Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Retention Time on the Optimization of Biogas Production from Water Hyacinth and Cow Dung Blend

N. A. Osaribie, O. Ewa, M. R. Karimah, Ayuba Victoria

South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, Page 1-5

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of retention time on the production of biogas from a blend of cow dung and water hyacinth. The study was designed to include three production trials. These were the Cow dung Production Trial (CPT), Water Hyacinth Production Trial (WPT) and Cow dung-Water hyacinth Production Trial (CWPT). For the CPT, 0.5 kg of cow dung was dissolved in 7 litres of water to form slurry which was sieved before being introduced into the digester alone, while for the WPT, chopped water hyacinth was introduced into the digester alone and for the CWPT, cow dung slurry alongside chopped water hyacinth was introduced into the digester. The three production trials were performed at the temperature of 35ºC and pH of 6.8 and lasted for 40 days in ranges of 0-10, 11-20, 21-30 and 31-40. Results obtained from the study showed a uniform trend in the production of biogas for the three different production trials. Highest level of biogas production was recorded at day 11-21 thus, CPT (53.7 ml), WPT (35.67 ml) and CWBPT (89.37 ml). This was followed the values recorded on day 31-40 as follows; CPT (38.1 ml), WPT (22.1 ml) and CWBPT (60.02 ml). However, this was elevated compared to the values obtained for day 0-10. In conclusion, this study has established that biogas production from cow dung, water hyacinth as well as their combination is most efficiently achieved between 11th-21st day of production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Analysis of Soil Quality in a Deltaic Hydrocarbon Polluted Environment Niger Delta Nigeria

Chukwu Okeah, G. O., Ushie, Lawrence, Oyegun, Charles Uwadiae

South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, Page 1-9

Aim: The study was aimed to ascertain the damage done by an oil spill on the soils of Ogbia area in Bayelsa State, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Study Design: The study adopted the experimental research design which entailed the use of field measurements and a control site. Three communities which are Elebele, Imiringi and Otuasega were used for the study. At each of the sample locations, three random spots were augered at two depth-levels (Top Sample (T), 0 – 15 cm; Bottom Sample (B), 15- 30 cm), with the aid of an auger to collect the samples for laboratory analysis. The parameters of interest to the study are TPH, THC, Organic Matter, THF, THB, pH, sand, silt clay and soil texture and these were analysed using standard techniques as recommended by DPR.

Results: The study revealed that there is a noticeable effect of oil exploitation activities on soil quality within the study area, In the case of THC, the result revealed that the level of THC in the sampled communities was higher than that of the non spill site, hence the presence of hydrocarbon which has caused the pollution of the soil. Organic matter content of the soil also reveals that the non-polluted site has more organic content than the sampled communities.

Conclusion: The study revealed that there is a statistically significant difference in soil quality of the selected communities and that of the non-spilt site. The study, therefore, recommended complete and total remediation of the soils in the area, as this will enhance the soil for increased food production.

Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical Analysis of an Anti-venom Traditional Herbal Preparation for Snake-bite

W. M. S. S. K. Kulatunga, L. D. A. M. Arawwawala

South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, Page 1-6

Objective: Snake-bite is one of the important public health problems of tropical countries including Sri Lanka. The risk of snake-bites is higher in rural areas of the country and people mainly rely on herbal medicines. Antiserum is the only therapeutic agent in Western medicine available throughout the world. A major drawback of serum therapy is its higher cost and also serum sickness is a possible side effect of serum therapy that results in inflammation of tissues and other symptoms. In the present study, an attempt was taken to prepare a traditional herbal paste which used to treat snake-bites and carry out chemical analysis.

Methods: Chemical analysis carried out by investigation of its(a) phytochemical constituents (b) total phenol and flavonoid contents and (c) development of Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) fingerprints.

Results: Results revealed that phenols, flavonoids, tannins and saponins were abundant in the herbal paste whereas coumarins, terpenoids and alkaloids were absent.  Further high amounts of total phenols (120.30±0.83 mg gallic acid equivalents /g) and flavonoids (69.76±1.62 quercetin equivalents /g) were present in the herbal paste. TLC fingerprints were able to develop for the traditional herbal formulation and its mixture of ingredients.

Conclusion: Present study revealed the presence of phytochemicals such as phenols, flavonoids, tannins and saponins in the traditional herbal preparation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Toxicological Evaluation of Different Extracts of Andrographis paniculata

Imaobong E. Daniel, Emmanuel N. Ibok

South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, Page 1-10

Aim: The study aimed to evaluate the toxicity of the crude extracts of Andrographis paniculata leaves using a Brine Shrimp (Artemia salina) lethality assay test to substantiate the ethnopharmacological uses of this plant.

Methodology: Ethanol, acetone and ethyl acetate extracts of Andrographis paniculata were subjected to qualitative and quantitative phytochemical screening for bioactive compounds using standard methods and protocols. The extracts were further subjected to cytotoxicity screening using Brine Shrimp Lethality Assay.

Results: The results of the preliminary screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, saponins, terpenes, anthraquinones, tannin and flavonoids in all the extracts studied, Phlobatannins and cardiac glycosides were not detected in any of the extracts. Total phenols, alkaloids, flavonoids tannins and saponins were determined quantitatively and the results showed that total phenols were the major phytochemical constituent present in highest concentration while the least was tannin in all extracts. The concentrations of these bioactive compounds were highest in ethanol extract. In Brine Shrimp Lethality Bioassay, all the extracts produced dose-dependent cytotoxicity effect to Brine Shrimp nauplii with ethanol extract exhibiting highest toxicity having LC50 value of 187.5 μg/ml compared to the positive control, potassium dichromate whose LC50 value was 130.0 μg/ml.

Conclusion: The cytotoxicity exhibited by the crude extracts confirmed the presence of potent bioactive compounds and validates the ethnopharmacological importance of Andrographis paniculata in the treatment of different illnesses.

Open Access Original Research Article

Physical and Mechanical Properties of Four Banana Cultivars Popularly Grown in Southern Highlands of Tanzania

Silla William Livifile, Bashira Alli Majaja, Baraka Kichonge

South Asian Research Journal of Natural Products, Page 1-15

Natural fibres are considered to be ecofriendly and possess peculiar properties that preserve resources and thus rapidly emerges as novel low-cost materials in several discipline and engineering applications. Even though natural fibres demonstrate admirable potential for various applications, their physical and mechanical properties have been shown to differ with the plant source, species, location and other ecological factors. The present work investigates banana pseudostem physical and mechanical properties for potential fibre extraction from the four cultivars commonly cultivated in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Fibres from Matoke, Ndyali, Malindi and Uganda cultivars were manually extracted and experimentally analyzed. Breaking load, elongation, modulus and tenacity which are fundamental mechanical properties for engineering materials were investigated to determine banana pseudo-stem fibre performance. Findings revealed higher average values for: Tenacity in Matoke cultivar was 67.27 gf/tex, elongation in Malindi cultivar at 3.5% and modulus in Uganda cultivar of 32.23 GPa. The highest fibre recovery was recorded from Ndyali cultivar at 1.57%. Notwithstanding the priority ranking, the study concluded that all cultivars: Matoke, Malindi and Uganda cultivated in Southern Highlands of Tanzania achieved good tensile properties for potential engineering applications.