|dc.description.abstract||This work is an account of investigations into the chemistry of one of the members of the Amaryllidacae family, Ammocharis coranica, and one of the members of the Fabaceae family, Sophora velutina.
Chapter one is an account of the extractives from the bulbs of Ammocharis coranica. In all, twelve compounds, eight alkaloids and four cycloartane compounds have been isolated of which one alkaloid and one cycloartane compound have not been described previously. Plants belonging to the Amaryllidacae family have been used by traditional healers, especially in Africa, to treat a range of illnesses and diseases. The alkaloids isolated from these plants have been shown to exhibit responses to muscle stimulant, antiviral, antifungal, antiyeast, antimalarial, cytotoxic and antitumoural activities. Ammocharis coranica is used by the Zulu tribe in South
Africa to treat any illness believed to be caused by witchcraft. Alkaloids from the three most common types among the isoquinoline group were found in this species. These are lycorine, 1-O-acetyllycorine, hippadine, acetylcaranine, and the novel 1-O-
acetyl-9-norpluviine from the lycorine type, 6-α-hydroxypowelline from the crinine type and hamayne and crinamine from the haemanthamine type. Cycloartane compounds have not been reported previously from the Amaryllidaceae family. All four cycloartane compounds had a common side chain, containing an olefinic methylene group at position 24, but differed in their substituents at positions 3 and 4. These compounds were found to be 24-methylenecycloartan-3β-ol, cycloeucalenol,
cycloeucalenone and the novel compound 4-methylenepollinastanone. Chapter two is an account of the extractives from the seeds of Sophora velutina. The seeds of other Sophora species have been used in traditional ceremonies by the
Indians of the Southwest United States and adjacent Mexico because of their hallucinogenic activity. The seeds of Sophora velutina subsp. zimbabweensis found in Zimbabwe are suspected to have historically been used by the natives for their hallucinogenic properties. These plants have been known to contain several
quinolizidine alkaloids, flavonoids and isoflavonoids. One alkaloid, N-methylcytisine and two isoflavones, pseudobaptigenin and calycosin, as well as the common phytosterol, β-sitosterol were isolated from the seeds of this species. N-methylcytisine is a common quinolizidine alkaloid, isolated previously from several Sophora species and pseudobaptigenin and calycosin are well known isoflavones, isolated previously from several species in the Fabaceae.||en