Main Article Content
The proximate and phytochemical composition of Melanthera biflora was investigated, using standard methods. From the obtained results the leaves had high moisture contents (71.1± 0.2%) and crude fiber (3.91 ± 0.5) while containing moderate protein (7.0 ± 0.03%), while containing lipid (1.10 ± 4%), ash (2.8 ± 0.2%), total carbohydrate (6.09 ± 0.2%) and caloric value (62.26±0.14 kcal/100g). Eleven Phytochemical families were detected with tannin as the most abundant (27.82%) consisting 100% tannic acid. Thirteen alkaloids (13.65%) were detected consisting mainly of morphine (28.05%), methylmorphine (16.22%), dephnoline (12.02%) biflorin, (20.63%), aromoline (12.61%) homoaromaline (7.79%). Twenty-three flavonoid (5.71%) chief among which were quercetin (44.21%), kaemferol (28.94%), dandzein (7.20%), letuolin (10.17%), salvagenin (6.76%), sinensetin 8.20% were detected. The most prominent of the ten carotenoids (2.48%), is lutein (40.76%), followed by carotene (17.90%), malvidin 5.63%, zeaxanthin (16.5%), viola-xanthin (9.5%). Sixty one terpenoid including linalool (40.98%), germacrene (12.74%), Alpha-terpineal 6.40%, terpinen – 4-01 (5.62%), and Gamma terpine were found in the leaves Of the six phenolic acids (16.26%) the highest was ferulic acid (53.94%), followed closely by vanilic acid (45.8%). Seven phytosterol (2.25%), consisting of sitosterol (65.3%), savenasterol (14.19%) stigmasterol (12.70%), and others were detected. The leaves had very a low hydroxycinnamic acid content (8.93x10-4%) content, consisting of eight known compounds of which caffeic acid (71.93%) and p-coumaric acid (27.91%) were the most abundant. They also had very a low allicins (1.94x10-4%) content, consisting of daillylthiosulphunate (97.05%), and methyl thiosulphinate (2.6%) and allylthiosulphin and allylthiosulphinate (0.3%). The leaves had a very low content of glycosides consisting of eight known compounds of which quabain (78.54%) were detected and they include gitogenin (22.04%), diosgenin (20.02), neohegen (20.79%). Their rich contents of nutrients and many bioactive molecules suggest strong nutraceutical potential of these leaves, further suggesting their likely use as functional a food and therapeutic uses in the management and prevention of diseases.