Aqueous ethanol (80%) extracts of six plants used traditionally for treatment of malaria, Vepris glomerata (F.Hoffm.) Engl (Rutaceae), Maranthus floribunda (Bak.) F.White (Chrysobalanaceae), Strophanthus eminii Asch. & Pax ex Pax (Apocynaceae), Cassia abbreviata Oliv. (Leguminosae) and Caesalpinia bonducella L. Fleming (Fabaceae) were screened for antimalarial activity to establish validity of their claims. The extracts exhibited antimalarial activity in the 4-day Peter's suppressive antimalarial assay in mice inoculated with red blood cells parasitized with Plasmodium berghei. The extracts gave ID50 values of 42.8, 111.0, 639.3 and 1560 mg/kg body wt for C. bonducella, C. abbreviata, T. furialis and S. eminii, respectively. The ID50 values for V. glomerata and M. floribunda were above 2400 mg/kg body wt, above which point solubility was a problem. All the tested extracts were innocuous to the mice, up to 2400 mg/kg body wt, suggesting they may be safe for short-term use.
Keywords: Antimalarial activity, Plasmodium berghei, traditional medicines