Open Access Original Research Article

Inhibitory Activity of Leaves Extracts of Citrullus colocynthis Schrad. On HT29 Human Colon Cancer Cells

Belsem Marzouk, Francesca Mussi, Chaima Alaoui Jamali, Serena Galati, Khalid Bekkouche, Mahjoub Aouni, Laura Arru, Zohra Marzouk, Annamaria Buschini

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-10
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/22888

Aims: Citrullus colocynthis is a plant endemic in Asia, Africa and in the Mediterranean basin. It is used in folk medicine against infections, inflammations and cardiovascular and immune-related diseases. There are further evidences of the use of Citrullus colocynthis Schrad in the treatment of cancer in traditional practices. The present study aimed to determine the potential antiproliferative effects of different Citrullus colocynthis leaf extracts on human cancer cells.

Methodology: Antiproliferative and antioxidant effects on HT-29 human colon cancer cells were detected by MTS assay and a modified protocol of the alkaline Comet assay. In vitro antioxidant activities of different leaf extracts were evaluated through DPPH, β-carotene/linoleic acid and reducing power assays.

Results: The leaf chloroform extract exhibited the higher cell growth inhibitory activity without induction of DNA damage; it showed to be able to significantly decrease DNA damage induced by H2O2 (100 μM). This antioxidant activity seems to be comparable to that of vitamin C (1 mM). Ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol leaf extracts showed to be the most effective in reducing the stable free DPPH radical (IC50 =113 μg/ml), in transforming the Fe3+ to Fe2+ (IC50 = 134 µg/ml) and in inducing linoleic acid oxidation with an inhibition of 31.9 %.

Conclusion: Our results confirm the antiproliferative potential of Citrullus colocynthis Schrad. on human cancer cells.


Open Access Original Research Article

The Effects of Zinc Application and Cutting on Growth, Herb, Essential Oil and Flavonoids in Three Medicinal Lamiaceae Plants

Mona H. Hegazy, Fahad M. A. Alzuaibr, Abeer A. Mahmoud, Hanaa F. Y. Mohamed, Hussein A. H. Said-Al Ahl

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/23589

Aims: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of zinc on growth, fresh herb, essential oil and flavonoids content of Dracocephalum moldavica, Hyssopus officinalis and Salvia officinalis plants at two successive cuttings before flowering stage.

Study Design: Our study consisted of three experiments. Each study contained 4 treatments, two time of cuttings (90 and 180 days after transplanting) in each plant and two levels of                      foliar application treatments of Zn EDTA [(Z1) = 0, tap water; (Z2) = 200 ppm)], which was                   sprayed directly on the plants 4 times at monthly intervals, starting 30 days after transplanting.                    The design of each experiment was factorial and planned in a complete randomized block                        with three replications.

Place and Duration of Study: A field experiment was carried out during two successive seasons, 2014 and 2015 at the Agricultural Research and Experimental Station, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.

Methodology: Dracocephalum moldavica, Hyssopus officinalis and Salvia officinalis seeds were sown in the nursery in 25th November, of 2013 and 2014. On February 1, 2014 and 2015 seasons, seedlings were transplanted into the field. Foliar applications of zinc EDTA was sprayed 4 times at monthly intervals. Growth characters and chemical constituent's determinations were carried out at the first and second cuts after 90 and 180 days from transplanting, respectively before flowering. Plant height (cm), number of branches/plant, herb fresh weight (g/plant) was recorded. The content of total flavonoids % was determined in the fresh herb. Essential oil was obtained by hydro distillation and essential oil % was expressed as ml 100 g-1 fresh herb. Chemical composition of the essential oil was studied using GC-MS and compounds were identified based on their mass spectra and literature.

