Open Access Minireview Article

A Scientific Update on Passiflora foetida

Anita Surendra Patil, Bipin Deochand Lade, Hariprasad Madhukarrao Paikrao

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 145-155
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/12015

Introduction: This review describes the importance of medicinal plant Passiflora foetida in the modern world. Between 190 countries, approximately 85% have dependency of traditional systems of Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani that have contributed for exploring remedial plants. Passiflora is a prominent medicinal plant with major phyto-constituents such as flavonoids, glycosides, alkaloids, phenolic and volatile constituents those are potent for potential therapeutic practice.

Aim: This article focus, specifically on Passiflora foetida describing its distribution taxonomic, morphology, remedial uses, photo-constituents and clinical applications.

Study Design: Comprehensive literature survey, including national and international journals for assembly of the pharmacological aspects of medicinal P. foetida has been done.

Results: P. foetida extracts have potential tendency against anxiety, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, inflammation and cancer. They are rich in fiber content, used in paper production industries. In various, countries Passiflora fruits are farmed for making cold drink, ice cream, flavor thus best source for economic earning.

Conclusion: Current review form package of pharmacological importance of P. foetida that will assist a researcher for identification of bioactive compounds.  Information regarding medicinal and phytochemical are discussed that would be beneficial in research design. This plant carries a large number of bioactive phyto-constituents that may be effectively raised for drug in pharmaceutical industry.


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Natural Cocoa Powder Supplementation on Oxidative Stress in Healthy Ghanaians

Elsie S. A. Amedonu, George A. Asare, Daniel A. Antwi

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 127-133
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/11305

Introduction: Natural cocoa powder (NCP) has been recognized to possess significant amounts of flavonoids and methylxanthines with healthful benefits. Little or no work has been done on adult Ghanaians involving supplementation with NCP. We hypothesized that chronic consumption of NCP would improve oxidative stress biomarkers and endothelial integrity.

Aims: The study aimed at evaluating the long term effect of NCP supplementation on selected oxidative stress biomarkers in healthy adult Ghanaians.

Study Design: This was a longitudinal intervention study design.

Place and Duration of Study: Chemical Pathology Unit Laboratory,School of Allied Health Sciences (SAHS), Korle-Bu,Virology and Physiology Department Laboratories, University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) and the Central Laboratory of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, between August 2011 and June 2013.

Methodology: Seventeen subjects were randomly selected. NCP was consumed as a beverage twice daily before meals for 12 weeks. Pre- and post- supplementation blood draw, anthropometry and analysis of advanced glycated end-products (AGEs), vascular cell adhesion molecule1 (VCAM-1), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), malondialdehyde (MDA), and hemeoxygenase 1 (HO-1) were determined.

Results: Mean age was 30.8 ± 10.2 years. Weight and BMI, were significantly decreased by 1.67 kg and 0.05 kg/m2 (P= 0.009 and 0.006, respectively). Percentage skeletal muscle and resting metabolism showed significant increases of 2.46% and 55 kcal (P= 0.031 and 0.028, respectively). GSH-Px significantly increased by 0.23 ng/L (P= 0.001) while MDA showed a significant decrease of 0.05 ng/L (P = 0.033).

Conclusion: NCP caused a significant reduction in BMI and increase in antioxidant levels. NCP reduced oxidative stress and a cardiovascular risk factor such as obesity.


Open Access Original Research Article

Standardization of Amukkirai Chooranam, a Traditional Herbal Preparation in Siddha System of Medicine

Vinotha Sanmugarajah, Ira Thabrew, Sri Ranjani Sivapalan

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 134-144
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/11189

Introduction: Amukkirai chooranam (A. chooranam) is an important traditional herbal preparation and its main component is the root powder of Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae). It is the best remedy for rheumatism, weakness, stress, sleeping disorders, gastric ulcer, anaemia, etc.

Aims: The goal of this study was to standardize this traditional herbal preparation on the basis of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Study Design: Experimental laboratory study on Phytochemical and Pharmacognostic investigations.

Place and Duration of Study: The Phytochemical and pharmacognostic investigations were carried out at the Herbal Technology Section, Industrial Technology Institute (ITI), Colombo, Sri Lanka, between Jan 2012 to August 2012.

