Essential oils from the leaves and roots of
Vepris nobilis Mziray (formerly Teclea noblis Delile) is an ever-green plant in the tropical climate. The different parts (leaves, stem bark, roots and fruits) of this plant are popular for treatment of various diseases including; malaria, rheumatism, arthritis, pneumonia, cough, fever, measles, asthma, common cold, headache, join and chest pains and as antithelmintic. Several phytochemical compounds including quinoline and furoquinoline alkaloids, terpenoids and flavonoids have been isolated from the different plant. Pharmacological investigations on the different crude extracts and isolated compounds covering antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimalarial, antileishmanial and ant-trypanosomal have been conducted.
- Vepris nobilis
- Teclea noblis
The genus Teclea Delile subsumed into Vepris Mziray (Rutaceae-Toddalieae) were merged because of their similarity in morphological characteristics . Currently, there are about 86 species in the genus vepris comprising of evergreen shrubs and trees, predominantly of tropical lowland evergreen forest, but with some species extending into submontane forests and some into drier forests and woodland distributed in Africa, Saudi Arabia and India. In Africa, the species in the genus vepris are widely distributed in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Cameroon, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania .
2. Ethnomedicinal uses
3.1 Extraction yield
The percentage extraction yield of the leaves of
Phytochemical analyses of the leaves, fruits, roots and stem bark have indicated presence of several phytochemicals. For instance, ethanol extract
Alkaloids are organic heterocyclic nitrogen compounds that are weak bases. They form a bicyclic system in which benzene and a pyridine ring are fused together. There are several quinoline, furoquinoline and acridone alkaloids identified in the different plant parts. For instance, furoquinoline alkaloids; tecleabine , tecleoxine , isotecleoxine , methylnkolbisine , chlorodesnkolbisine , pteleine , isohaplopine-3,3-dimethylallylether , nobiline  haplopine-3,3-dimethylallylether  anhydroevoxine , kokusaginine  and 8-methoxyflindersine ; and acridone alkaloid, arborinine  were isolated from the aerial parts of
Similarly, furoquinoline alkaloids including nobiline , montrifoline , skimmiamine , flindersiamine  and maculine  were isolated from the leaves; and isoplatydesmine , ribalinine  and edilinine  isolated from both the leaves and fruits . The fruits of
|Root ||Leaves |
|Other compounds less than 1% in the oil.||1.1|
Terpenes form the largest group of natural compounds and they are usually identified on the basis of the number of isoprene units they possess. For instance, terpenes with one, two and three isoprene unit are called hemiterpene, monoterpenes and sesquiterpene, respectively. Essential oils mainly comprise of monoterpenes or/and sesquiterpenes. Ocheng et al.  and Al-Rehaily  evaluated essential oil profile of the roots and leaves respectively. In both studies, Germacrene-D  and Ocimene  were the major sesquiterpene and monoterpene hydrocarbon (Table 1). A study by Al-Rehaily et al.,  also isolated sesquiterpenes, teclenone A  and teclenone B  from the aerial parts while a study by Al-Rehaily et al.,  isolated lupeol from the leaves of V. nobilis. β-sitosterol was one of the setroids isolated from the aerial parts of
Flavonoids are a class of polyphenol phytochemicals made up of a skeleton of 15-carbon atoms which consists of two benzene rings (ring A and B) linked via a heterocyclic pyrane ring . Depending on the chemical structures, flavonoids are divided into clases like anthocyanins, flavones, flavonols, flavanones, dihydroflavonols, chalcones, aurones, flavonons, flavan and proanthocyanidins, isoflavonoids, isoflavones, isoflavonones, isoflavons, isoflavene, biflavonoids, neoflavonoids and flavonoid alkaloids. A study conducted by Al-Rehaily et al.  isolated flavanone 4,5-dihydroxy-7- prenyloxyflavanone from aerial parts of
4. Pharmacological activity
4.1 Antipyretic and analgesic activities
Pyrexia or fever is the increase in body temperature above normal physiological range, which may result due to physiological stress such as during microbial infections as natural defense system of the body is activated . Usually, at the elevated body temperature, there is increased production of proinflammatory mediators’ cytokines such as interleukin 1β, β, α and TNF-α which enhance the formation of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) near the peptic hypothalamus area and the prostaglandin in turn act on the hypothalamus. To lower the elevated body temperature, antipyretic drugs administered usually inhibit COX-2 expression thereby inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis.
