Open Access Original Research Article

Use and Awareness of Medicinal Plant and Phytotherapy among Undergraduate Students at School of Pharmacy - University of Chieti, Italy

Luigi Menghini, Annabella Vitalone, Maria Carmina Di Filippo, Lidia Leporini

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 109-117
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/16164

Aims: To investigate the awareness and the use of herbal products among undergraduate students of the School of Pharmacy in Chieti.

Study Design: From October 2013 to December 2013, students of the School of Pharmacy at University “G. d’Annunzio” in Chieti were invited by e-mail to respond to an online questionnaire about their knowledge and their personal experience in the use of herbal products. The filling of the questionnaire was possible through a specific Italian website. Anonymity and autonomy of the answers were fully guaranteed. The multi tasks online questionnaire was articulated in three main parts: demographic information, awareness of phytotherapy, and personal experience in the use of herbal products.

Results: A total of 548 questionnaires were collected. The age range of the students was between 18 and 31 years and they were mainly women (74.5%), which were also the typical herbal users (occasional use of complex herbal remedies to treat different diseases). Most herb usage was self-prescribed and undisclosed to physician, but under professional suggestion of pharmacist or herbalist.

Conclusion: Although some misconceptions about definition of phytotherapy and herb-based products were detected, undergraduate students result informed about perspective of use of herbal remedies. The use is wide distributed and the perception of usefulness is positive, as confirmed by strong interest in the continuous use. The use of herbal products without medical prescription could be consider as a potential health risk, but taking into account the health indications, the occasional use, and the strong influence of healthcare professionals suggestions, the use of phytotherapy could be considered as quite safe in the population studied. This study highlights the importance for the “pharmacists of the future” to have a good professional training in the field of medicinal plants (and phytotherapy) during the degree course in Pharmacy.


Open Access Original Research Article

Volatile Constituents of Essential Oils from the Leaves, Stems, Roots and Fruits of Vietnamese Species of Alpinia malaccencis

Le T. Huong, Tran D. Thang, Isiaka A. Ogunwade

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 118-124
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/13679

The essential oils obtained from different parts of Alpinia malaccencis (Burm f.) (Zingiberaceae) collected from Kỳ Sơn Districts, Nghệ An Province, Vietnam, has been studied. Determination of essential oil components from the leaves, stems, roots and fruits of A. malaccencis was performed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). β-Pinene (leaf: 56.%; stem: 46.0%; root: 31.7% and fruit: 18.5%) and α-pinene (leaf: 10.3%; stem: 9.8%; root: 6.3% and fruit: 5.9%) were the major constituents of the oils. In addition, β-phellandrene was present in the amount of 12.1%, 12.9% and 12.9% in the stem, root and fruit oils but absent in the leaf. Methyl cinnamate (27.8%) was identified in higher quantity only in the fruit oil but absent in the leaf while α-phellandrene (5.7%) was present in the stem and α-selina-6-en-4-ol (5.5%) was a significant compound of the root oil. The compositions of the root and fruit essential oils were reported for the first time.

Aims: The aim of the research is to investigate for the first time the volatile constituents from A. malaccencis collected from Kỳ Sơn Districts, Nghệ An Province, Vietnam.

Study Design: Extraction of essential oils from the air-dried leaves, stems, roots and fruits samples of A. malaccencis and investigation of their chemical constituents.

Place and Duration of Study: Leaves, stems, roots and fruits of A. malaccaencis were collected from plants growing in Kỳ Sơn Districts, Nghệ An Province, Vietnam, in May 2014.

Methodology: Air-dried and pulverized samples were hydrodistilled in a Clevenger-type apparatus according to Vietnamese Pharmacopoeia to obtained volatile oils whose chemical constituents were analyzed by GC and GC/MS.

Results: Monoterpene hydrocarbons were the dominant class of compound in the leaf oil (74.0%) and stem oil (81.3%) of A. malaccencis. Sesquiterpene compounds (21.5%) were identified in appreciable quantity in the roots oil, although monoterpene hydrocarbons (59.3%) are abundant. Oxygenated monoterpenes (31.1%) and monoterpene hydrocarbons (46.7%) constituted the main classes of compounds identified in the fruit oil.

Conclusion: The literature about the oils of A. malaccencis indicates a high variability in the chemical composition of the essential oils.

