Four Nigerian spp of Aneilema (A. aequinoctiale, A. beniniense, A. paludosum andA. unbrosum) common as under growth of rubber plantations were screened for their condensed tannins and saponins. This is because of the importance of tannins and saponins in industries, such as the leather industry. Both chromatographic and spectrophotometric analyses were employed in this study. Procyanidin and saponins related to furostanol saponins were isolated from these spp of Aneilema investigated. This report of the presence of these chemical constituents in Nigerian Aneilema spp is the first to be documented in literature. Since these Aneilema spp serve important medicinal purposes in Nigeria, the need to develop and determine proper methods of producing these active components from these Aneilema spp is suggested. Furthermore, the defensive role of tannins and saponins in the ecological survival of these plants as perennial herbs in the thick tropical rain forest of West Africa sub – region is discussed. This is as a result of the importance of these Aneilema spp studied both as livestock and weeds of plantation crops in Nigeria.
Key words: Aneilema spp. Commelinaceae, saponins, tannins, histochemical study.
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