Open Access Short Research Article

Anti HIV-1 Activity of the Crude Extracts of Guaiacum officinale L. (Zygophyllaceae)

Henry I. C. Lowe, Ngeh J. Toyang, Alonso Heredia, Charah T. Watson, Joseph Bryant

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 483-489
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7343

Aim: Jamaica is rich in medicinal plants.  Guaiacum officinale is the “National Flower”, with reported uses in folk medicine for the treatment of various conditions including inflammation.  In our search for plants with anticancer and anti-infective properties, we evaluated Guaiacum officinale for activity against HIV-1.

Methodology: The leaf, seed and twig extracts of G. officinale were screened for anti HIV-1 properties in primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) infected with the reference HIV-1 BaL strain.

Results: All the tested extracts inhibited HIV-1 p24 production by infected cells, with EC50 concentrations of 22.35µg/ml, 23.42µg/ml and 25.04µg/ml, respectively for the leaf, seed and twig extracts. As comparison, Betulinic acid had an EC50 value of 27.50µg/ml. The tested extracts had IC50/EC50 selectivity index (SI) values of ≥ 3, which compared favorably to Betulinic acid SI value of 1.09.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that extracts of G. officinale may provide leads for the discovery of new drug agents against HIV-1.

Open Access Original Research Article

Chemical Composition, Antioxidant Activities and Protective Effects of Sideritis italica Extract on C2C12 Oxidative Stress

Luigi Menghini, Giorgio Pintore, Bruno Tirillini, Lidia Leporini

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 365-382
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7090

Aims: Sideritis italica is a medicinal plant used for medical purposes mainly based on experiences rather than scientific evidence. Biological properties, composition of primary and secondary metabolites as well as the antioxidant capacity were investigated on samples from wild plant.

Methodology: The ultrastructure of aerial parts and quantitative distribution of pigments, including chlorophylls and amino acids, as well as the main class of secondary metabolites (phenols, flavonoids, flavonols and proanthocyanidins) were investigated. The extracts were tested by radical scavenging assays (DPPH, ABTS) and pharmacological assays (antiproliferative activity, effects on ROS production and protective effects against DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide) for their effects on C2C12 cell line.

Results: Scanning electron microphotography confirms the presence of pharmacognostic characteristics, such as glandular and non-glandular trichomes on aerial parts. The chemical analysis indicates that the leaves are the most important part of the plant, and ethanol/water 70/30 is the preferable extraction solvent. The highest concentration of all metabolites was found in 70% ethanol extract of leaves. The antiradical assays and the in vitro tests on mouse myoblast cells C2C12 confirm the biological activities of the extract. C2C12 culture medium supplemented with extract, at doses (5-200μg/ml) not interfering with cell viability, was seen to modulate the ROS production and balance the increased oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide. The treatment of C2C12 cells with 200 μg/ml of extract results in a percentage reduction of ROS of -60% and -71%, compared to untreated and H2O2 treated groups, respectively, P<.05. The quantitative reduction of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), which is a biomarker of free radical DNA damage, confirms the protective effect of S. italica extract on oxidative stress at basal condition as well as in presence of exogenous stimuli (-11 and -7%, at 20μg/ml, respectively versus untreated and H2O2 groups, P<.05).

Conclusion: The results obtained in the present study support the rational base for the medicinal use of plant and extracts in modulating the free radical metabolism and balancing the oxidative stress.


Open Access Original Research Article

Carcinogen Metabolizing Enzymes: Modulation of Their Activities in Liver, Lung and Stomach by Thymoquinone

Said Al-Dalaen, Samir Mahgoub, Aiman Al-Qtaitat

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 383-393
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/3870

Background: Thymoquinone (TQ), the bioactive constituent of black seed (Nigella sativa), has been shown to inhibit the growth of various human cancerous cells both in vitro and in vivo.

Aim: To characterize the effects of thymoquinone on the activity of phase I and phase II carcinogen metabolizing enzymes in rats.