Open Access Original Research Article

Ecotype Difference in Bioactive Constituents and In vitro Antioxidant Activities of Some Saudi Medicinal Plants

Mohammad Mobin, Mohammad Nasir Khan, Zahid Khorshid Abbas

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 125-136
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/16322

The bioactive phyto constituents of endemic and acclimated plants have been used for the bioprospecting of novel compounds, throughout the world. However, the constituents of bioactive phytochemicals and the antioxidant activity are influenced to a great extent by several variables such as altitude, sunlight, soils, season and region of cultivation. We collected Retama raetam Salsola inermis, Hyoscyamus albus and Fagonia arabica plants from two different regions; Jabal-al-Lawaz (JAE) and Wadi-e-Dissa (WDE) of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Phytochemical analysis of Methanolic leaf extracts of all the plants revealed the existence of alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, terpenoids, tannins and carbohydrates. All the screened phytochemicals were higher in content in the JAE plants than WDE, except flavonoids in S. inermis (WDE). Results validate that these plants from Jabal-al-Lawz have considerable amount of bioactive constituents. Methanolic extracts of H. albus exhibited maximum DPPH antiradical, nitric oxide scavenging and metal chelating activities; however H2O2 scavenging activity was highest in R. raetam. It is concluded that the plants collected from Jabal-al-Lawz are rich sources of bioactive phytochemicals and antioxidants and they could be used in the treatment of oxidative-stress induced degenerative diseases and disorders.

Open Access Original Research Article

Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Potentials, and Chemical Constituents of the Leaf Extracts of the Nigerian Piliostigma thonningii (Caesalpiniaceae) Schum

Okwute Simon Koma, Yakubu Rufa’i

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 137-145
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/15485

Aims: In this work the 95% ethanol extract of the Nigerian Piliostigma thonningii known traditionally to possess a number of medicinal properties was screened for antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials as well as identified its chemical constituents. It was to confirm its traditional medicinal uses.  

Study Design: The various local sources of the plant were identified for the collection of the leaves. The plant was authenticated by a taxonomist and a voucher specimen kept for future reference. The plant sample was extracted using 95% ethanol and the crude extract screened for phytochemicals and fractionated. The crude extract and fractions were screened for antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials. The antimicrobial hexane fraction was subjected to chromatographic separation to isolate the chemical constituents. Also, the fresh leaves were hydrodistilled to obtain the volatile components. The column isolates and volatile components were identified using GC-MS analysis.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was undertaken between October 2011 and April, 2013, in the Department of Chemistry, University of Abuja, Nigeria and the Advanced Chemistry Laboratory, Sheda Science and Technology Complex, Sheda, Abuja, Nigeria.     

Methodology: The air-dried leaves powder of P. thonningii was extracted with 95% ethanol to obtain the crude extract. The fresh leaves were also hydrodistilled to obtain the volatile oils. The crude extract was fractionated into acidic, basic, non-polar neutral and polar neutral fractions. It was screened for phytochemicals using standard procedures. Both the crude extract and fractions were screened against some pathogens, including Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococuss spp. and Salmonella spp.  The antioxidant potential of the crude extract was also determined using standard procedures. The antimicrobial hexane fraction was subjected to Flash column chromatography. The isolates and the volatile oil were analyzed for their constituents using GC-MS.

Results: The crude extract showed the presence of sterols, phenolics, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, triterpenes, and tannins, but no carbohydrates. The crude extract and fractions and the hydrodistillate showed potential activity against the test organisms including, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococuss spp. and Salmonella spp.  The crude extract equally showed antioxidant potential in DPPH. Column chromatography of the hexane fraction followed by GC-MS analysis led to the identification of lupeol and lup-20(29)-en-3-one. GC-MS analysis of the volatile oil from hydrodistillation of the fresh leaf revealed the presence of 2,5-octadecadiynoic acid, cholestan-3-ol, 2-methylene, isoaromendrene, trans-Z-α-bisabolene epoxide,1-methyl-6-(3-

methybuta-3-dienyl)-7-oxabicylo [4.1.0] heptane and aromadendrene oxide.

Conclusion: The crude 95% ethanol extract has demonstrated reasonable antioxidant potential. Also, the crude extract, fractions and the volatile oil have shown antimicrobial activity. Lupeol, lupenone and some volatile components have been identified from the leaves. The presence of these compounds may contribute to the bioactivities of the leaf extracts.


