repellent properties. Farmers in Latin America often wash their livestock with a paste made of crushed G. sepium leaves to ward offtorsalos. In the Philippines, the extract obtained from its leaves is used to remove external parasites. Holland . j.H 1922

G. sepium is a fast growing ruderal species that takes advantage of slash and burn practices in its native range. Its swift propagation has caused it to be considered as a weed in Jamaica. Because it is easily propagated and grows quickly, it has also been suggested that this species may be planted to reduce topsoil erosion in the initial stages of reforesting denuded areas, an intermediate step to be taken before introducing species that take longer to grow.

According to World Agroforestry Centre, this species is becoming an important part of fanning practices in Africa. G, sepiitm has a combination of desirable properties. Because it fixes nitrogen in the soil, it boosts crop yields significantly without the expense of chemical fertilizers. In addition, it is tolerable of being cut back to crop height year after year. The trees go into a dormant state when they are cut back, so the root system is not competing straight away for the nutrients, and the crop is free to become established. The trees only really start to come out out of the dormant phase when the crop is already tall. 1.5.1 Food: Flowers can be fried and eaten. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.2 Fodder; Leaves are rich in protein and highly digestible for ruminants like goat and cattle, as they are !ow in fibre and tannin. There is evidence of improved animal production (both milk and meat) in large and small ruminants when Gliricidia is used as a supplement to fodder. However, non-fuminants fed on Gliricidia sepium have shown clear signs. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.3 Apicu!ture:The flowers attract honeybees (Apis spp.), hence it is an important species for honey production. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.4 Fuel: Good for firewood and charcoal production. The wood burns slowly without sparking and with little smoke. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.5 Timber; Very durable and termite resistant; used for railway sleepers, farm imolements, furniture, house construction and as mother posts in live-fence establishment. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.6 Poison: The leaves, seeds or powdered bark are poisonous to humans when mixed with cooked rice or maize and fermented. It has been used as a poison for pests like rats and mice. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.7 Medicine: A traditional remedy for hair loss, boils, bruises, burns, colds, cough, debility, eruptions; erysipelas, fever^ fractures, gangrene, headache, itch, prickly heat, rheumatism, skin tumours, ulcers, urticaria and wounds. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.8 Soil improver: Capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, and can be used to improve soil fertility. Used as a green manure, G. sepium increases soil organic matter and helps to recycle soil nutrients because it produces much leaf litter. It also improves soil aeration and reduces soil temperature. It is a drought-resistant and valuable water-conserving species, because in the dry season it sheds most of its leaves, hence reducing water loss through transpiration. (Egunjobi j.c 1978)

1.5.9 Boundary/barrier/support: Can be used for live fencing around cattle pastures and for delineating boundaries. Its fast growth, ease of propagation, nitrogen fixing ability and light canopy makes it ideal as live support for black pepper, vanilla and yam, (Egunjobi j.c 1978)


The aim  of this project is to analysis the phytochemical constituent and trace element of Gilrcidia sepium.

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