Pharmacognostic Screening of Elaeis guineensis ( Aracaceae) Jacq. Oil and its Effect as an Antidote on Cyanide Poisoning
Introduction: Elaeis guinenesis is a perennial monocot belonging to the family Arecaceae. It is the source of the oil commonly called African palm oil or macaw fat which in traditional medicine has many uses
Aim: This study is focused on the pharmacognostic screening of oil of Elaeis guineensis, and its antidotal effect on cyanide poisoning.
Method: The extracted oil was subjected to various screening technique in order to determine its quality, purity and chemical constituents. The oil was macroscopically examined; acute toxicity test of Elaeis guineensis oil was carried out on rats. The oil was subjected to heating to determine the moisture content. Phytochemical analysis was also carried out on the palm oil extract. The physicochemical analysis was carried to determine the acid value, saponification value, ester value, hydroxyl value and iodine value. The Ld50 for the pure cyanide was carried out on the rats using “Up and Down” method. The antidotal study of Elaeis guineensis oil was carried out on the rats.
Result: Macroscopic evaluation showed, the oil was in fresh condition, smooth texture, bright red colour, characteristic taste, oily appearance and a characterictic smell. The Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of flavonoids, phenols, tannins, saponnins, alkaloids, steroids and terpenoids. The physicochemical analysis showed that the oil has an acid value of 31.2, Saponification value of 194.8, Ester value 163.54, Peroxide value of 18.0, Hydroxyl Percentage of 2.07% and Free Fatty Acid of 3.65. The moisture content was calculated to be 0.2%. For the acute toxicity test on the oil using Lorkes method no death was recorded. The LD50 of the cyanide carried out on the rats showed that the lethal dose of cyanide is 5 mg/kg. The antidotal effect of Elaeis guineensis oil showed the absence of death on the group given oil extract alone and the groups that were poisoned and given the oil (antidote) within 4 minutes. Deaths were recorded for the groups that were administered antidotes after 8 minutes.
Conclusion: Elaeis guineensis oil has counteracting effect on cyanide poisoning if administered within four minutes of cyanide ingestion.
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