Open Access Minireview Article

Unearthing the Medicinal Properties of Tillandsia recurvata (Ball Moss): A Mini Review

Henry I. C. Lowe, Charah T. Watson, Simone Badal, Ngeh J. Toyang, Joseph Bryant

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1138-1149
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/11028

Background: More than half of traditional medicines are of natural origin and research has shown that these are associated with fewer side effects than the synthetic ones, since less than 10% of the 350,000 identified plant species have been exposed to some amount of bioactive screens, it is now the aim of researchers to screen more plants and also identify the active ingredients responsible for detected bioactivities. These we believe may provide the foundation for identifying new drug leads that may prove useful against chronic lifestyle diseases. This review takes a look at the work that has currently been conducted on Tillandsia recurvata commonly known as ball moss which is believed to assist with future research. 

Results: The chloroform, methanol and water extracts of ball moss have shown cytotoxicity against several human cancer cell lines and the methanol extract induces apoptosis in some. Further the chloroform extract was shown to reduce angiogenesis and the methanol extract inhibited particular kinases (CSNK2A2, MEK5, GAK, FLT and DRAK1) of which MEK5 and GAK have been implicated in prostate cancer. The same extract was further shown to display promising anti-diabetic properties via a reduction in fasting blood glucose (P<0.05), fructosamine levels (P<0.05), serum CRP and insulin levels when compared to the control mice. Phytochemical screens identified a novel glycoside and several cycloartanes and dicinnamtes; 1,3-di-O-Cinnamoyl-glycerol and (E)-3-(cinnamoyloxy)-2-hydroxypropyl 3-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)acrylate. Further bioactive screens on these isolates showed that cycloartane-3,24,25-triol reduced the viability of prostate PC-3 and DU145 cell lines. This isolate was further shown to inhibit MRCKα kinase implicated in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer.

Conclusions: This review confirms the promising efficacy of the T. recurvata plant and so its worth for further research which may prove useful in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. Such benefits have already begun with the introduction of the alpha prostate formula, now on the market for improved prostate health.


Open Access Original Research Article

Relationships between Land-Use Types and Plant Species Used by Traditional Ethno-Medical System

Bárbara Arias Toledo, Cecilia Trillo, Mariano Grilli, Sonia Colantonio, Leonardo Galetto

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 998-1021
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/6570

Aims: The agricultural frontier advances progressively on forested regions in Central Argentina, changing the landscape structure by extremely reducing the extension of native forests. In rural communities that are related to the forests, it is possible that severe changes in the landscapes can have an impact on the knowledge and uses of medicinal plants. The aim of this paper was to evidence some general patterns between the ethnobotanical information recorded in the Chaco region and some characteristics of the landscape. Specifically, we hypothesized that the knowledge on medicinal plants and their type (native or exotic) are related to different types of land use (i.e. different proportions of native forests).

Place and Duration of Study: The study was performed 15 rural localities within the Chaco phytogeographic regionin Córdoba, Argentina, conducted between 2004 and 2012.

Methodology: A total of 279 interviews were conducted. Plant species were identified according to their status (native or exotic), and a standardized proportion of exotic species was calculated for each site. The different types of land use and their proportions were estimated in 15 rural localities using satellite images. A Principal Component Analysis and a bivariate Spearman correlation were performed to analyze the associations among land-use types, the proportion of native forests and the knowledge of medicinal plants.

Results: In general, people had known many native and exotic medicinal plants. Nevertheless, in those localities where landscapes have experienced higher deforestation rates, exotic medicinal plants are more available than native ones (cultivated in gardens and orchards). The tradition of maintaining exotic species in gardens may contribute to maintain the ethno-medical systems in regions of severe forest fragmentation.

Conclusion: The disappearance of the forest showed a positive association with losses in the knowledge and use of native medicinal plants.


Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Anti-inflammatory and Protective Effects of ibidì® on Intestinal Epithelial Cells

Luciana Petti, Francesca De Santis, Stefania Vetrano

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1022-1035
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/11018

Aim: To define the putative anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic effects of ibidì®, a new phytotherapeutic formulation composed of three extracts: Punica granatum L, pericarpum; Boswellia serrata Roxb., resina; Curcuma longa L,. rhizome, using Caco-2 cells, an in vitro model of human intestinal epithelium.

Methodology: cytotoxicity and capacity of ibidì® to induce cell proliferation were assessed respectively by 2,3-Bis-(2-Methoxy-4-Nitro-5-Sulfophenyl)-2H-Tetrazolium-5-Carboxanilide (XTT) assay and nucleotide 5-bromo-2’-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation. Cell migration was evaluated by scratch wound assay. COX-2, IL-6, IL-8 and MCP-1 protein levels were measured in the supernatant of cells stimulated with or without TNF-alfa or IL-1 beta in presence or in absence of ibidì® using ELISA assays. Finally, the influence of ibidì® on the integrity, paracellular permeability, and viability of Caco-2 cell monolayers was monitored by measuring the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) in presence or in absence of TNF-a stimulation.

