Ethnobotanical Survey, Phytochemical Screening, Growth Inhibitory Effects and Cytotoxicity Evaluation of Medicinal Plants used for Cancer Management in Ilorin Metropolis, Nigeria
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Ethnobotanical survey
Ilorin metropolis
Detarium microcarpum
Prosopis africana


Cancer is a leading cause of death globally and in many local communities, medicinal plants are employed by traditional medicine practitioners (TMP’s) to manage cancer patients. This study was designed to access information on medicinal plants that are locally employed for cancer management in Ilorin metropolis and evaluate growth inhibitory and cytotoxic potentials of selected plants mentioned from the survey.An ethnobotanical survey was conducted among TMP’s in Ilorin metropolis. Plants selected from the survey were collected at Ilorin and authenticated at the Herbarium Unit Department of Plant Biology University of Ilorin before they were air-dried, pulverised and extracted into aqueous-methanol (30:70%). Phytochemical constituents of the plants were determined and thereafter the extracts obtained were subjected to growth inhibitory assays using Sorghum bicolor radicle and Allium cepa root. Cytotoxicity of the plant extracts using brine shrimp lethality and MTT colorimetric assays was evaluated.Fifteen (15) respondents comprising of 9 herb-sellers and 6 herbalist gave their consent to participate in the ethnobotanical study. Nineteen plants belonging to twelve families were mentioned for the management of cancer. The plants were observed to contain secondary metabolites including saponins, tannins, alkaloids, free and combined anthraquinones, flavonoids and terpenoids. Extracts of Detarium microcarpum stem bark and Prosopis africana whole fruit displayed the highest growth inhibitory and cytotoxic effects, with Detarium microcarpum displayed the higher cytotoxicity against Hep-2C cancer cells (IC50 value of 0.08±0.00 μg/mL) compared to cyclophosphamide (2.69±0.25 μg/mL).This study reveals that Detarium microcarpum and Prosopis africana used traditionally in Ilorin for the management of cancer possess growth inhibitory and cytotoxicity effects. These plants might be further explored for anticancer drug discovery.

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