Previous literature have found that Cucurbitaceae Family have numereus medicinal properties such as antiHIV, anxiolytic,anti-pyretic, anti-diarrheal, carminative, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, laxative, anti-helminthic, anti-tuberculosis, and purgative(32). It is also employed as an abortifacient, diuretic, andcardiotonic agent. They also show strong anti-inflammatory, antitussive, cytotoxic, and expectorant properties(32).
1.6 .The Genus Cucumis
The genus name Cucumis is the Latin name for the cucumber which was already cultivated in Ancient Egypt(34).
The genus Cucumis belongs to the family Cucurbi-taceae, order Cucurbitales is represented by 32 species(35).
According to specific morphological features of tendrils pollen grains and ovules, there are clear relation of this taxon with the order Passiflorales(35).
The plants are annual herbs, exceptionally typically having a climbing growth habit or trailing and semi shrubs, although few cucumber and C. melo cultivars have a root systems, rarely woody (C. trigonus) are extensive, bush habit, but not often tuberous (C. kalahariensis), usually shallow . Stems are sulcate, angled, not aculeate or rarely aculeate (C. ficifolius), rarely glabrous or variously pubertal, rarely breakaway hairs or with nonbreak away hairs (C. sacleuxii)(36).
The genus Cucumis indigenous mainly to Africa, also Asia, Australia and some islands in the Pacific. It includes two major commercial vegetable crops: C. sativus (cucumbers, from Asia) and C. melo (melons, from Africa and Australia, asia), and two minor ones: the West Indian gherkin (C. anguria) and the kiwano (C. metuliferus). These last two species became cultivated crops outside their native Africa(34).
The South Africa is main hub of the center of multiplicity for the genus Cucumis.Pharmacological experiment conducted on C. melo and some Cucumis spp., point to its immense prospective in the management of conditions such as inflammation, pain, cancer, cough, liver diseases, and cardiovascular disorders(36).
Cucumismelo whole fruit is useful in chronic eczema. The fruit is tonic, laxative, and galactagogic, diuretic and diaphoretic. The flowers used as expectorant and induce vomiting. The seeds are used as cough suppressant, fever reducer, and a digestive aid. A seed powder is mixed with water and used as anti-helminthic(32). Cucumis sativus fruit help in removing constipation and ingestion the fruits are used during summer as cooling food, seeds as anthelmintic(32).
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1.6.1 .Pharmacological activity of genus Cucumis
In the previous study the crude extract of the whole plant of Cucumis melo.L (Cucurbitaceae) was screened for activity against bacterial strains like E. coli, K. pneumoniae, S.paratyphi, S. aureus and a fungal strain C. barbicans using aqueous, heptane, petroleum ether and acetone as a solvent by using disk diffusion method. Highest zone of inhibition was shown by whole plant and fruit extract of Cucumis melo L. with aqueous and acetone with C. albicans and E. coli 08 and 12 mm respectively(37).The previous study on the Cucumis sativus using disk diffusion shows higher antibacterial and antifungal activity against following microorganisms like S.typhi, E.coli, E.faecalis,B.cereus and C.lunata, C.albicans(38). Also it justifies. Antimicrobial activities are aggravated by increasing the quantity of this compound, which can be used as an alternative for antibiotics(38).
Antibacterial and antifungal activity was studied by Agar well diffusion method and was concluded that the fruit ethanolic extract of Cucumis anguria shows stronger antimicrobial activity than its methanolic,Chloroform,ethylacetate extracts(39).
On the basis of previous evidences obtained in laboratory animal study, the researchers concluded that the Cucumis sativus extract possesses hypoglycemic properties which suggests the presence of biologically active components such as terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and phenolics have shown antidiabetic potential through the insulino mimetic activity of the plant extract which may be worth further investigation and elucidation(40). Data show that 1mL of the extract almost normalize the blood glucose level of rats. Hence, it might help in preventing diabetic complications and may serve as a good alternative of antidiabetic drugs(40).
C. melo leaf methanolic extract was investigated for its antihyperglycemiceffects against streptozotocin induced hyperglycemia in rats and concluded that methanolic extract of C. melo leaf have greater anti-hyperglycemic activity than aqueous extract in streptozotocin induced hyperglycemia model and when compared with Glibenclamid treated group(41).
Qualitative DPPH spray method was used for checking free radical scavenging activity of cucumis anguria extract and free radical in it gives a strong absorption maximum at 517 nm and purple colour were changed to yellow which can be concluded as extract has anti-oxidant properties(42).The methanolic extract of Cucumis trigonus roxb seeds gave concentration-dependent DPPH radical scavenging activity. The highest free radical scavenging activity was found to be 83.66% at concentration of 200 ?g/ml which was comparable to the free radical scavenging activity of standard (0.05 mM) ascorbic acid(43).
