COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPOSITIONS OF LEAF, STEM-BARK AND ROOT OF AZADIRACHTA INDICA (NEEM)
Plant chemicals abound in different parts of plants, in different compositions. Thus, the comparative screening of the leaf, stem-bark and root of Azadirachta Indica becomes imperative. The presence of nine phytochemicals which include; Alkaloids, Flavonoids, Saponins, Glycosides, Phenols, Steroids, Tannins, Reducing sugars and Anthraquinones, and the quantity of alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins and glycoside in the leaf, stem-bark and root of Azadirachta indica were investigated. The plant parts were collected from a plantation grown in Okpotegu Echara, Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Plant samples were air dried at room temperature, ground into uniform powder, sieved, bottled and labeled, ready for physico – chemical analysis. Results of the investigation revealed that anthraquinones were beyond detection limits in all the plant parts tested in both ethanol and aqueous extracts. Alkaloids were not detectable in leaf, stem-bark and root samples of aqueous extract. Glycosides were not detectable in leaf sample of ethanol and aqueous extracts. Quantitatively, the phytochemical compositions of each part showed higher concentrations of Alkaloids in the leaf, stem-bark and root (11.63%, 4.93% and 3.79%), compared to flavonoids (2.19%, 2.72% and 0.92%), saponins (0.70%, 1.12% and 0.44%), tannins (0.33 mg/100, 0.50mg/100 and 0.17mg/100) and glycosides (0.23%, 0.27% and 0.19%), respectively. Obviously, except for the higher percentage (11.63%) of alkaloids in the leaf, the phytochemicals in the stem-bark are higher as shown by the results, which could support the reason that the bark is preferably chewed commonly together with the stem as chew stick for its germicidal and antifungal action.