Malnutrition has become a serious issue now days and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it has caused approximately above 1/3rd children’s deaths globally1. Malnutrition is basically the imbalanced use of nutrients because of less accessibility to highly nutritious foods, particularly due to increasing food prices2. This condition also arises by consuming inadequate food, or by using those food items which don’t have enough nutrients according to requirement of the body. Moreover, most of the people are not aware about proper diet plans, their possible sources and required nutrients for good health. This ignorance as well as unavailability of nutritious food ultimately leads towards poor health and different diseases as well.
Scientists have reported that by utilizing natural plant resources this problem can be resolved. Accordingly, according to earlier investigations, nutritional value of wild or semi-wild plants can combat this situation because they contain elevated contents of vitamins, minerals, proteins, vital fatty acid as well as fiber contents3. One such plant is sky flower (Duranta repens) which is generally used as an ornamental plant as well as grown in gardens and as hedges. Moreover, its significance as a medicinal herb against various diseases is also undeniable, as its fruits and leaves are utilized as vermifuge, diuretic and to cure malaria, intestinal worms as well as abscesses4. But, the safe use of this plant is still controversial because various plants in Australia were reported to be poisonous for pigs; even the children who consumed the fruits of these particular plants became ill and then died5.
This situation motivated Ekarika Johnson6 and colleagues for designing a research to assess the toxicity level (LD50), phytoconstituents, proximate composition as well as mineral element contents of the leaves to evaluate its nutritional value in connection to its ethnomedicinal applications and alleviating the issues of malnutrition. In this experiment, scientists macerated the dry plant material in 70% aqueous ethanol for 72 hours. Afterwards, this dry extract was subjected to lethal dose (LD50) test, phytochemical screening, proximate analysis as well as mineral elements determination by means of standard protocols.
At the end of this investigation, scientists found that this particular plant consist of elevated levels of phytoconstituents, mineral elements as well as proximate compositions having the capability to cure fever, wounds, stomach ache and other diseases. Moreover, research team noted another most important fact that sky flower and its extract are non-toxic and therefore possibly can not cause any health issues.
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17 November, 2019