Results: No dose-response toxicity was observed after 48 h incubation with ibidì®. Interestingly the cell proliferation rate was generally lower in presence of ibidì® than vehicle at all concentrations tested, while ibidì® had no effects on cell migration. Ibidì® markedly inhibited TNF-alfa-induced production of IL-8 at all concentrations tested in a dose-response manner, while that of IL-6 and MCP-1 only at highest ibidì® concentrations. Importantly ibidì® in a range of concentration between 145 and 9 µg/ml not only abrogated TNF-alfa-dependent TEER depression, but also promoted higher resistance values than untreated cells.

Conclusion: These data demonstrate that ibidì® exerts anti-inflammatory and protective effects on intestinal epithelial cells by blocking the production of IL-8, IL-6 and MCP-1, and unveil that the synergism of the three extracts regulates epithelial barrier function.


Open Access Original Research Article

Antimicrobial Studies of Aqueous and Ethanolic Extracts of Enantia chlorantha Leaves and Stem Bark and Their Combined Effect on Selected Bacteria and Fungi

C. P. Atukpawu, P. T. E. Ozoh

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1036-1045
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/10418

Aim: To revalidate the antimicrobial effects of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Enantia chlorantha leaves and stem bark against Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhi, Shigella sonnei, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris and Candida albicans; and to check the effects on the isolates when the stem bark and leave extracts are combined.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Biotechnology, School of Science, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria, between January 2013 and May 2013.

Methodology: Agar well diffusion method was used for the susceptibility studies while the Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations were determined using the broth dilution method. The Minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentration was determined by plating on nutrient agar.

Results: The ethanolic extract of E. chlorantha stem bark showed antimicrobial activity on all 7 isolates tested with zones of inhibition in the range of 5mm to 33mm, while its aqueous extracts showed activity on only 3 of the 7 isolates with diameter zones of inhibition ranging between 5mm to 20mm. The aqueous leaf extracts showed activity against 3 of the 7 isolates while the ethanolic extracts had activity on 6.  The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the ethanolic extract of both stem bark and leaves was between 1.56 and 12.5mg/ml, while that of aqueous extracts ranged from 6.25 to 12.5mg/ml. There was no obvious difference in the activity of the extracts when combined. 

Conclusion: This study validates potent antimicrobial activity of ethanol and aqueous extracts of Enantia chlorantha leaves and stem bark in line with similar studies. Further work is however needed to determine the toxicity of the plant extracts and also identify active components of the plant.


Open Access Original Research Article

Observations on Flowering and Fruiting in Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari

Hema Singhal, Arti Gaur, U. K. Tomar

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1087-1097
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/10258

The present work aims to document the phenological diversity of flowering and fruiting in guggul with reference to climate. Commiphora wightii flowering and fruiting patterns were monitored in Kaylana (Jodhpur, Rajasthan) over a period of 24 months. Observations on flowering and fruiting phenology were carried out monthly, from March 2010 to May 2012. Flowering and fruiting patterns were studied qualitatively as well as quantitatively. Flowering and fruiting occurs throughout the year but maximum observed in April and May, respectively and second time in November. Strong positive correlation between flowering/fruiting and monthly mean daily maximum temperature (Flowering r = 0.762, P˂ 0.01, Fruiting r = 0.714, P˂ 0.01) indicate that flowering and fruiting are enhanced by higher temperatures. Fruiting was negatively correlated with mean monthly relative humidity at 6 O’ clock in the morning (r = -0.59, P ˂ 0.05). Regression analysis also revealed positive linear relationship between mean monthly maximum temperature and flowering percentage (R2 = 0.58118, F1/10 = 13.87652, P ˂ 0.01). Similarly, a positive but quadratic relationship (R2 = 0.704, Fx/y = 10.71643, P ˂ 0.01) was also observed between flowering and mean monthly minimum temperature.


Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Analysis of Gallic Acid from the Leaves of Ludwigia abyssinica A. Rich

Olaoluwa Oyedeji, Festus O. Taiwo, Femi O. Ayinde, Olukayode S. Ajayi, Matthew Oziegbe, Monsuru T. Kelani, Adetola H. Adewole

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1098-1112
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/7553

Aims: To evaluate the antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials of a biologically active compound isolated from the leaves of Ludwigia abyssinica A. Rich.

Study Design: Antimicrobial and antioxidant analysis of compound from the n-butanol fraction of plant leaf.