Results: Zinc spraying gave the best results of plant height, number of branches, herb fresh weight, essential oil % and total flavonoids % in the vegetative stage than control treatments in the three plants. Also, the second cut gave the best values from these characters in all plants under study compared to the first one. The main compounds of Dracocephalum moldavica essential oil was neral (19.93-20.56%), geranial (22.57-24.56%), geraniol (15.69-17.91%) and geranyl acetate (28.85-29.60%). β-pinene (23.43-24.99%), trans-pinocamphone (16.78-17.97%) and trans-pinocamphone (29.49-29.95%) were found to be the main compounds in Hyssopus officinalis oil. Moreover, α-thujone (13.82-13.92%), 1,8 cineol (17.45-18.83%) and camphor (26.38-27.51%) were considered as major compounds in Salvia officinalis oil.

Conclusion: Zinc foliar spray stimulative affect in fresh biomass, essential oil and flavonoids % were observed. It can be concluded that cutting moldavian balm, hyssop and sage plants in the second cut is essential for maximizing the production of fresh herb, essential oil and flavonoids %.  These changes could be relevant to the quality of essential oil and its use in certain food, medicinal uses and cosmetic applications.


Open Access Original Research Article

Medicinal Plants Used in Alternative Medicine to Treat Cancer in Bukavu

N. J. Kadima, A. B. Marhegeko, F. M. Kasali, N. J. Mugaruka

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/23756

Current modern anticancer therapies are costly, inaccessible and even unavailable for poor populations living in resources-limited countries. The alternative way of treatment consists of using herbal remedies offered by traditional health practitioners. The study explored which plants are used by local traditional healers, what types of cancer they treat and how they do it. This was a cross-sectional survey conducted during the year 2015 among traditional health practitioners operating in the town. Twenty-two renowned traditional healers agreed to inform about plants used, preparation, cancer type and mode of utilization. Fifty one plant species belonging to 29 families dominated by Asteraceae and Malvaceae were identified. Those plants are used solely or in mixture to treat blood cancer, breast cancer, uterus cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, throat cancer, skin cancer and fungating wounds. The recipes consisted of decoction, infusion, juice and topical cataplasms prepared by mixing extracts of different plant parts including leaves, tubers, spikes, barks and fresh plants. Potential side effects are limited to gastrointestinal disturbances, sedation, irritation and dizziness. Half of plants listed matched published studies, lending credence to the information given. This is a starting point for deep phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological investigations to scientifically work up the available herbal remedies before their integration into improved traditional medicines.


Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical and Pharmacological Investigation of Lagenaria siceraria, Cucumis sativus and Cucurbita maxima

H. M. Alamgir, Sheikh Arman Mahbub, Muniruddin Ahmed, Md. Shahidulla Kayser

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/22160

Objective: Cucurbitaceae family is major source of medicinal agents since ancient time. Various plants parts of this family have been established for their pharmacological potential. The aim of present study was to investigate of phytochemical and pharmacological properties of leaves of the Lagenaria siceraria, Cucumis sativus and Cucurbita maxima (Family: Cucurbitaceae).

Methods: By conducting preliminary phytochemical group tests of the crude extracts of leaves of the plants phytochemical study was done. The Folin-Ciocalteu reagent was used to determine the total phenolic content of the crude extracts of leaves and were expressed as Gallic acid equivalents per gram of extract. Aluminium chloride colorimetric method was used to determine the total flavonoid contents. Phosphomolybdenum method was used to evaluate the total antioxidant capacity of the extracts and was expressed as ascorbic acid equivalents per gram of extract.

Results: Different phytoconstituents including carbohydrate, glycoside, saponin, steroids & alkaloids were found during the investigation. Methanol extract of Cucurbita maxima was found to contain the highest amount of phenols. Petroleum ether extract of Lagenaria siceraria was found to contain the highest amount of flavonoid. Petroleum ether extract of Cucurbita maxima was found to possess the highest total antioxidant capacity. Each extract showed very poor DPPH scavenging property. Maximum scavenging of NO was found with methanol extract of Cucurbita maxima with an IC50 value of 0.126 μg/ml. The petroleum ether extract of Lagenaria siceraria showed maximum reducing capacity. Methanol extract of Cucurbita maxima showed high toxicity to Brine Shrimp nauplii, with LC50 of 16.98 μg/ml whereas anticancer drug vincristine sulphate showed LC50 value 0.699 μg/ml whereas other extracts showed moderate to low toxicity.   

