Nigella sativa has been used as traditional medicine for centuries. The crude oil and thymoquinone (TQ) extracted from its seeds and oil are effective against many diseases like cancer, cardiovascular complications, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease etc. It is effective against cancer in blood system, lung, kidney, liver, prostate, breast, cervix, skin with much safety. The molecular mechanisms behind its anticancer role is still not clearly understood, however, some studies showed that TQ has antioxidant role and improves body's defense system, induces apoptosis and controls Akt pathway. Although the anti-cancer activity of N. sativa components was recognized thousands of years ago but proper scientific research with this important traditional medicine is a history of last 2∼3 decades. There are not so many research works done with this important traditional medicine and very few reports exist in the scientific database. In this article, we have summarized the actions of TQ and crude oil of N. sativa against different cancers with their molecular mechanisms.
Traditional medicine; Nigella sativa; Thymoquinone; Antioxidant; Anti-cancer mechanism
The aim of the study was to develop an HIV and AIDS training manual, and to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and management of faith healers of Apostolic churches regarding HIV and AIDS, before and after they attended an HIV and AIDS training programme. A quasi-experimental intervention design was used with faith healers affiliated with the United African Apostolic Church (UAAC) in the Thulamela and Musina municipalities of Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa. A total of 103 faith healers were included in this study, 58 were systematically assigned to an intervention and 45 to a control group. The intervention group received training for 2 days. At follow-up after 2 months, intervention effects were significant for HIV knowledge and to a lesser extent TB knowledge. No significant improvement was found in HIV/STI (sexually transmitted infection) management strategies such as HIV/STI risk behaviour counselling, referral of clients for HIV testing, keeping condoms at stock in church, and church community HIV/AIDS/STI education. It is important to note that faith healers address some of the major known behavioural risk and protective factors such as partner reduction and condom use. Therefore, faith healers could be more widely utilized in HIV prevention programmes as risk reduction counsellors, in particular on matters of community-level education.
HIV/AIDS/STI; controlled evaluation; intervention; faith healers; South Africa
The antitrypanosomal activity of the methanol extract of Buchholzia coriacea seed against a field strain of Trypanosoma congolense was investigated using experimentally infected mice of both sexes. Monitoring of parasitaemia was by the rapid matching technique. When parasitaemia was approximately log 7.8 (63 × 106 parasites/ml), treatment with graded doses of the extract (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) was instituted for 5 consecutive days. Diminazene diaceturate (Dimivet® SKM Pharma Pvt. Ltd.) was given at 3.5 mg/kg i.p. to the positive control mice. No significant differences in body weights were observed. The rectal temperatures of infected mice showed fluctuations. The PCV of infected mice were significantly (p < 0.05) lower than those of the uninfected controls. There was no significant difference between the PCV of the extract-treated and untreated animals. Parasitaemia increased steadily in the extract-treated and untreated mice groups till all the animals died. Three days post-treatment with diminazene diaceturate parasitaemia was cleared. Six days later, there was a relapse of infection. By the end of the experiment, a 50 % relapse rate was recorded in the diminazene diaceturate-treated group. The methanol extract of Buchholzia coriacea seeds did not show any antitrypanosomal activity in mice infected with Trypanosoma congolense at the doses tested.
Trypanosoma congolense; Buchholzia coriacea; Antitrypanosomal activity
The antiprotozoal activity in vivo against Trypanosoma cruzi of (8-hydroxymethylen)-trieicosanyl acetate was evaluated in BALB/c mice during the acute phase of Chagas' disease (15 days after infection). Animals were treated during 15 days at doses of 16.8 and 33.6 µg/g, reduced parasitemia of 77.6 and 64.1% was observed respectively, in comparison with positive control mice (allopurinol 8.5 µg/g) which reduced only 29.7%. Also, amastigote nests in cardiac tissue were significant reduced in treated mice groups. The regression of effect induced after the suppression of the treatment with the compound was evaluated; animals were infected and simultaneously began the treatment with the compound during 20 days (16.8 and 33.6 µg/g). Mice were monitored after the end of the treatment for one more week. A good antitrypanosomal response was observed (66.1 and 68.9% less than untreated mice) during treatment, but 8 days after suspension of treatment, parasitemia level increased, reducing only 58.6 and 56.29 % respectively in treated animals compared with no treated.
Chagas' disease; antiprotozoal; in vivo; Senna villosa
Traditional Chinese herbal formulae Liu wei di huang (LW) (six-ingredient pill with Rehmannia) and Jin gui shen qi wan (JG) (kidney Qi pill from the golden cabinet) were analysed for Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, Na, K and Zn at different decoction intervals by atomic absorption spectroscopy. LW and JG were used to improve the kidney function. JG was higher in all elements than LW. K (1691.29 – 2372.71 mg l−1) was highest in both formulae LW and JG followed by Ca (245.31 – 562.91 mg l−1). Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn and K were highest at 40 min for LW and Fe, Mn, Na and K were highest at 40 min for JG. Chemometrics such as principal component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis and linear discriminate analysis were applied to classify the data and to understand the relation between the elements. Metal intake related to the consumption of decoction has also been studied. Mn made the highest contribution to average daily dietary intakes from the formulae.