Place and Duration of Study: Chemistry and Microbiology Laboratories, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife between November 2011 and September 2012.

Methodology: Chromatographic and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques were used to isolate and characterize the biologically active compound, respectively. Disc diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) measurements were used for antimicrobial test. 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH) radical scavenging assay was used for antioxidant test.

Results: The phenolic compound, 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, also known as gallic acid was isolated from the n-butanol fraction of L. abyssinica leaf. It showed broad spectrum antimicrobial activities with zones of inhibition in the range 26.67±1.53 to 32.00±1.00 mm for the test bacteria and 6.67±1.15 to 30.33±0.58 mm for the test fungal strains. MIC and MBC values for gallic acid ranged from 12.5 to 200 µg ml-1 and 50 to 400 µg ml-1, respectively, comparing favourably with the standard reference drug used. DPPH radical scavenging activity for the compound was IC50 = 9.38 µg ml-1 compared with IC50 = 27.08µg ml-1 obtained for the standard ascorbic acid.

Conclusion: The results show that gallic acid from Ludwigia abyssinica leaves possesses In vitro antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and thus the plant has potentials as a source of natural health-giving products, given further investigations.


Open Access Original Research Article

Pharmacognostic and HPTLC Fingerprint Profile of the Root of Aristolochia indica Linn. and Quantification of the Marker Compound

M. V. Sudhakaran

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1113-1124
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/9570

Introduction: Root of Aristolochia indica Linn. has long been used as an oxytoxic agent to aid women in child birth and as abortifacient in Indian folk medicine. It is also one of the ingredients in some traditional Ayurveda medicinal preparations.

Aims: The present work has been designed to delineate the pharmacognostic profile of the root of Aristolochia indica Linn and the High-performance thin-layer chromatographic (HPTLC) identification of the active compound and its quantitative estimation in the herbal sample.

Materials and Methods: Macroscopic, microscopic evaluation, powder analysis, fluorescence standards of the root of Aristolochia indica Linn and its HPTLC fingerprint profile.

Results:  Pharmacognostic profile of the root investigated revealed the transverse section possessing somewhat circular outline with tissue organization as outer thin walled cork layers, narrow cortex, and inner cortical cells with groups of stone cells. Secondary xylem tissues were fissured to form narrow strips, wide medullary rays with greater quantities of parenchyma, ray cells with rich deposition of starch. Vessels were solitary and occluded with tyloses and starch grains with 'Maltese cross' were the characteristic features of the taxon. HPTLC method was developed for the estimation of the marker constituent, Aristolochic Acid I (AAI) in dried root sample. Chloroform: Methanol (6:2v/v), was used as mobile phase to separate the analyte. The Rf value for Aristolochic Acid I (C17H11NO7) was found to be 0.53. Calibration plot was established showing the dependence of response on the amount chromatographed. Linearity was found to be in the concentration range of 100 to 500ng/spot for AAI with the correlation coefficient value r=0.998. The result showed that the content of marker compound (AAI) in dried root of Aristochia india Linn was 0.082%.

Conclusions: The results of the present study suggest that, the documented morphological descriptors, delineated anatomical markers and developed HPTLC methods are complementary characteristics, which could be effectively used for the identification and authentication of the root of Aristolochia indica Linn.


Open Access Original Research Article

Ameliorative Effects of the Methanolic Extract of the Rind of Citrullus lanatus on Lead Acetate Induced Toxicity on Semen Parameters and Reproductive Hormones of Male Albino Wistar Rats

T. A. Kolawole, D. V. Dapper, S. O. Ojeka

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1125-1137
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/11011

Aims: The present study investigated the effects of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus on lead acetate induced toxicity on semen parameters, reproductive hormone assay and testicular histology in male albino Wistar rats.

Study Design: Controlled experimental study using randomly assigned laboratory animals.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Human Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, PMB 5323, Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Department of Physiology, Madonna University, Elele Campus, Rivers State, Nigeria between January 2013 and February 2014.

Methodology: Twenty male rats were assigned into four groups: Group A to D of five rats each. Group A served as control and received 2ml/kg bw of 10% extract vehicle; Group B received 200mg/kg bw of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus; Group C received 2.25mg/kg bw of lead acetate; and Group Dwere co-administered with 2.25 mg/kg bw lead acetate and 200 mg/kg bw of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus. The drugs and extracts were administered orally to the rats for 35days. On day 36, blood samples were collected from anaesthetized rats by cardiac puncture for reproductive hormone assay and the testes harvested for determination of semen parameters and histological studies. Semen parameters: count, motility, viability, and morphology were determined and assay for plasma levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and testosterone done.

