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Isolation, Structural Elucidation and Therapeutic Potentials of Root of Cucurbita pepo

Author(s): PA. Ekeocha, CO. Ezeh, JV. Anyam, KC. Onyekwelu*, J. Ikekpeazu and JO. Igoli
Department of Medical Biochemistry, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu 400001, 1Department of Chemistry, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi 970101, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
KC. Onyekwelu, Department of Chemistry, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi 970101, Nigeria, E-mail:

The roots of Cucurbita pepo were investigated with the aim of identifying bioactive constituents with therapeutic potentials. To achieve this, the roots of Cucurbita pepo were harvested, washed, air dried and grounded into the powder. The ground material was extracted using hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol. The extracts were fractionated using column chromatography and fractions were monitored using thin layer chromatography. The fractions were characterised using proton nuclear magnetic resonance and carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Phytochemical screening showed that the extracts contained sterols and terpenoids, alkaloids, resins, flavonoids, saponins and carbohydrates. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis led to the identification of hexadecanoic acid or palmitic acid, alphaspinasterol and squalene. Some of these compounds may represent a new pharmacological approach in the development of novel and adjuvant therapy for several medical conditions.

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