Studies were carried out to determine the proximate and mineral contents in Uziza seeds from three different states (Ebonyi, Cross-River, Delta) in the Southern part of Nigeria using established standard laboratory procedures. ANOVA showed that the proximate and mineral contents of uziza seeds in the three state of study differ significantly at p < 0.05. Of the three states, the proximate and mineral contents of the plant seeds from Ebonyi was the highest in crude protein, ash, dry matter, Mg, Zn, Fe, Cu, Na, K and Ca with values of 12.62%, 16.33%, 0.14ppm, 0.33ppm, 0.57ppm, 0.08ppm, 0.80ppm and 0.94ppm respectively. The plants seeds from Cross-River was the highest in carbohydrates, moisture content, crude fibre and crude fat with values of 54.31, 9.17, 13.61 and 11.04% respectively. The mineral compositions of the P.guineense seeds in the three locations decreased in the following order: K > Ca > Na > Fe > Zn > Mg > Cu. The seeds from the selected states contain the mineral elements in the following decreasing order: Ebonyi > Delta > Cross-River. 

P. guineense is a spice plant from the family Piperaceae and from genius piper. It is a West African spice plant commonly called ashanti pepper (Okoye and Ebeledike, 2013). It is known as Uziza in Igbo and Iyere in Yoruba. Other common names are benin pepper, guinea pepper, false cubeb and Kale (Tapsell et al., 2006). The plants that provide the pepper are vines that grow up to 20m tall climbing up bole of trees by means of adventitious roots. It is a perennial plant that is characterized by heart shaped leaves and oval, petiole, alternate and 12cm long (Besong et al., 2016). The fruits of P. guineense occurs in clusters, small, reddish or reddish brown when ripe and black when dry (Nwankwo et al., 2014). The plant is native to tropical regions of Central and Western Africa and is semi-cultivated in countries like Nigeria, where it is found commonly in the southern part (Okwu 2001). It grows in evergreen rain forest, forest edges, usually in wet places, gallery forest along rocky rivers of an elevation of 750 – 1680m (Besong et al., 2016). There are more than 700 species of this plant throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world (Anyanwu and Nwosu, 2014). The different parts of the plant have been characterized and their chemical compositions determined and are used as therapeutic agents in minor ailments (Okwu, 2001). 

According to Daba et al., (2013), Piper guineense is a local spice made of dillapol, 5.8% piperine, elemicine and 10% myristicine and safrole and these chemicals exhibit bactericidal and anti-microbial effects on certain microorganisms. In traditional herbal medicine, the seeds of P. guineense are put into a variety of uses; for instance in some parts of Nigeria, the seeds are consumed by women after child birth to enhance uterine contraction for the expulsion of placenta and other remains from the womb (Mbongue et al., 2005). The seed and leaf extracts are capable of exhibiting a depolarizing neuromuscular activity in a concentration related manners (Ojinnaka et al., 2016). 

P. guineense have nutritional and non-nutritional factors which are responsible for its aroma, flavour and preservative properties and proximate analysis of the plant shows that it contains crude protein, fat carbohydrates and vitamins (Nwankwo et al., 2014). Okonkwo and Ogu (2014) reported that the plant contains vitamin C in considerable amount and this could aid the good health of teeth and gums and also promote healing. 

According to Anyanwu and Nwosu, (2004), P. guineense by its nature is aromatic and carminative and that it is a natural antioxidant, act as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-pyretic agents. 

Memudu et al., (2015) studied the effects of dry fruits of P. guineense on male fertility parameters using adult sprague darhey rats. 200mg/kg of the extract was given to two groups of the rats for four weeks and eight weeks respectively. The result showed that the extract improved male reproductive functions, sperm motility, sperm function and testicular spermatogenesis. In essence, they recommended that the plant should be used for the treatment of male and female fertility problems especially those associated with hormonal secretions in humans. Based on the general usefulness and importance of the seeds of P. guineense, studies were carried out to determine its proximate and mineral contents in three selected states (Ebonyi, Cross-River and Delta) in southern parts of Nigeria. 

Infectious diseases are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide which accounts for approximately 50% of all deaths in tropical countries and as much as 20% of deaths in America. Despite the significant progress made in microbiology and the control of microorganisms, sporadic incidents of epidemics due to drug resistant microorganisms and hitherto unknown disease-causing microbes pose an enormous threat to public health. These negative health trends call for a global initiative for the development of new strategies for the prevention and treatment of infectious disease (Mahady, 2005). 

Also, Pharmaceutical scientists are experiencing difficulty in identifying new lead structures, templates and scaffolds in the finite world of chemical diversity. A number of synthetic drugs have adverse and unacceptable side effects (Dahanukar,et al., 2000). 

In an attempt to solve the problem caused by infectious diseases, search for medicinal plants containing novel compounds with fewer side effects and more efficacies is being made. 

The aim of this research is to carry out phytochemical studies on the leaf of Piper guineense and to justify the ethno medicinal claims on the plant. 

• Objectives of the Study 
• Carry out preliminary phytochemical screening on the leaves of Piper guineense 

using standard procedures. 

• Isolate some of the bioactive compounds present in the leaves of Piper guineense 

• Validate the ethno medicinalclaim for the use of the leaves of the plantin the treatment of infectious diseases. 

Active compounds produced during secondary metabolism are usually responsible for the biological properties of some plant species used throughout the globe for various purposes, including treatment of infectious diseases (Silva and Fernandes, 2010). 

Piper guineense has been reported to be used in the treatment of infectious diseases. Previous studies carried out on the leaves of Piper guineense did not give detailed report on the active ingredient responsible for the treatment of infections. This has led to the investigation of the active ingredients present in the leaves of Piper guineense that are responsible for the treatment of infectious diseases as claimed by traditionalists.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 50 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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