Open Access Case study

Traditional Knowledge on Medicinal Plants Use by Ethnic Communities in Douala, Cameroon

Mpondo Mpondo Emmanuel, Dibong Siegfried Didier

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 159-176
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/878

Traditional knowledge is common and important among the tribal people but much of the information is empirical at best lacking logical validation. A number of ethnic communities residing in the study area are partially or fully dependent on the forest resources to meet their requirements. Plants have traditionally been used as a source of medicine in Cameroon since early times for the control of various ailments afflicting humans and their domestic animals. However, little work has been made in the past to properly document and promote that knowledge. Today medicinal plants and the associated knowledge in the country are threatened due to deforestation, environmental degradation and acculturation. The present study analyses traditional knowledge and utilization of 94 species belonging to 84 genera under 46 families in day-to-day life of ethnic communities in Douala region, Cameroon. The diverse ethnic communities such as Bamiléké, Bassa, Béti, Haoussa, Douala, Bakoko, Bassolo, Ngumba, Dibom, Baya and Banen have a good association with plants and their potential role they use for different purposes and treatment of various ailments. The traditional knowledge on the utilization of these plants is widely accepted by the ethnic communities.

Open Access Original Research Article

Preliminary Screening for Various Bioactivities in Honey and Propolis Extracts from Thai Bees

Jirattikarn Kaewmuangmoon, Pawornrat Nonthapa, Atsalek Rattanawannee, Pakorn Winayanuwattikun, Chanpen Chanchao

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 74-92
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/941

Aims: Honey and propolis have long been used in traditional medicine whilst honey is consumed as food. A screening for various bioactivities in honey from Apis florea and A. andreniformis, and the crude water and ethanol extracts of propolis from A. mellifera and Tetragonula laeviceps, from Thailand are reported.
Study Design: Cell based study.
Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, between June 2010 and April 2011.
Methodology: Various components such as protein, sugar, gluconic acid were assayed in honey while total sugar, reducing sugar, total polyphenol and flavonoid content were assayed in crude propolis. Samples were tested for in vitro antimicrobial, in vitro antiplasmodial and antiproliferative activities.
Results: The crude propolis extracts showed good bioactivities. Antibacterial activity was found against Bacillus cereus (a model Gram-positive bacteria) in the water extracts of propolis from T. laeviceps (TLW) and A. mellifera (AMW), with MIC values of 50 and 100 µg/ml, respectively, whilst against Escherichia coli (a model Gram-negative bacteria), TLE revealed some 24.0% growth inhibition. Most interestingly, the ethanol extract of propolis from T. laeviceps (TLE) displayed a strong anti-malarial activity with a MIC of 4.48 µg/ml against in vitro Plasmodium falciparum growth, whilst AMW revealed a high inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth (74.3%). Furthermore, TLW (50 µg/ml) provided the highest anti-Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 replication activity at 33.0% without any sign of cytotoxicity to the host Vero cells. Finally, in vitro anti-proliferation activity against four cancer cell lines in tissue culture was noted with IC50 vales ranging between 25.5 - 29.3 and 26.8 – 49.5 µg/ml for TLE and AME, respectively.
Conclusion: Overall, the propolis of Thai A. mellifera and T. laeviceps exhibit diverse and some novel bioactivities worthy of further enrichment and characterization.

Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical Studies and Evaluation of Antioxidant, Anticancer and Antimicrobial Properties of Conocarpus erectus L. Growing in Taif, Saudi Arabia

El-Sayed S. Abdel-Hameed, Salih A. Bazaid, Mohamed M. Shohayeb, Mortada M. El-Sayed, Eman A. El-Wakil

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 93-112
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/1040

