Abstract: This study aimed, at finding out different active components contained in the stems of Urtica massaica, a plant eaten by mountain gorillas in Parc National des Volcans (PNV) and used in rwandan traditional medicine to treat diarrhea in humans. Among, the medicinal plants eaten by mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), the stems of Urtica massaica have been chosen to undergo phytochemical tests, those stems are used in humans to treat diarrhea, a disease also found in mountain gorillas. The phytochemical screening showed that the stems of Urtica massaica contain tannins in great quantity but terpenes-sterols, saponosides, flavonoids and anthocyanes are in small quantity. The steps of separation on the thin layer chromatography and the column chromatography have been done successively on the hexanic, chloroformic and hydromethanolic extracts of that plant. During the bacteriological test, the extracts and the hydromethanolic fractions of Urtica massaica have given satisfactory activities against the enteropathogenes (Salmonella B, Shigella flexneri and Escherichia coli) able to induce bacterial diarrhea.
Nahayo Alphonse , M.J. Bigendako , K. Fawcett , H. Nkusi , J.B. Nkurikiyimfura and Yansheng Gu , 2008. Chemical Study of the Stems of Urtica massaica, a Medicinal Plant Eaten by Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 3: 514-520.