Open Access Original Research Article

Hepatoprotective Effect of Aqueous Extract of Lippia multiflora Leaves against Ethanol-induced Toxicity in Wistar Rats

Rita Bouagnon, Dodehe Yeo, Konan Kouassi, Kadja Beugre, Joseph A. Djaman, Jean David Nguessan

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 146-155
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/16394

Aim: Usually called Tea of Gambia, Lippia multiflora is traditionally used for its sedative, relaxing, febrifuge, anti-flu-like, antispasmodic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-catarrhal, mucolytic, anti-infective and hepatoprotective properties. The present study was carried out to evaluate the hepatoprotective effect of aqueous extract of Lippia multiflora leaves against ethanol induced toxicity in rat livers.

Study Design: Thirty Wistar albino rats (100-162 g) were divided into six groups of five animals. Group 1 served as control and received only distilled water. Group 2 received only 15%ethanol (3 mL/100 g body weight/day). Group 3 served as standard group and received silymarin (70 mg/kg b.w.). Groups 4, 5 and 6 served as extract treatment groups and received respectively 100, 300 and 900 mg/kg of L. multiflora aqueous extract. 15% ethanol (3 mL/100 g b.w./day) was administered 1h after treatment in groups 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacodynamy, Felix Houphouet-Boigny University of Cocody-Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) between September and November 2014.

Methodology: All treatment protocols followed 28 days. Animals received daily doses and were observed for psychomotor changes and other signs of toxicity including death throughout the period of study. At days 7, 14, 21 and 28 of experimental period, blood samples were collected from retro-orbital venous plexus in non-heparinized tubes and the serum levels of liver marker enzymes, biochemical metabolites and hematological parameters (numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet count and mean cell volume)were monitored.

Results: L. multiflora extract (300 and 900 mg/kg b.w.) provides significant protection (P<0.05) against ethanol induced toxicity in rat livers showed by reduction of enzymatic parameters activities (ALT, AST and GGT). Histopathological study shows a normal hepatic architecture in L. multiflora extract (300 and 900 mg/kg b.w.) group compared to 15% ethanol group. Additionally, hematological analyses revealan increase of red blood cells and platelet count. A decrease of white blood cells and mean cell volume values in groups treated with 300 and 900 mg/kg of L. multiflora compared to 15% ethanol group is also observed.

Conclusion: Our results prove that L. multiflora extract has protective effects against ethanol-induced toxicity.


Open Access Original Research Article

A Preliminary Study on the Effect of Abrus precatorius Linn on Reproductive Parameters in Female Rattus norvegicus, Wistar Strain

I. H. Ogbuehi, O. O. Ebong, A. W. Obianime

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 156-166
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2015/15271

Aim: To investigate the effect of methanolic extract of seeds and leaves of Abrus precatorius on implantation, hormonal profile, reproductive index and sexual behavior in adult female Wistar rats.

Study Design: Female wistar rats were treated with A. precatorius extracts (30 and 60 mg kg-1) for 7 estrous cycles and mated. Mid-gestation, number of implantation sites and embryos were determined in half of the pregnant females while reproductive parameters were analyzed for the remaining animals, post parturition. For the libido and hormonal assay, sexual behavioral parameters were evaluated and serum samples assayed.

Results: A. precatorius seeds caused a decline in the fertility index, numbers of uterine implants, corpora lutea and live fetuses in a dose dependent manner. Administration of seed extract (30 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg) resulted in a 30.5% and 66.7% post implantation loss respectively; however the effect of extract on libido was not significant even at the higher dose. The seed extract (60 mg/kg) significantly reduced levels of FSH, LH, PG and E2 levels and increased prolactin level. Histology results of ovary showed significant reduction in folliculogenesis in all experimental groups, but external deformities in the pups were not observed. A. precatorius leaf extract promoted fertility by reducing Progesterone and E2 levels in a manner that significantly boosted FSH and LH levels; it also caused 44%, 24% and 80% increases in the litter size for the 30 mg/kg, 60 mg/kg and clomiphene treated groups respectively. The mounting frequency and lordosis quotient were significantly increased; perceptive and copulatory behaviors were remarkably noticed amongst treated rats. Laparatomy and histology showed an enhanced folliculogenesis and ovulation in treated rats.

Conclusion: A. precatorius seeds have anti fertility effect on female rats while the leaf extracts were very effective as a fertility enhancing agent.