Background: Sanchezia speciosa Hook.f is an important medicinal plant with several ethnomedicinal properties. In the present experiment the leaves of this plant were screened for the presence of major phytochemical groups. The phytochemicals are the wide variety of compounds produced by plants manipulated widely in the pharmacognostic drug development and in the treatment of the major ailments.
Methods: Phytochemical screenings were performed by various functional group tests. All the leaves extracts were subjected to brine shrimp lethality bioassay and standard anticancer drug vincristine sulphate was used as positive control.
Results: Phytochemical investigation of the leaves extracts showed the presence of alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, triterpenoids, carbohydrates, steroids, phenolic compounds, saponins and tannins. The ethyl acetate fractionates of the leaves extracts were positive for all the phytochemicals tested while n-hexane fractionates were negative for flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The n-hexane and ethyl acetate soluble fractionates showed significant cytotoxic activities with median lethal concentrations (LC50) 19.95 µg/mL and 12.88µg/mL while LC50 for the vincristine sulphate was 10.96 µg/mL.
Conclusion: This study shows that the leaves of Sanchezia speciosa Hook. f may have potentials in control of carcinogenesis in the field of pharmacology.
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