Extraction and Characterization of Linoleic Acid from the Leaves of the Traditional Medicinal Plant Caloncoba Echinata in Sierra Leone

Lahai Koroma, T. B. R. Yormah, L. M. Kamara, G. M.T. Robert


Dried powdered organs of Caloncoba echinata plant were subjected to organoleptic evaluation and Fluorescence properties. The reagent which gave the most fluorescent character was used to extract a compound from the plant materials. 3.14% (2.50 g) of an oily substance was extracted from 79.62g of powdered leaves of Caloncoba echinata in 450 mL 10% of HNO3 and allowed to stand for 72 hours. The extract was filtered using a Buchner funnel attached to portable Vacuum Pump and the acidic crude extracted with petroleum ether (10 mL x 3).The crude oily compound was separated from the mixture, purified weighed and labelled as LKL01. Sample LK01 tested positive for terpenoids and unsaturation with Saponification and Iodine Values of 201.96 and 177.66 respectively indicating that the compound is very suitable soap production and cosmetic purposes. Chemical and spectroscopic analysis and from literature revealed the compound to be Linoleic acid. This is the first report of the presence of Linoleic acid in the leaves of Caloncoba echinata. Linoleic acid has been reported to be used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics, antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of burns, cold sores and other minor wounds supporting the use of Caloncoba echinata plant in traditional medicine.


Linoleic Acid; Organoleptic; Fluorescence; Pharmacognostical evaluation; Saponification value; Iodine value and McLafferty Rearrangement.

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