The use of plants and their derived substances increases day by day for the discovery of new therapeutic agents owing to their versatile applications. Conocarpus erectus L. (family Combretaceae) is one of two species in the genus Conocarpus widely spread in Taif and other parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is used in some countries as folk remedy for anemia, catarrh, conjunctivitis, diabetes, diarrhea and fever. To our knowledge from literatures there is little work about phytochemical contents and biological activities of C. erectus which encouraged the authors to carry out this study. The four defatted methanol extracts of C. erectus different parts (leaves, stems, fruits and flowers) showed high free radical scavenging activity toward DPPH radical with SC50 between 6.47-9.4 µg/ml. The n-BuOH fractions obtained from successive fractionation of the four defatted methanol extracts had radical scavenging activity with SC50 between 4.43-5.89 µg/ml higher than the EtOAc fractions (7.04-10.71 µg/ml). Due to the high antioxidant activity of the EtOAc and n-BuOH fractions, it was in vitro assayed toward two human cancer cell lines; HepG2 & MCF-7; using Sulphorhodamine-B assay method. The results showed that most fractions had cytotoxic activity with IC50< 20µg/ml which fall within the American Cancer Institute criteria. A preliminary antibacterial screening of the four defatted methanol extracts of the different parts toward five bacterial strains were done. Phytochemical investigation of the EtOAc and n-BuOH fractions showed that phenolic compounds constitute the major components of it. In conclusion this is the first report on the phytochemical and biological properties of Conocarpus erectus growing in Taif governorate, KSA. More in vivo and in vitro studies along with detailed phytochemical investigation are needed in the hope to can use this plant (crude extract, fractions, sub-fractions or pure compounds) in the prevention and therapies of some diseases.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Studies of Iron Chelation Activity of Purified Active Ingredients Extracted from Triticum aestivum Linn. (Wheat Grass)

Priyabrata Das, Ashis Mukhopadhyay, Suvra Mandal, Bikas Chandra Pal, Raghwendra Mishra, Debarati Mukherjee, Soma Mukhopadhyay, Jayasri Basak, Manoj Kar

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 113-124
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/1059

Objective: Seven to eight days germinated plants of Triticum aestivum (wheat grass) are a rich source of vitamin A, C, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, zinc and protein. Traditionally the aqueous extract of T. aestivum was reported to be used as a health tonic in folk and ayurvedic medicine. We previously reported that aqueous extract of T. aestivum was found to reduce the blood transfusion requirement in iron overloaded Thalassemia and Myelodysplastic syndrome patients. Our objective was to extract and purify active ingredients from wheat grass and study their mode of action in stabilizing hemoglobin level in those patients.
Design and Method: Active ingredients of wheat grass were extracted and purified by cation exchange column chromatography followed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. In vitro experiments with phenylhydrazine treated red blood cell hemolysate were carried out before and after treatment of purified fraction of T. aestivum to study iron chelating activity.
Result: Purified fraction of T. aestivum treated red blood cell showed significant inhibition of free reactive iron production and formation of thio-barbituric acid reactive substances when compared to desferrioxamine treated hemolysate.
Conclusion: Iron chelating activity of purified fraction of T. aestivum, an inexpensive, easily available source, is very promising for further clinical trial and development of oral iron chelator drug for Thalassemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome and other iron overloaded diseases.

Open Access Original Research Article

Anti-Mycobacterial and Toxicity Activities of Some Priority Medicinal Plants from Lake Victoria Basin, Tanzania

Joseph J. Magadula, Joseph N. Otieno, Ramadhani S. Nondo, Claude Kirimuhuzya, E. Kadukuli, John A. Orodho, Paul Okemo

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 125-131
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/739