Materials and Methods: Phase I enzymes, namely the cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP1A1 and CYP2E1, and phase II enzymes, including UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT) and glutathione S-transferase (GST), were studied in the liver, lung and stomach of female Swiss albino rats. The animals were divided into two groups (10 rats/group), a control group treated with corn oil and a TQ-treated group receiving oral (gavage) thymoquinone at a dose of 10 mg/kg/day for 15 consecutive days. Animals were then sacrificed on day 16. Tissue homogenates of liver, lung and stomach were prepared to evaluate the activities of both phase I and phase II selected enzymes.

Results: Thymoquinone treatment induced significant modulation of the selected phase I and phase II enzymes in a tissue-specific manner. Our results revealed statistically significant reductions in the activities of CYP1A1 enzyme (46%, 60% and 57% in liver, lung and stomach respectively) versus the control group. Similarly, CYP2E1 activities were decreased in both liver and lung, by 51% and 16%, respectively, compared to the control group. UGT enzyme showed a decrease of 51% in liver, but a significant rise in both lung and stomach, by 40% and 192%, respectively. GST activity, on the other hand, was moderately enhanced, by 24%, 50% and 30% in liver, lung and stomach, respectively.

Conclusion: Thymoquinone, in addition to scavenging active metabolites of chemical carcinogens, may also change their metabolisms by modulating the activity levels of enzymes involved in carcinogen activation and/or xenobiotics pathways.


Open Access Original Research Article

Gastroprotective Effects of Masfon–Aloe vera Drink: Its Effects on Gastric Acid and Mucus

Oka Victor Otu, Ikpi Daniel Ewa, Nna Victor Udo, Antai Atim Bassey, Osim Eme Efiom

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 394-403
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7789

Masfon – Aloe vera drink was employed in this study to ascertain its effect on gastric acid secretion, mucus output and cytoprotection. The study utilized forty five (45) wistar albino rats which were divided into 3 batches of 15 rats each. Batch 1 served for gastric acid secretion, while batches 2 and 3 were for mucus output and cytoprotection studies respectively. Each batch was further divided into three groups of 5 rats each (control, low dose and high dose). The study duration was 21 days. The control received 0.3 ml of normal saline (0.9% NaCl solution) while the low dose (LD) and high dose (HD) experimental groups received Masfon - Aloe vera drink (1 ml and 3 ml/kg body weight orally, once daily respectively). The study was done at the Department of Physiology, University of Calabar, Nigeria. Results showed the mean basal gastric acid output (µmol/L/hr) for both low dose (9.92±1.51) and high dose (13.36±1.25) groups were significantly (P<0.01 and P<0.001) greater than control (5.20±0.05). Following histamine administration, the mean gastric acid output in the experimental groups were, control (21.64±3.58), low dose (24.64±2.76), and high dose (19.60±1.93). Simultaneous administration of histamine + ranitidine showed a decrease in mean acid output which was significant (P<0.01) in the low dose (11.56±1.96) compared to the control (4.64±0.64) and high dose (5.88±0.89) groups. Results for gastric ulceration showed that the mean ulcer score for low dose (9.60±0.73) and high dose (9.60±0.75) groups were significantly (P<0.001) reduced when compared to the control group (14.30±0.75).  The mean mucus output was 0.07±0.01 in the control group, 0.06±0.01 in the low dose group and 0.05±0.01 in the high dose group. Masfon–Aloe vera drink administered at these concentrations is anti–ulcerogenic via a mechanism that does not involve a reduction or increase in gastric acid and mucus respectively.


Open Access Original Research Article

Germination Eco-physiology of Angelica glauca Edgew Seeds

J. S. Butola, R. K. Vashistha, C. P. Kuniyal, A. R. Malik, Aasif Ali, S. S. Samant

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 404-412
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7527

Aims: Angelica glauca Edgew is a heavily exploited critically endangered medicinal cum aromatic herb of Himalayan region. Poor and erratic seed germination is one of the constraints in its in-situ as well as ex-situ conservation and large scale cultivation. Moreover, our understanding of the eco-physiological aspects of the seed germination in this species is very limited. The present study aimed to understand the effect of different temperature regimes, photoperiodic conditions and sowing depths on seed germination in A. glauca using laboratory and nursery conditions.

