Existing populations of Cryptocarya latifolia
(Lauraceae) are rapidly declining as a consequence of their substitutive use for Ocotea bullata
. The uncontrolled and excessive removal of the bark and roots of this species has led to the death of many of these plants and may eventually result in its depletion in the natural habitat.
Materials and Methods:
The secondary metabolites from the leaves and fruits of C. latifolia
were extracted using solvents of various polarities, isolated using column chromatography and identified using spectroscopic techniques. The in vitro
free radical scavenging activity (antioxidant capacity) of selected phytocompounds at varied concentrations was determined by the 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. A propagation study of the species was also conducted.
The compounds isolated from the plant were the novel compound, α-pyrone (5-hexyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-one) and known compounds quercetin-3-O
-rhamnoside, β-sitosterol, copaene and nerolidol. The radical scavenging activity of the isolated compounds indicated moderate to good anti-oxidant activity. Treatment of explants with BAP: NAA at 1.0:0.01 mg L-1
produced the highest percentage of shoots (94%) and longest shoot length (8.06 mm).
This study validates the ethno-medicinal use of the plant and supports the replacement of bark and roots by leaves and fruits for the management and conservation of this declining plant species. The benefits of consuming the fruits are two-fold as they can also contribute to the recommended dietary allowances of most essential elements for the majority of individuals.