METALS AND PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF LEAVES AND PEELS OF PAWPAW (Carica papaya) SOLD WITHIN PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
Journal of International Research in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 14, Issue 2,
Leaves and peels of pawpaw bought from open market within Port Harcourt metropolis were examined for metals and qualitative phytochemical compositions with the intent or aim to examine their phyto and ethno medical importance as agricultural waste products. The metals examined in the leaves and peels of the pawpaw were; manganese (Mn), potassium (K), sodium (Na), zinc (Zn), magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), arsenic (As), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se). Their concentrations were in the order Fe > Mn > Zn > Mg > K >Cu > Ca > Ni > Na > Pb> Ar = Se in the leaves, while those of the peels were in the order Fe > Mn > Zn > Mg > Cu > Ca > K > Ni = Na > Pb> Ar = Se. The results of heavy metals in leaves and peels were not significantly different from each other, but were slightly higher in the peels than the leaves. The phytochemicals examined in the leaves and plants were flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, phenol, terpenoids, tannins, carboxylic acids, quinones and xanthoproteins. The phytochemicals detected in the aqueous extracts of the leaves and peels were; flavonoids, alkaloids, phenolics, caboxylic acids and xanthoprotein, while methanolics extracts showed the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, phenolics, terpenoids and xanthoproteins. The presence of micronutrients and phytochemicals in the pawpaw plant might be the reason for its utility in the cure of different diseases and ailments.