Methodology: The A. chooranam was prepared according to the procedure given in Traditional Text. The preparation has been standardized on the basis of macroscopic and organoleptic characters, physicochemical properties, phytochemical screening, fluorescence analysis, and elemental analysis, aqueous and ethanol extractive values, TLC and HPLC fingerprint analysis. Data were analysed by statistical software - Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.

Results: The present study reveals that the A. chooranam was light whitish brown in colour having characteristic odour with bitter taste and smooth texture. The moisture content at 105ºC in A. chooranam was found to be 9.12±0.10%. Analytical results showed total ash, water soluble, acid insoluble and sulfated ash values of 5.76±0.09%, 2.93±0.15%, 0.63±0.04% and 1.92±0.04% respectively. The percentage yields of cold and hot aqueous extractive values (15.02±0.46 & 30.82±1.09) were greater than the percentage yield of cold and hot ethanol extractive values (03.07±0.31 & 10.00±0.22) of A. chooranam. Heavy metal analysis revealed that their concentrations in A. chooranam were below the WHO/FDA permissible limits.

Conclusion: A. chooranam exhibits a set of diagnostic characters, which will help to identify the standard preparation and build a monograph of the Siddha pharmacopeia of Sri Lanka.


Open Access Original Research Article

HPLC Determination of the Eight Constitutes in Portulaca oleracea L. from Different Locations

Junjun Ai, Aijing Leng, Xiaomei Gao, Wenjie Zhang, Di Li, Liang Xu, Xixiang Ying

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 156-164
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13253

Aims: The objective of the present research was to simultaneously determine the eight constituents in Portulaca oleracea L. from different locations by a sensitive and specific high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method, including caffeic acid (CA), p-coumaric acid (p-CA), scopoletin (SCOP), ferulic acid (FA), quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside (QR), quercetin (QUER), apigenin (APIG) and bergapten (BERG) using rhein as the internal standard.

Methodology: With gradient elution procedure and mobile phase A (0.1% formic acid) and B (acetonitrile) ratio linear changing, the wavelength was set to 320 nm to determinate the eight constituents. 

Result: The method validation presented good accuracy with recoveries in the range of 93.67-113.3% and good precision with RSD values less than 12.1%.The results indicated that there existed the significant differences of the eight constituents in P. oleracea L. from 20 different locations.

Conclusion: The results can be used to reasonably assess the drug quality and exploit P. oleracea L.

Open Access Original Research Article

In vitro Evaluations of Cytotoxicity and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Peganum harmala Seed Extracts in THP-1-derived Macrophages

Shahinaz Mahajna, Mohammad Azab, Hilal Zaid, Basheer Abo Farich, Feras Al Battah, Shiri Mashner, Bashar Saad

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 165-175
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13267

Aim: Based on knowledge from traditional Greco-Arab herbal medicine, this in vitro study aims to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the anti-inflammatory mechanism of Peganum harmala (P. harmala) seeds by measuring the expression and release of both anti-inflammatory (IL-10) and pro-inflammatory (IL-1, IL-2, IL-6 and TNF-a) cytokines in human THP-1-derived macrophages.

Methodology: Cells were treated with 1mg lipopolyssacharide/ml (LPS) in the absence and presence of increasing concentrations of extracts from the P. harmala seeds (PHS-extract). During the entire experimental period, we used extract concentrations (up to 250 mg/ml) that had no cytotoxic effects as measured with MTT and LDH assays. The anti-inflammatory effects were assessed by measuring the levels of secretory proteins and mRNA of IL-1, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-a in LPS-activated (1mg/ml) human THP-1-derived macrophages.

Results: PHS-extract remarkably increased IL-10 release and mRNA expression at a concentration of 64mg/ml and suppressed the expression and release of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a in dose-dependent manner. No significant effects on the expression levels of IL-2 were observed after treatment with PHS-extract.

Conclusions: These results indicate that PHS-extract probably exert anti-inflammatory properties throughout increasing the release and expression of IL-10 mRNA as well as by suppressing IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a mRNA expression in THP-1 cells.


Open Access Original Research Article

Toxicity Evaluation of a Commercial Herbal Preparation Commonly Used in Nigeria

Erhirhie Earnest Oghenesuvwe, Ilodigwe Emmanuel Emeka, Ajaghaku Daniel Lotanna, Mbagwu Ikechukwu Sonne, Moke Emuesiri Goodies

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 176-190
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/12926

Aim: To investigate the safety of a popular polyherbal decoction, consisting of Alstonia boonei stem bark and Fagara zanthoxyloids stem bark, used in the management of arthritis and rheumatism in Nigeria.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Agulu, Anambra State, Nigeria between the months of June and November, 2013.

