Extracts of Picralima nitida
and Morinda lucida
stem bark, are under
consideration for development into suitable dosage forms for treating diabetes mellitus, sickle cell
anemia and malaria. This study aimed at evaluating the extracts for features that would influence
decisions on them in the course of the project.
Physicochemical determinations, including proximate analysis, were done by sensory
examination, and gravimetric and electrochemical techniques. Thin layer chromatography was carried
out with normal silica plates using various solvent systems. Metallic content analyses were carried out
by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
The extracts were dry but hygroscopic, with a loss on drying range of 0.26 – 12.00 %w/w. The
pH of the 5 - 10 % solutions ranged 5 - 7. No harsh sensory effects, such as lacrimation, were detected
in any of the extracts. Total ash ranged from 3.79 – 20.68 %w/w, while acid insoluble ash values were
below detection. The extracts yielded reproducible chromatograms on normal silica plates developed
with various solvent systems. Copper, present at 0.16 - 0.58 mg/100g, was the lowest occurring
microelement while calcium content was highest, at 41 - 216 mg/100g. The level of lead, a heavy metal,
was 0.05 - 0.22 mg/100g.
The results confirm that the extracts require no special handling, possess characteristics
that would allow their possible development into solid dosage forms, and that their lead contents
complied with official limits.