Study Design: Complete Randomized Design was executed.

Place and Duration of Study: G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Mohal-Kullu (HP), India between April 2006 and July 2008.

Methodology: Germinability of the seeds were evaluated under different temperature regimes viz.(5, 15, 25 and 30ºC) and photoperiods (light-24 hrs, dark-24 hrs and alternate photoperiods-16 hrs dark and 8 hrs light) in laboratory; and at sowing depths (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 cm) in controlled nursery conditions.

Results: In photoperiodic conditions, encouraging results were obtained under alternate light regimes which favored maximum (77.78%; p<0.05) mean germination along with minimum MGT (42.08 days) and Germination Potential Index (114.6) under laboratory condition. All these parameters performed significantly better at 25ºC as compared to other temperature regimes tested. In nursery condition, seed sown at 1.0cm depth gave comparatively higher (p<0.05) seedling emergence. Poor seedling emergence at higher sowing depth clearly indicated the requirement of light for germination in A. glauca seeds.

Conclusion: Study concludes that alternate photoperiods (16 hrs dark and 8 hrs light), temperature (25ºC) and soil depths not more than 1.0cm are effective treatments to achieve optimum germination in A. glauca. These technicalities could be easily adopted by the poor and unskilled farmers for economic cultivation of this species.


Open Access Original Research Article

Standardization of Andrographis paniculata, Mitracarpus scaber and Nauclea latifolia Herbal Preparations as per European and Nigerian Drug Regulations

Sunday J. Ameh, Nneka Ibekwe, Aminu Ambi, Obiageri Obodozie, Mujtaba Abubakar, Magaji Garba, Herbert Cocker, Karniyus S. Gamaniel

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 413-443
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/5457

Background: Herbal drug standardization (HDS) is multidisciplinary with botany and chemistry working together to facilitate decisions on production of herbal medicines. The common reasons for HDS are: i) it creates the need for establishing botanical identity; ii) it is necessary for establishing dosage and iii) it facilitates industrial production and good manufacturing practice (GMP).

Aims: To outline the strategies being used to standardize Conavir, Niprd-AM1 and Niprifan and to show that HDS is the ideal strategy for herbal drug development (HDD) from traditional medicines (TMs).

Methodology: Relevant data on: i) the regulatory requirements of Europe’s Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) and Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and ii) on Andrographis paniculata (AP), Mitracarpus scaber (MS) and Nauclea latifolia (NL) were reviewed. Crude herbal drugs (CHDs) from aerial parts each of AP and MS and from roots of NL and the active crude extracts (ACEs) derived from them were studied using standard botanical, phytochemical and physicochemical techniques with the aim of standardizing them for production. The ACEs from AP (Conavir) and from NL (Niprd-AM1) were dry water extracts. The ACE from MS (Niprifan) was a dry ethylacetate extract.

Results: The regulatory provisions of NAFDAC for herbal preparations were broadly similar to those of EMEA but the latter proved more explicit in many respects. Furthermore, the results on the CHDs and ACEs adequately meet the requirements of the two agencies.

Conclusions: The results here provided and those reported elsewhere collectively furnish the data needed for drawing-up the registration dossiers of AP/Conavir, NL/Niprd-AM1 and MS/Niprifan as per EMEA and NAFDAC requirements. But for purposes of further work, it is needful for the GC-MS studies to be amplified and combined with others, so as to facilitate identification of suitable markers and pave the way for studies requiring bioassays.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Assessment and Mineral Composition of Some Selected Edible Vegetables

Najeeb Ur Rehman, Javid Hussain, Liaqat Ali, Abdul Latif Khan, Fazal Mabood, Syed Abdullah Gillani, Ahmed Al-Harrasi

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 444-457
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/5271

Aims: The present study aimed to assess the nutritional significance of some of the commonly consumed vegetables collected from Hangu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Study Design: The study was designed in randomized block design and each analysis was performed with three replicates.  

