BIOCHEMISTRY

PRELIMINARY PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL SCREENING OF SEED AND COAT OF CITRUS SINENSIS

PRELIMINARY PHYTOCHEMICAL AND ANTIMICROBIAL SCREENING OF SEED AND COAT OF CITRUS SINENSIS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

The Citrus sinensis popularly known as sweet orange seed in Igbo of Nigeria is of the Rutaceae family. The seed is best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe after thoroughly rinsing it, sow stored seed in March in a greenhouse, germination usually takes place within 2-3 weeks at 130C. seedlings are liable to damp off so they must be watered with care and kept well ventilated. Citrus sinensis  Contains a wide range of active ingredients and research is still underway in finding uses for them. They are rich in vitamin c, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils. They also contain coumarins such as bergapten which sensitizes the skin to sunlight. Bergapten is sometimes added to tanning preparations since it promotes pigmentation in the skin, though it can cause dermatitis or allergy responses in some people. Some of the plants more recent applications are as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in spercified cosmetics. The fruit is an appetizer and blood purifier, it is used to allay thirst in people with fever and also treat catarrh. The fruit juice is useful in treatment of bilious infections and bilious diarrhea. The fruit rind is caminative and tonic cure for acne. The dried peel is used in the treatment of anorexia, cold cough etc.

1.1   AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH

1. To screen the coat and seed of Citrus sinensis for the presence of phyhtochemicals of interest

2.  To determine the antifungal/antibacterial activities of the seed and coat of Citrus sinensis

The research into phytochemical and antimicrobial screening of active compounds from natural source has always been of great interest for scientists looking for new sources of useful drugs against infection and diseases. Plants are indispensable sources of medicinal importance used in both western type pharmaceutical products and local medicinal preparations. The traditional use of plants materials for treatment of human ailment dates back to prehistoric times according to the world health organizations 80% of the world population relies on traditional medicines to meet their daily health  requirements. However, from the estimated 250 000 species of higher plants described to date, only 5-15% have been studied for their potential therapeutic value.  Ethiopia is a tropical country with a high floral diversity and endermism. there are about 700 species of higher plants of which 12% are endemic, more than 80% of the Ethiopian population depends on traditional remedies the nation wide use of plants as a sole source of traditional medicine provides promising opportunities for the search of ethnobotanical specimens based on traditional knowledge. Several researchers have studied the ethnobotanical phytochemical[9] and antimicrobial activities[10] of a variety of medicinal plants.

1.2  ORIGIN AND DESCRIPTION

The orange is unknown in the wild state; its assumed to have originated in Southern China. Northeastern India and perhaps Southeastern Asia (formally Indochina). It was carried to the mediterenian area possibly by Italian traders after 1450 of by Portuguese navigators around 1500. Up to that era citrus fruits were valued by Europeans mainly for medicinal purposes, but orange was quickly adopted as a luscidious fruit and wealthy persons grow it in private conservations, called orangeries. By 1646, it had been much publicized and was well known. The orange has become the most commonly grown fruit in the world. It is an important crop in the far east, the union of South Africa, Australia, throughout the Mediteranian area and sub tropical areas of South America and the Caribbean. The United States leads in the world production, with Florida, alone, having an annual yield of more than 200 million boxes, except when freezes occur which may reduce the crop by 20 or even 40%.