Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

2 Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Physical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

3 CAS Key Laboratory for Nanosystem and Hierarchical Fabrication, CAS Centre for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Centre for Nanoscience and Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract

The importance of natural products in the pharmaceutical industry cannot be abated because it plays a vital role in the prevention and treatments of diseases such as cancer, malaria, pile etc. These natural products e.g. alkaloid, flavonoid, phenol, saponin, and tannin are bioactive compounds in a plant which are essential in plant metabolic activities. All of these including alkaloids has been tested for their huge medicinal properties hence, serves as an alternative medicine. Although, through the modern-day technologies, these bioactive compounds are separated from the plants and synthesized into capsules and tablets for easy administration, usage, and storage. The manner of poisoning with plants can be due to unintentional ingestion, affordability, and availability, excess ingestion, improper methods of extraction and purification of plant materials. In some cases, the resultant effect(s) of these poisoning may cause serious illness, injury or even death. Thus, this review gives an overview of the pharmacological importance of named alkaloids, toxicology and methods of extraction and purification of alkaloids in the plant. Furthermore, this review will provide information to researchers to further investigate the medicinal potentials of these alkaloids, help in the development of new drugs for the treatment of various diseases, creates awareness on the side-effects of excess or abuse of medicinal plants and finally encourages rational use of natural resources for sustainability.

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