Conclusion: The results of the present study provide scientific basis for the use of Lagenaria siceraria, Cucumis sativus & Cucurbita maxima leaves as useful anti-oxidant & cytotoxic agents.


Open Access Original Research Article

Proximate Compositions and Antibacterial Activity of Citrus sinensis (Sweet Orange) Peel and Seed Extracts

Anthony Cemaluk C. Egbuonu, Chigozirim A. Osuji

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/24122

Aim: This study evaluated the proximate composition and antibacterial activity of the Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) fruit waste (peels and seeds).

Study Design: The peels and seeds from Linnaeus Osbeck variety of Citrus sinensis (sweet orange) fruits purchased from Eke-Okigwe market in Imo State, Nigeria were respectively investigated for proximate composition and antibacterial activity.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted at the department of Biochemistry, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria between May and August, 2015.

Methodology: The proximate content in the respective sample flour and the antibacterial activity of the respective sample crude ethanol (95%) and water extracts were determined by standard methods. Each extract (100 mg/ml) was tested against two bacteria - Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Results: The percentage yield for the seeds sample (54.49%) was lower (p<0.05) than that for the peels (90.21%). Proximate contents (%) in the dried flour seeds and peels samples respectively were as follow: fat/oil (11.08±0.47, 6.24±0.06), moisture (8.32±0.32, 9.68±0.07), carbohydrate (67.83±0.32, 54.17±1.09), ash (3.02±0.09, 4.89±0.06), fibre (2.98±0.14, 13.99±0.06) and protein (6.77±0.10, 11.00±0.10). The water extract of the orange peels and seeds, respectively showed activity (measured as inhibition zone diameter, IZD in mm) against Escherichia coli (11.33±1.52, 9.67±1.15) and Staphylococcus aureus (14.00±1.00, 8.67±1.15) with the activity elicited by the peels extract in either case significantly (P<0.05) higher. Similarly, the activity (mm) by the ethanol extract of the orange peels against Escherichia coli (20.00±1.73) and Staphylococcus aureus (19.00±1.73) was respectively higher (p<0.05) than that by the seeds (12.33±0.38, 13.33±1.16).

Conclusion: The study demonstrated the preponderance of the proximate contents in the samples, and activity of the extracts against the tested bacteria. Further studies to harness these findings may improve possible nutraceutical applications of the sweet orange fruit wastes and minimize the attendant environmental waste burden, hence are warranted.


Open Access Original Research Article

Phytochemical Study of a Species with Ethnopharmacological Interest: Sideritis romana L.

A. Venditti, C. Frezza, L. Guarcini, S. Foddai, M. Serafini, A. Bianco

European Journal of Medicinal Plants, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/EJMP/2016/23809

The phytochemical analysis of Sideritis romana L., a species largely used as a traditional remedy, led to the isolation and the identification of several acetylated flavonoid glycosides with apigenin, luteolin, hypolaetin and isoscutellarein backbone. Among these, an apigenin derivative (2) was recognized for the first time in Sideritis as well as in the Lamiaceae family. The iridoidic pattern of this species showed the presence of harpagide, currently considered the main taxonomical maker in this genus, together with 6-deoxyharpagide which is a rare compound since it was previously recognized in a limited number of species of Lamiaceae. Other identified iridoids were ajugoside and bartsioside, the latter recognized for the first time in the species as well as in the family. Acetylated flavonoid glycosides and iridoid glucosides are considered of chemotaxonomic relevance in several genera comprised in the Lamioideae subfamily and the occurrence of both of these classes of compounds in S. romana was discussed. The co-presence of the acetylated apigenin derivative and of 6-deoxyharpagide could be used as a marker at a specific level seen their relative rarity in Lamiaceae. Regarding the traditional uses of this species, the isolated compounds may give a rationale from a chemical standpoint.