IJSRP, Volume 9, Issue 5, May 2019 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Gertrude Vwononi Evusa & Violet Kadenyeka Mugalavai
Vernonia hymenolepis species is a weed that is found in various parts of Africa and has traditionally been used as a vegetable because of its nutritional and medicinal value. The species complex in the genus Vernonia Schreber in Tropical East Africa were collected from Mt. Elgon (K3), Kakamega (K5) & Narok (K6) in Kenya and investigated to establish their proximate and micronutrient composition using traditional methods. Results revealed a high quality and quantity of nutritional elements. The leaves had a vitamin C content of up to 1.6g/100g and a mean content of 303.2mg, 242.3mg, 19.6g, 1.2g, 430.8mg and 133.8mg per 100g dry weight (d.w) of Na, K, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn respectively. Protein levels in the leaves ranged from 11.2-18.1g/100g d.w whereas P and N were found to be 190-390 mg/100g d.w and 21.1-57.9g/100g d.w respectively. Both proximate and elemental significant differences were shown in species from K3 & K5 at P<0.05, except in moisture, N, proteins and Vit C. It is evident from othe nutritional analysis that Vernonia hymenolepis species are highly packed with essential nutrients for good nutrition and can therefore contribute to dietary diversity to help curb malnutrition in the different regions where they grow and thus the need to domesticate them.