Aims: This study has evaluated ethanol extracts from five medicinal plants selected through ethnobotanical study from Lake Victoria basin, Tanzania for their in vitro anti-mycobacterial activity against two Mycobacterium species and cytotoxicity against brine shrimp larvae.
Study Design: Laboratory experimental tests.
Place and Duration of Study: Institute of Traditional Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, between July 2010 and July 2011.
Methodology: Five medicinal plants were selected from the priority list obtained from Lake Victoria basin, Tanzanian side. Collection, processing and drying of plant samples were done in the field with the assistance of a botanist while extraction and concentration of plant samples to obtain crude extracts were done in the laboratory following standard procedures. The plants included in this study are Antidesma membranaceum, Crassocephalum manii, Entada abyssinica, Croton dichogamus and Rubia cordifolia. The two fold microdilution method was used to determine the MIC values of extracts against two Mycobacterium marker strains (Mycobacterium indicus pranii and Mycobacterium madagascariense). The cytotoxicity of plant extract was evaluated against brine shrimp larvae. Furthermore, the extracts were screened phytochemicaly to establish the group of compounds responsible for the activity.
Results: Among the tested extracts, the stem bark of A. membranaceum and C. manii showed moderate to mild activity against M. indicus pranii (MIC = 0.3125 mg/ml) and M madagascariense (MIC = 0.625 mg/ml) respectively. Furthermore, A. membranaceum exhibited significant toxicity activity with LC50 value of 36.134 μg/ml against brine shrimp larvae. Other plants were moderately active when tested in vitro against the above organisms. Phytochemical screening of extracts indicated the presence of different classes of compounds.
Conclusion: This study has shown the potential of the priority medicinal plant extracts to be the source of possible lead compounds and anti"TB drug candidates needed for the management of Tuberculosis. Isolation of active principles from active fractions will be further undertaken.

Open Access Original Research Article

Larvicidal and Antifungal Properties of Picralima nitida (Apocynaceae) Leaf Extracts

Peace M. E. Ubulom, N. G. Imandeh, Chinweizu E. Udobi, Ibrahim IIya

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 132-139
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/869

The larvicidal and antifungal activities of ethanolic and aqueous leaf extracts of Picralima nitida were evaluated in static bioassays on 4th instar larvae of Anopheles gambiae and three fungal species: Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans and Microsporum canis. All extractions were done using distilled water and 50% ethanol. Larvicidal assays were carried out at extract concentrations of 0.15, 0.30, 0.45, 0.60 and 0.75% w/v, for 72h. For the antifungal studies extract concentrations used were 200, 100, 50 and 25mg/ml. At the end of larvicidal assay the highest concentration recorded mortality of 57.60% and 38.40% for ethanolic and aqueous leaf extracts respectively. 72h LC50 values obtained from Probit analysis, using SPSS version 17 were 0.660% and 1.057% w/v for ethanolic and aqueous leaf extracts respectively. Larvae in the control experiments registered no death throughout the period of experiment, rather they were actively wriggling and some even metamorphosed into pupae. For the antifungal studies the agar well diffusion technique was employed. Antifungal effects were determined using measurements of inhibition zone diameter (IZD). Results obtained revealed that both the aqueous and ethanolic leaf extracts exerted antifungal effect on A. flavus and C. albicans, but no antifungal effect was exhibited against M. canis, at the extract concentrations used in this study, rather a steady growth in the test plates seeded with M. canis was observed. The same was applicable with the negative controls. The drug, ketoconazole exerted antifungal effect on all test organisms. Phytochemical screening of the leaf revealed the presence of alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, saponins and terpenes. The leaf of P. nitida possesses larvicidal and antifungal potential and therefore warrants a more thorough exploitation.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Composition of Ten Ethnobotanicals Used for the Treatment of Anaemia in Southwest Nigeria

I. T. Gbadamosi, J. O. Moody, A. O. Yekini

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 140-150
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/1025

