Nature Knows Best

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Date Submitted: 08/13/2015 05:53 AM

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Review of Related Literature

Madre de Cacao (Gliricidia sepium) is a nitrogen-fixing tree that can grow from 10 to 12 meters high, and a leguminous tree that belongs to the family Fabaceae. Gliricidia, which originated in Central America, is used in many tropical and sub tropical countries as live fencing. Madre de Cacao is used as firewood in some cases. It is also used as a shade tree or ornamental plant, and sometimes as a shade tree for coffee plants.

As to its chemical component according to Roskoski et al. (1980), studying Mexican material, the foliage contains 11.96% humidity,12.09% ash,19.92% CP, 2.34% crude fat, 11.04% CF, 42.65% carbohydrates and 69.69% in vitro digestibility. And as for the leaves, it contains 11.93% humidity,1.90% ash, 33.00% CP, 16.50% CF EE, 9.7% CF, 27.60% carbohydrates with a 52.42% in vitro digestability. Low levels of alkaloids were found at the seed and saponins in the foliage, but the plant is still used for forage.

The most researched one are the tannins. In one study, Gliricidia was found to contain 40.7g of condensed tannins/kg dry matter. Tannins bind to protein and can make plants have a higher level of astringent dry mouth taste. The active medicinal compounds may be tannins or other compounds such as afrormosin, medicarpin or some isoflavins. Most of the research with gliricidia and its compound have focused on nutritive quality. However, some studies have focused on the ability of the plant and /or roots to decrease soil nematode populations, control insects or fungi.

In another study, the antimicrobial properties of extracts from the bark of Gliricidia were tested. It was effective against bacteria causing dermatitis. However, it was not effective against enterobacteria or candida albicans.

Guava ( Psidium guajava) a evergreen tree or shrub 6 to 25 feet high, with wide spreading branches and downy twigs. The branches are very strong and highly tolerant to high winds. The leaves are oblong or oval and blunt, 3...