Study Design: In acute toxicity study, 2 -10 ml/kg were administered to rats and mice and obvious toxic signs and mortality were observed for 24 hours post-administration. In sub-chronic toxicity study, 1.29, 2.97 and 5.14 ml/kg, of the herbal preparation were orally administered to three groups (five animals per group) of Wistar rats daily for 90 days. The control group of animals received       10 ml/kg of normal saline. Body weight changes were determined weekly, while hematological parameters, biochemical parameters, ulcer index and liver and kidney histologies were evaluated on 31, 61 and 91st days. Post-treatment studies were also carried out.

Results: All the animals survived after twenty four (24) hours of observation in acute toxicity study and the LD50 was estimated to be above 10 ml/kg. In sub-chronic toxicity studies, there were insignificant (P>.05) changes in body weight and hematological parameters. However, some blood chemistry indices were significant (P<.05). The histologies of the liver and kidney showed irreversible toxicities especially at high doses and duration of administration.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that the herbal preparation may be nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic especially at high doses on long term use, suggesting that it may not be safe in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism and other chronic diseases.


Open Access Original Research Article

Sensitivity of NMR-based Metabolomics in Drug Discovery from Medicinal Plants

Frank Van der Kooy, Beatrice Venkataya, Jarryd L. Pearson, Allan Torres, Chun G. Li, Dennis Chang

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 191-203
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13747

One of the main limitations of NMR based metabolomic analysis is its low sensitivity. The main objective of this study was to determine the sensitivity of the standard NMR based metabolomics protocol (as published in Nature Protocols) for the analysis of plant samples. To test this limitation, we prepared two sample sets from a well-known medicinal plant. Sample set one was prepared from one plant specimen, subdivided into 24 chemically equivalent samples, spiked with different concentrations of rutin and analysed on 300, 400 and 500 MHz NMR spectrometers. Sample set two was prepared from four different plant specimens of the same species reflecting the natural variation between medicinal plants. To two of these samples different concentrations of artemisinin were added, acting as our hypothetical active samples, whereas the other two samples acted as our inactive samples. Our results indicated that there was no difference in the sensitivity between the three NMR spectrometers and that the standard protocol can differentiate between samples at a spiking level of 0.2 mg/mL of rutin (328 µm). The second sample set gave differentiation at 0.05 mg/mL (177 µm) but a significant movement in the chemical shifts of artemisinin was observed. Our study demonstrated that the sensitivity of the current NMR based metabolomics protocol is not due to instrumental limitations but rather due to methodological limitations. In the same way that binning of spectra negates the better resolution of higher field magnets the same appears to be true by employing PCA analysis to spectra which effectively negates the higher sensitivity of higher field magnets. Our study also highlights that compounds can display significant movement in chemical shifts depending on its chemical environment, which can complicate identification by database comparisons. We would like to invite the NMR metabolomics community to repeat this analysis in order to confirm this finding so that the current limitations of the NMR based metabolomics protocol can be defined. This needs to be done in order to develop improved NMR metabolomics protocols.


Open Access Original Research Article

Total Antioxidants Status, Selenium Concentration, Catalase and Glutathione Peroxidase Activities in Rabbits Fed a High-Garlic Diet

Japhet M. Olisekodiaka, Anaelechi J. Onuegbu, Christopher Igbeneghu, Adekunle A. Adesiyan, Bolanle A. Enitan, Uke L. Isaac

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 204-209
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/12357

Aim: Results from previous studies on the effects of intake of garlic on the body antioxidant system appear inconclusive. This study measured glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) activities, Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) and selenium (Se) level in rabbits fed a high-garlic diet.

Methods: Ten rabbits randomly assigned into two groups (group 1=control and group 2= test) of five rabbits each were used for the experiment. The diet of group 2 was mixed with raw garlic homogenate (1.75g/Kg body weight/day) for 4 weeks. Two sets of blood samples were collected from each animal at the beginning of the experiment (baseline) and at the end (4 weeks). Blood samples were analyzed for blood GPx and serum CAT activities and TAS by spectrophotometric methods while Se was determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric (AAS) method.