Results: Results obtained showed that, compared to control rats, administration of the methanolic extract of the rind Citrullus lanatus significantly enhanced sperm count and all reproductive hormone levels (P<0.05); and also caused non-significant increases in sperm motility, percentage of spermatocytes with normal morphology and percentage of live spermatocytes, but decreased percentage of dead spermatocytes (P>0.05). Treatment with lead acetate caused a significant reduction in levels of all reproductive hormones and significant diminution of sperm motility, morphology, viability; with increases in percentage of dead spermatocytes (P<0.05). Expectedly, co-administration of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus with lead acetate ameliorated the deleterious effects of lead acetate resulting in significant increases in sperm count and all reproductive hormones (P<0.05) and non-significant increases in motility, morphology and live spermatocytes (P>0.05): however, the percentage of spermatocytes with abnormal heads were significantly increased. The results suggest that the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus exerts a possible ameliorative effect on lead acetate induced toxicity on some reproductive parameters in male albino Wistar rats.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus exerts a possible beneficial effect on male reproductive parameters in albino Wistar rats and validates anecdotal reports of the beneficial effect of watermelon consumption from our environment. We however, recommend further studies in this regard.


Open Access Original Research Article

Moringa oleifera Leaf Prevents Oxidative Stress in Wistar Rats

Dolapo Pius Oparinde, Adeniran Samuel Atiba

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1150-1157
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/5126

Background: It is believed now in some group of people that Moringa oleifera is medicinal in nature. People take it in any form to cure various clinical conditions. A number of clinical conditions have been linked to oxidative stress injury. Therefore its mechanism of action may be to control oxidative stress (oxidant-antioxidant status).

Objective: It was designed to measured plasma malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant status (TAS) and red blood cell glutathione peroxidase (GPx) of Wistar rat.

Materials and Methods: Seventy healthy Wistar rats of both sexes were recruited into the study. Fourty and 30 rats were fed with diet fortified with Moringa oleifera leaf and normal diet respectively for a period of four weeks. Serum (for the measurement of MDA and TAS) and haemolysate (for the measurement of GPx) were prepared from blood sample collected after rats were sacrificed. Variables gotten were analyzed using SPSS version 17, taking level of significance to be 0.05.

Results: Serum MDA was observed to be significantly lower in rats fed with Moringa oleifera than those with normal diet (p<0.05). Mean serum TAS as well as red blood cell GPx were found to be significantly higher (p<0.01) in rats fed with Moringa oleifera than those with normal diet. There were negative and positive correlations between ‘MDA and TAS’ and ‘MDA and GPx’ respectively in both study groups.

Conclusion: Moringa oleifera leaf may prevent oxidative stress in Wistar rats.

Open Access Review Article

Diversity, Utility, Analytical Methods and Use Implications of Aroma-active Compounds from Select Angiosperm Families

Sunday J. Ameh, Nneka N. Ibekwe, Aminu A. Ambi, Taoheed Abdulkareem, Barnabas K. Toge, Benjamin U. Ebeshi, John Alfa, Magaji Garba

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1046-1086
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2014/10779

Introduction: An “aroma-active compound” (AAC) has a “flavor”- ie: a “distinct taste and odor”. An example is menthol. All aromatic plants (APs), including some medicinal plants, such as Mentha×piperita (Family Lamiaceae), produce a group of fat-soluble secondary metabolites called “essential oils” (EOs) for various ecophysiological reasons. An EO has a “flavor” because it contains one or more AACs. A typical EO is a complex mixture of several AACs, with wide ranging, dose-dependent pharmacological/ toxic effects. Owing to their complexity and variability, many EOs need to be standardized to ISO’s criteria. Professional use of EOs/ AAPs in food and drugs is controlled by good manufacturing practice (GMP).                   

Aim: Given the immense diversities in sources, chemical structures, and bioactivities of EOs/ AACs, which are greatly patronized in foods and drugs, this review focused on their: i) sources in plants, beneficial attributes and liabilities; and ii) chemistry and analytical methods, in order to gain a better insight into their regulation in foods and drugs.

Methodology: Using the 2009 Angiosperm Phylogenic Grouping (APG) of plants as a guide, pertinent literature was perused to ascertain: i) the taxa of APs; ii) their EOs/ AAPs; and iii) the methods for analyzing EOs/ AACs in raw materials (RMs) and finished products (FPs).                           

Results: The literature revealed scores of AACs with varying health implications. But their levels in samples are usually unknown, or extremely hard to ascertain, owing to costs and complexities of the methods used.

Conclusions: Given the wide ranging effects of EOs/ AAPs vis-à-vis the dearth of data on their levels in samples, it is recommended that their regulation in FPs should focus on: i) controlling the wholesomeness of RMs; and ii) on enforcing strict GMP in using such RMs. Meanwhile relevant agencies should sponsor research into more cost-effective methods.