Extractives of three southern African medicinal plants.
In this investigation the chemistry of three southern African plants used for medicinal purposes was investigated. The plants were Dioscorea dregeana, Avonia rhodesica and Equisetum ramossisimum. Extracts of all three of these plants have been found to be active on the central nervous system. The structures of the compounds isolated were determined by using 1H and 13C n.m.r., i.f., UV-VIS, - mass spectroscopy and chemical methods. D. dregeana yielded two alkaloids and three aromatic compounds. A. rhodesica contained a large amount of wax which was analysed by GC-MS and its distribution and physical nature on the surface of the leaves was determined by SEM (scanning electron microscopy). This plant also contained two sterols. Equisetum ramossisimum extracts contained a carotenoid and several porphyrins, as well as large amounts of silica. A DTSA X-ray microanalysis system (which was a component of the scanning electron microscope) was used to determine the distribution of silica in the stem.
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