Results: At baseline, means of the parameters measured did not differ significantly between groups 1 and 2. At the 4th week, means of TAS (1741.20±381.53 µmol Trolox equiv/L), Se (47.20±12.22 µg/dl), CAT activity (273.20±68.05 U/L) and GPx activity (12392.00±3068.34 U/L) in the test group were significantly higher than means of the corresponding control group (820.20±91.94 µmol Trolox equiv/L, 20.80±1.92 µg/dl, 145.40±13.35 U/L, 8528.00±1757.59 U/L, respectively). There were positive associations between CAT and GPx (r = 0.65, p<0.01) activities, CAT and TAS (r = 0.77, p<0.01), GPx and TAS (r = 0.66, p<0.01) and Se and TAS (r = 0.70, p<0.01).

Conclusion: Results from this present study suggest that significant increases observed in the activities of antioxidant enzymes, Se level and TAS could possibly be associated with consumption of high garlic diet by the rabbits.

Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of the Acute and Sub-acute Toxicity Effects of Ethanolic Leaves Extract of Lagenaria brevifolia (Bitter gourd) on Hepatic and Renal Function of Rats

E. O. Ajani, S. Sabiu, F. A. Bamisaye, S. Ibrahim, B. A. Salau

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 210-219
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13400

Aim: Dearth of information exists on the phytochemistry and toxicity profile of ethanolic leaves extract of Lageneria breviflora in spite of the much touted medicinal efficacy of the plant. The present study qualitatively evaluated the phytochemical compositions as well as the toxicological effect of the ethanolic leaves extract of the plant. 

Study Design: For the acute toxicity, 35 rats of the Wistar strain divided into 7 groups of 5 rats each were used. The extract was administered to the rats at a single dose of 1, 100, 1000, 2000, 4000 and 5000 mg/kg respectively and observed for 14 days. The LD50 was thereafter estimated.  For the sub-acute toxicity, 5 groups of 7 rats per group were used. The extract was administered continuously to 4 groups of the rat respectively at a dose of 100, 200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg body weight daily for 8 weeks. The rats were thereafter sacrificed and some indices of hepatic and renal dysfunction were assayed for in the serum. 

Results: Result revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, saponins and terpenoids in the leaves.  The LD50 was estimated to be above 5000 mg/kg. The extract did not induce any significant alteration in the serum activity of ALT, AST and ALP at doses equal to and lower than 500 mg/kg, but reduces these parameters at higher dose. Serum albumin, bilirubin, potassium, creatinine, urea, calcium and sodium were not significantly altered at lower doses but sodium, bilirubin and creatinine were significantly altered at 1000 mg/kg dose. At the same dose, there was a significant increase in absolute liver and pancrease weight, but this was not observed at lower doses. 

Conclusion: Conclusively, the extract may be considered safe for oral administration but may potentiate biochemical alteration if continuously administered at doses above 1000 mg/kg.


Open Access Review Article

NeuroAiDTM (MLC601, MLC901): A New Bench-to-Bedside Approach to the Treatment of Ischemic Brain Injury

Michel Dib, Ihsan K. Abdul Zahra, Siwaporn Chankrachang, Anna Czlonkowska, Anatoly I. Fedin, Hovhannes Manvelyan, Aurelio Mendez, Ivan Milanov, Yomi Ogun, Hossein Pakdaman, Dodik Tugasworo

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 117-126
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13192

Background and Aim: Faced with the public health burden of stroke and brain damage, various synthetic drugs with different pharmacological targets have been investigated in an attempt to improve clinical outcome, but many failed in clinical trials. In this article, we aimed to outline the current knowledge on the main clinical and pharmacological data of NeuroAiDTM (MLC601, MLC901), a novel product combining extracts from natural sources, in improving neurological and functional recovery after a stroke.

Methods: We reviewed and summarized important findings reported in pre-clinical and clinical publications that investigated the role of NeuroAiDTM in stroke.

Summary of Review: NeuroAiDTM has shown significant pharmacological properties for neuroprotection and neurorestoration in preclinical studies involving animal and cellular models of focal and global ischemia.  Clinical studies have shown safety and efficacy data for enhancing neurorecovery beyond acute neuroprotection by reducing long-term neurological deficits and improving functional outcome in post-stroke patients.

Conclusion: NeuroAiDTM offers a safe therapeutic solution likely through a multi-modal mode of action in reducing the burden of ischemic brain injury.