A study conducted by Mascolo et al.  by intravenous administration of 50 mg/kg of dried leaf extract of
4.2 Anti inflammatory activity
Inflammation is a normal, protective response to tissue injury caused by physical trauma, noxious chemicals, or microbiologic agents with the aim to inactivate or destroy the invading organism, remove irritants and set the stage for tissue repair. In the process, proinflammatory cytokines like TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β are produced in large quantities by macrophages and monocytes that stimulate the cellular responses via increasing prostaglandins (PGs) and reactive oxygen species ***. In laboratory animal experiments, inflammatory pain can be induced by acetic acid due it is ability to induce capillary permeability and liberating endogenous substances that excite pain nerve endings .
A study conducted on ethanol extract dose-related effect of
A similar study conducted by Omujal et al.  found that 400 and 600 mg ethanolic root bark extract / kg of body weight on formalin induced paw oedema in mice was inhibited much better than by 25 mg of Diclofenac sodium /kg body weight, and indicated that compounds including,
4.3 Antimicrobial activity
Microbial infection is the process of invasion of infectious agents into the organism. These infectious agents mainly include bacteria, virus, parasite and fungi naturally occurring in the environment . Antimicrobial activity can be defined as a collective term for all active principles (agents) that inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Although antibiotics play an essential role in treating microbial infections, extracts of plants have also been attributed to contribute significantly to antibiotic activity. Currently, some of the antimicrobial drugs on the market have been isolated from natural sources.
Studies on the antimicrobial activity of the leaves; stem bark and roots of
A study conducted by Kisangau et al.  also determined the antimicrobial activity of petroleum ether extract of the leaves of
Although Onyacha et al.  and Kuete et al.  found that kokusaginine, dictamine, 8-Dimethoxy-7-(3-methyl-but-2-enyloxy)-furo [2, 3-
Although a study by Al-Rehaily  indicated no microbiological potential of the essential oil from the leaves against a number of micro-organism, a study by Ocheng et al.  reported that essential oils from the root possessed antimicrobial sensitivity to periodontopathic and cariogenic bacteria clinically present in the dental plaque including A
4.4 Anti-malarial and antiplasmodial activity
Malaria is one of the major parasitic infection in many tropical and subtropical regions that has contributed the largest burden on public health of most developing countries with global estimates of 600 million new infections annually and at least 1 million of these infections being fatal .
Further investigation of anti-plasmodial activity of skimmianine alkaloid from the arial parts and leaves of
In another study by Waffo et al.  there was antimalarial activity of 12.3 μM of arborinine alkaloid against a Nigerian CQS strain. Similarly, Mwangi et al.  found anti-plasmodial activities of arborinine and skimmianine alkaloids from
However, furaquinoline alkaloids including teclealbine, −tecleoxine, isotecleoxine, methylnkolbisine, chlorodesnkolbisine, anhydroevoxine and pteleine were reported to be ineffective in antimalarial tests . Similarly, in vitro antimalarial activity of teclenone A and teclenone B against
4.5 Anti-leishmanial and anti-trypanosomal activity
Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a protozoa parasite from over
4.6 Anti-caseinolytic activity
Snakebite envenomations continue to be a threat to public health in some parts of the world. At least 1,841,000 snakebites resulting in about 94,000 deaths are recorded annually. Venomous snakebites have been traditionally treated with medicinal plants. Pharmacological invitro evaluation of aqueous methanol crude plant extract of
4.6.1 Anthelmintic activity
Helminth infections cause major morbidity and mortality in both human and animals. In developing countries, helminth infections pose a major threat to public health and contribute to the prevalence of malnutrition, anemia, eosinophilia and pneumonia . Anthelmintics can be defined as drugs that either kill or expel infesting helminths or their larvae from the gastrointestinal tract or that live in tissue. Natural products have been found as potential sources for new, effective and safe anthelmintic drug. Although
4.7 Anti-depression activity
Depression is an illness which involves not only mood or emotion disorder but also the physical body and thought process disorder including loss of interest, reduced energy and concentration. This disease is estimated to affect about 21% of the world population. Although there are existing drugs for treatment of depression, they are associated with side effects like dry mouth, fatigue, gastrointestinal or respiratory problems, anxiety, agitation, drowsiness, and cardiac arrhythmias. There are several phytochemicals with antidepressant activity. Adamska-Szewczyk et al.  has indicated that alkaloids like kokusaginine and skimmianine in
4.8 Toxicity of
Assessing the safety of medicinal plants has been regarded to be essential even if it has been used for decades. A study by Mailu et al.,  on toxicity of dichloromethane and ethanol extracts of aerial parts of