Ethnomedicinal and antioxidant potentials of some wild fruits of Shinyanga region in Tanzania

Wild fruits are potentially natural foods, healthy and economically important in our communities. Lack of data on the nutritive and medicinal values of the wild fruits leave them neglected in our communities. Investigation on medicinal use and antioxidant potential of wild fruits in the drylands area of Shinyanga region was conducted in 2022 at Iselamagazi ward (33° 8'14.52"E to 33° 8'26.97"E and 3°32'28.44"S to 3°32'40.38"S) in Shinyanga rural District. Wild fruits were collected using standard methods from the purposely selected areas while ethnomedicinal information was collected using a questionnaire method. Extraction of plant material was done by solvent extraction method using ethanol 99.8% v/v as a solvent. Extract of the wild fruits were evaluated calorimetrically using the spectrophotometer UV-Visible model 6305 Jenway, UK. Ethnomedicinal information from the questionnaire were also collated. Antioxidant properties were obtained using 2, 2-diphenyl-1picrylhydrazyl DPPH) method. Results indicate that the wild fruits are potential natural antioxidants with total phenolic content (gallic acid equivalence) ranging from 19.513-175.983 mg GAE/g and total flavonoid content (Ruta graveolens) ranging from 9.171-176.99 mg RUE/g. Adansonia digitata showed the highest antioxidant capacity (175.983mg GAE/g) and Trema orientalis showed the lowest antioxidant capacity (17.898mg GAE/g). Scavenging ability values of the fruits ranged from 0.368-44.77 taurine (TAU) in total phenolic and 0.233-5.68 TAU in total flavonoid content. More than 20 diseases were reported to be treated by the investigated fruits based on ethnomedicinal information of the investigated community. Propagation and fruits utilization sensitization of the wild fruits in our communities will improve health and livelihood but also conserve our environments.

 Washa Bugalama Washa