Aim: Ethnobotanical investigation revealed that Parquetina nigrescens, Sorghum bicolor, Terminalia catappa, Trema orientalis, Mangifera indica, Waltheria indica, Theobroma cacao, Harungana madagascariensis, Tetracera alnifolia and Detarium microcarpum are used traditionally for the treatment of anaemia in southwestern Nigeria. This study screened the plants for their proximate constituents and phytochemical compounds to provide scientific details for their therapeutic use for the treatment of anaemia.
Study Design: Proximate and phytochemical analyses of ten ethnobotanicals.
Place and Duration of Study: Departments of Botany, Pharmacognosy and Animal Nutrition, University of Ibadan, between January and September, 2010.
Methodology: Proximate and phytochemical analyses of plant parts of ten ethnobotanicals were carried out using standard laboratory methods. Data were analysed using Statistical Analysis System (SAS). Differences between means were assessed for significance at p<0.05 by Duncan’s Multiple range test (DMRT).
Results: The habits of the tested plants were 60% trees, 30% shrubs and 10% herbs. The use-value of plant parts were 60% barks and 40% leaves. The highest value (19.95%) of crude protein was recorded for P. nigrescens. S. bicolor showed significantly (P < 0.05) high content of crude fibre (30.00%) and highest dry matter was obtained from T. cacao and T. catappa. Anthraquinones were present in Harungana madagascariensis, Theobroma cacao, Mangifera indica and Waltheria indica, 70% of the test plants contained tannins, and cardiac glycosides were present in all plant samples. This study, thus confirms the nutritional potential of the test plants in addition to their active phytochemical constituents. Their nutrients might complement the active phytocompounds in therapeutic activities.
Conclusion: It was concluded that there is need for the isolation and identification of the active compounds responsible for their antianaemic activities. Furthermore P. nigrescens, M. indica and T. cacao could be used as food supplements in weaning food because of their significant crude protein and fibre constituents in addition to their therapeutic potential.

Open Access Original Research Article

Toxicity Induced Histological Changes in Selected Organs of Male (Wistar) Rats by Lawsonia inermis Leaf Extract

Mosaid A. Z. Alferah

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 151-158
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/1061

Aim: To describe the adverse effects of the leaf extract of Lawsonia inermis plant (Henna), extensively used for medicinal benefits in traditional Arab/African culture, on the histology of liver, kidney and spleen of male rats.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Biology Department, College of Science and Arts at Onaiza, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia, between Augus 2011 and November 2011.
Methodology: Henna leaf solution was given to male rats at doses of 200 mg and 1000 mg/Kg/day for a period of six weeks/42 days. Rats were sacrificed at the end of the treatment period and their effects were studied specifically focusing on the histology of the liver, kidney and spleen; organs involved in detoxification, hematopoiesis and immune functions.
Results & Conclusion: No pathological changes were evident at 200 mg dose for liver, kidney and spleen sections. However, significant pathological changes were observed in the liver and kidney at 1000 mg dose suggestive of degenerative or apoptotic changes. In view of these pathological relevant results, it is not advisable to use such high doses of Henna leaf extract in clinical formulations. Additional future pharmacokinetics studies are suggested.

Open Access Original Research Article

Seasonal Variation in the Anti-Diabetic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Momordica charantia Fruit Extract in Rats

O. T. Kolawole, A. A. Ayankunle

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 177-185
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2012/998

Aims: To investigate seasonal variation in anti-diabetic and hypolipidemic activities of Momordica charantia fruits harvested at different seasons of the year, namely spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Methodology: Air-dried and pulverized fruit samples were extracted by soaking in 70% methanol for 72h. The filtrate was concentrated using rotary evaporator. The yields of spring (MME), summer (JME), autumn (SME) and winter (DME) samples were 8.4, 7.1, 4.8 and 5.1% respectively. For each of the four fruit samples, rats were divided into six groups of six rats each. First group served as normal control (non-diabetic). The remaining five groups were made diabetic by administering alloxan (120mg/kg body weight) intraperitoneally. Second group served as diabetic control. Third, fourth and fifth groups were treated with oral doses of 200, 400 and 600mg/kg body weight of Momordica charantia fruit extracts respectively. The sixth group received oral dose of glibenclamide (5mg/kg body weight) which served as the standard drug. These treatments were repeated daily for 28 days.
Results: Treatment with methanol extracts of Momordica charantia caused a significant (p<0.01) and dose-dependent changes with respect to blood glucose level and lipid profile in all the four samples, when compared with the untreated animals. The highest activity was observed with spring sample, followed by the summer sample. Autumn and winter samples have more or less similar but lesser effects than summer sample.
Conclusion: The results of this study showed that anti-diabetic and hypolipidemic effects of Momordica charantia fruit extract vary during different seasons of the year. The spring sample produced the highest activity. This suggests that the active principles in Momordica charantia fruit that are responsible for its antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activity vary in quantity and/or quality during different seasons of the year and reach the peak during spring.