In DPPH assay – the percentage of antioxidant activity of Cucumis melo Seed extracts values recorded at 30 minutes were analyzed. Cucumis melo seed extracts were analysed the highest radical scavenging activity (73.2 %) and followed by others(44).
Another previous study showed that Response of Cucumis dipsaceus fractional extracts towards various antioxidant assays was appreciable especially in ABTS+ , metal chelating, nitric oxide and DPPH assays. Methanol extract of Cucumis dipsaceus fruit showed the highest activity (4907.22 µg TE/g) to stabilize ABTS radical(45).
1.6.2 .Isolated compound
Preliminary phytochemical screening of the ethanol and crude chloroform extract of leaves and steam of cucumis sativus possessed phytoconstituent such as alkaloid, glycoside, and steroid, saponin and tannins where as cucumissativus fruits revealed the presence of glycosides, steroids, flavonoids, carbohydrates and tannins(30).Flavone glycosides such as isovitexin, saponarin and various acylated flavone C-glycosides are present in the leaves. Antiulcer 9-beta-methyl-19-norlanosta-5-ene type Glycosides have been isolated from Cucumis sativus Seeds(33). Cucumis melofruit has a high Superoxide dismutase activity (SOD) which is responsible for the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the extract.Furthermore, number of phenolic glycosides have been isolated from the seed(32). Cucumis anguria showed to possess Antioxidant activity and various constituentsSuch as Flavonoids, Alkaloids, Triterpenoids, Carbohydrates, Tannins, Sterols, Anthraquinoneglycosides and Saponins are present in it(42).
Phytochemical screening of Cucumis metuliferus revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, triterpenoid, saponins, steroids, volatile oils, total glycosides, cardiac glycosides and saponin glycosides(46).
The following figure shows some isolated structure from some species of genus cucumis (47,48).
where 1 Cucumins, 4 R=H, luteolin ,5R=OH, quercetin,
2 R1=H,R2=R3=OH, 5,7-dihydroxy-2- 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethylchromone
3 R1=R2=R3=OH,5,7-dihydroxy-2-2-(3,4- dihydroxyphenyl)ethylchromone
6 R1=H,R2=OH,R3=O-O-Glu,7- glucosyloxy-5-hydroxy-2-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethylchromone
Figure 1: Some secondary metabolites isolated from the cucumismelo
Figure2:Sphingolipids Isolated from the Stems of Cucumber (Cucumis sativas .L)
1.7. Cucumis ficifolius
Figure3: Morphological view of Cucumis ficifolius A. Rich
1.7.1 . Botanical Description
C. ficifolius is a perennial herb climbing to 2m long from a perennial wood root stock up to1mm long. The stems are hairy with short fine hairs and also with small aculeate hairs of varying degrees or stoutness; Leaves are blade ovate to broadly rotundate in outline; Seeds are Elliptic (49). In Ethiopia, the plant is locally known as Yemidier embuay (Amharic language)(49). The plant distributed in different part of Ethiopia mainly Tigray, Go jam, Shewa, Welega, Gamo Gofa and Harare(49). This plant mainly growing at the altitude ranging from 1300-2400 m (49).
1.7.2 .Ethnobotanical uses
In Ethiopia, the fruit part reported to treat rabies(49). And also, fresh fruit used as addressing for inflamed fingers in Nigeria and Ethiopia(49). In Some places it is an ingredient of medicine for syphilis and as an emetic and in small doses with honey to relieve stomach ache for children, in Ethiopia it also used for the treatment of various ailments such as “Kuruba”, “Chiffea”, “Mageriat geter” (meningitis), “nessir” (epistaxis),”Wefbeshita” (50). And also the roots is used for complete treatment of malaria. The seeds are oil giving. The Root extract of C. ficifolius is recorded to be used in local Honey-wine or “Tej” to make beverage more intoxicating (49).
Previous study in Dek island by by Tilahun Teklehymanot confirmed that different parts of cucumis ficifolius used for different ailments such as Stomach-ache, nail injury, wart, dysentery with blood, ‘mich’, meningitis, evil eye(50)
1.7.3. Pharmacological activity
In the previous investigation, the antimicrobial activity of the chloroform, ethyl acetate,acetone, ethanol and methanol extracts of the leaves of C. ficifolius were evaluated using disk diffusion method .Tetracycline and erythromycin were used as positive control where as Tween 20 served as a negative control and extracts showed varying degree of inhibitory activity against S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa and S.boydii at concentration of 400mg/ml (49).