Place and Duration of Study: Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat and the duration of the study was one year.

Methodology: Present study was conducted to determine the nutritional importance of the commonly consumed vegetable viz. Amaranthus caudatus, Lathyrus aphaca, Abelmoschus esculenthus, Solanum melongena, Raphanus sativus and Brassica rapa. These vegetable species were evaluated for their nutritional values and mineral composition. By the nutritional analysis of these vegetable species, the total proteins, fats, carbohydrates, ash, and moisture contents were evaluated, whereas the macro-elements (Mg and Na) and micro-elements (Fe, Cu, Pb, Mn, Cr, and Cd) were analyzed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric method.

Results: The moisture content was found to be highest in R. sativus (13.59%±0.01), whereas A. caudatus was found to be highest in crude fats (2.91%±0.01), ash content (24.16% ± 0.03) and the protein value (15.65% ± 0.02). The fiber analysis indicated the highest value in A. esculenthus (30.93%±0.03), whereas B. rapa was found to be highest in the content of carbohydrates (86.65%±0.02) and thus the energy value was also calculated to be highest in B. rapa (352.52 ± 0.09). A. caudatus was also separated from the rest of the vegetables based on principal component analysis. 3-D component plot and rotated component matrix showed that this separation was due to variations in Pb and protein contents.

Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that Amaranthus caudatus and Raphanus sativus are the most balanced sources with respect to nutritional values and mineral composition, as both of them were found to contain the highest content of essential nutrients and the mineral elements (macro and micro-elements).

Open Access Original Research Article

Anti-ulcerogenic Effects and Anti-oxidative Properties of Ceiba pentandra Leaves on Alloxan-induced Diabetic Rats

C. A. Anosike, J. C.Ugwu, P. C. Ojeli, S. C. Abugu

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 458-472
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/6479

Aims: To evaluate the protective effects of methanol extract of Ceiba pentandra leaves on indomethacin and ethanol induced gastric ulcer and on oxidative stress indices of alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

Study Design: Extraction and administration of graded doses of the extract

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Enugu State, Nigeria, between May, 2011 and October, 2011.

Methodology: Extraction of Ceiba pentandra leaves was done using methanol. Twenty adult rats divided into five groups of four rats each were used for each of the ulcer studies. Gastric ulceration was induced in the rats by oral administration of indomethacin (50 mg/kg) and 95% ethanol (0.5 ml) thirty minutes after extract treatment, and the animals sacrificed 8 h later. For the diabetes study, thirty (30) albino rats divided into six (6) groups of five (5) rats each were used. Diabetes was induced by i.p injection of alloxan monohydrate (150 mg/kg) in overnight-fasted animals and the animals treated with varied doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) of the extract for two weeks. Serum obtained from the diabetic rats was used for the determination of lipid profile and liver marker enzymes.

Results: Significant and dose dependent ulcer inhibition (70, 82 and 84 %; 19, 53, and 58 % for 100, 200 and 400mg/kg of the extract respectively) was produced in all the extract-treated groups for the ulcer models used. There were significant decreases (p<0.05) in fasting blood glucose levels, liver marker enzymes, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein and triacylglycerides in the serum of extract-treated groups compared with that of the diabetes-untreated group.

Conclusion: The findings in this study show that methanol extract of Ceiba pentandra leaves possesses potent anti-ulcerogenic and anti-oxidative properties and has potential for use as an herbal remedy for the treatment of gastro-intestinal ulcer and management of diabetes.

Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical and Anti-microbial Screening of the Leaves and Twigs of Sclerocarpus africanus (Jacq)

R. G. Ayo, J. A. Ndiombueze, T. A. Tor-Anyiin

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 473-482
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7096

Aim: To determine phytochemical constituents and antimicrobial activity of leaves and twigs of Sclerocarpus africanus (Jacq);  prove or otherwise  ethno-medicinal claims on S. africanus.

Place and Duration of Study: Departments of Chemistry, Biological sciences and  Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, between June to October, 2010.

Methodology: Petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, ethanol and methanol extracts of leaves and twigs of S. africanus were phytochemically screened for the presence of carbohydrates, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, anthraquinone glycosides and flavonoids. Minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentrations (MBC)/(MFC) and Minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) were carried out on the extracts using Broth dilution method.

Results: Phytochemical screening showed presence of carbohydrates, tannins and saponins. Flavonoids and anthraquinone glycosides were found only in the ethanol and methanol extracts.  Anti-microbial screening of methanol and ethanol extracts showed activity against the following human pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Streptococcus pyogenes, Shigella dysenteriae, Candida albicans and Candida thrusei, with MIC value of 2.5 mg/ml; while Neisseria gonorrhea was inhibited at MIC 1.25 mg/ml. MBC/MFC value of 10 mg/ ml was observed for all the pathogens, except N. gonorrhea which had an observered MBC of 5 mg/ ml for ethanol extract. Similar MBC/MFC values were obtained for methanol extract except Shigella dysentereae which had MBC of 5 mg/ ml.  Petroleum ether extract was active against S. aureus, S. typhi, S. dysenteriae and N. gonorrhoea with MIC value of 5 mg/ml and MBC/MFC value 10 mg/ml; no activity was observed for S. pyogenes, C. albicans and C. thrusei; N. gonorrhea was most inhibited.

Conclusion:  Results obtained justify the ethno-medicinal use of this plant in treatment of gonorrhea and other venereal diseases caused by the test micro organisms.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vivo Antiplasmodial Activity of the Stem Extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca (L) Delile

Sulaiman S. Rukayyah, Ali A. Jigam

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 490-502
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/3982

Aims: To investigate in vivo antiplasmodial activity of the stem extracts of Balanites aegyptiaca (L) Del.

Study Design: Animal model infected with Plasmodium berghei.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biochemistry,  Federal University of Technology,  Minna, Niger State, Nigeria, between March 2011 and May 2011.

Methodology: Twenty healthy Swiss albino mice of either sex weighing between 20-30g were selected and divided into five groups. One group served as control, another group as standard and the others as the test groups for hexane, ethylacetate and methanolic extracts respectively. The mice were infected with Chloroquine sensitive strain of Plasmodium berghei and left for 72hours for the infection to be established. 600 mgkg-1 bw day-1 dose was determined as safe and used for the analysis.  After 72 hours of infection, the plant extracts were administered subcutaneously once daily for 4 days from D3 to D7. The control group was given 0.9w/v of normal saline.  Thick and thin blood smears from the tail blood were examined for parasites. 5mg/kg bw of Chloroquine phosphate, used as control drug, was administered to the positive control.

Results: None of the three fractions (Hexane, Ethylacetate and Methanolic extracts) of B. aegyptiaca was completely able to clear the parasites in circulation. In fact, the group of mice given methanolic extract of B. aegyptiaca died before the control group while both groups given ethylacetate and Hexane fractions died on the 14th day after infection. The mice administered with hexane and ethyl acetate extracts suppressed parasitaemia on the 6th and 10th day respectively, these suggest that purification  and isolation of these crude extracts to know the active compound responsible for the decrease in parasitaemia can be use as drug target in the treatment of malaria,

Conclusion: Stem extracts of B. aegyptiaca have suppressive effect on Plasmodium parasites but no curative effect. Further purification and isolation active compounds can help in discovery of a new antimalaria drug. It could thus be assumed that B. aegyptiaca is useful in the herbal malarial management by other mechanism other than plasmodicidal effect .Histological studies could establish reason(s) for the death of group treated with methanolic extract before the control group.