Kidney tonifying herbs; Li wei di huang wan; Jin gui shen qi wan; Mineral elements; Atomic absorption spectroscopy
Millettia thonningii, Ocinum sanctum and Securitaca longepedunculaca are used in traditional medicine in Cameroon to treat epilepsy, insomnia and headaches. Animal models of epilepsy (maximal electroshock (MES), n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), isonicotinic hydrazide acid (INH), picrotoxine (PIC) and strychnine (STR)-induced convulsions or turning behavior were used to evaluate anticonvulsant activity while diazepam-induced sleep test was used to evaluate sedative activity of the plants. Four doses of extracts were used for each plant (100, 200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg). At a dose of 1000 mg/kg, Millettia thonningii protected 60 and 90% of mice against MES and PTZ-induced convulsions, respectively. At the same dose, Millettia thonningii also protected 80% of mice against NMDA-induced turning behavior. At a dose of 1000 mg/kg, Ocinum sanctum provided complete protection against MES, PIC and STR- induced convulsions and 83.3% of protection in PTZ test. Securitaca longepedunculata completely protected (100%) mice in PIC test at a dose of 200 mg/kg, in MES test at a dose of 500 mg/kg and in PTZ test at a dose of 1000 mg/kg. 66.7% of mice were protected against STR-induced convulsions. All the three plants showed also sedative properties for they increased significantly and in a dose dependent manner the total sleep time induced by diazepam. The total sleep time of the control groups was multiplied by a factor of 3 at least by each extract. The presence of sedative and anticonvulsant activity in the three plants could explain their use in traditional medicine in the treatment of epilepsy and insomnia in Cameroon.
Epilepsy; Insomnia; Traditional medicine
This study evaluated the potential beneficial effect of Moutan Cortex Radicis (MCR) in a murine model of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-, D-galactosamine (GalN)- and α-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT)-induced liver injury. Acute hepatotoxicity was induced by intraperitoneal injection of CCl4 (10 µL/kg), GalN (700 mg/kg), and ANIT (40 mg/kg). Animals received MCR (30, 100, and 300 mg/kg ) orally at 48, 24, and 2 h before and 6 h after administration of CCl4, GalN, and ANIT. Serum activities of aminotransferase were significantly higher at 24 h after CCl4 or GalN treatment. These changes were attenuated by MCR. Histopathological analysis revealed multiple and extensive areas of portal inflammation, hepatocellular necrosis, and an increase in inflammatory cell infiltration. These changes were inhibited by MCR. Serum total bilirubin concentration increased and bile flow decreased significantly 48 h after ANIT treatment, which was attenuated by MCR. Our results suggest that MCR has a protective effect on acute liver injury.
carbon tetrachloride; D-galactosamine; inflammation; Moutan Cortex Radicis; α-naphthylisothiocyanate
Chondrokola Rosh (CKR) is a traditional metallic Ayurvedic preparation widely used by the rural and ethnic people of Bangladesh in dysuria. It is a preparation of various roasted metals (Hg and Cu), non-metal (sulphur and Mica) and medicinal herbs. Considering the controversy over the risk of toxic heavy metals in Ayurvedic herbo-mineral preparations, toxicological parameters on liver functions were investigated. A single dose of 100mg/kg body weight of the preparation was administered orally to the rats of both sexes for ninety days. In this evaluation a statistically significant (p<0.001) increase of serum albumin levels in male (17%) and female (15%) rat groups were observed. On the other hand, the plasma bilirubin level was decreased 50% and 28% respectively in both rats groups. But no remarkable differences were observed in plasma protein, sGPT, sGOT and ALP activities from their corresponding control values. This study showed that CKR had no remarkable toxic effect on liver of the animals despite the presence of traces of transformed heavy metals.
Chondrokola Rosh; Ayurvedic medicines; Liver function; Toxicological characteristic; Enzymatic activity; Ethnic people
Antitrypanosomal activity of chloroform extract of Senna villosa leaves was evaluated in the sub acute phase of mice infected with Trypanosoma cruzi. Oral doses of 3.3, 6.6 and 13.2 µg/g were tested during 15 days on infected mice BALB/c, beginning treatment 40 days after infection to evaluate specifically the antitrypanosomal activity over the amastigote form of the parasite. Two different amount of parasites (100 and 500) were inoculated to 25 mice for each doses tested. At the end of the assay the animals were sacrificed and cardiac and skeletal tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin (HE) for identification and quantification of amastigote nest. In mice infected with 100 parasites, a significant reduction in the number of amastigote nest was observed in cardiac tissue of treated animals at all doses evaluated (p<0.05). An important reduction of amastigote nest was also observed in treated animals and infected with 500 parasites in comparison with no treated mice or treated with allopurinol.
Antiprotozoal; Senna villosa; Trypanosoma cruzi; amastigote
Afrormosia laxiflora (A. laxiflora), Chenopodium ambrosioides (C. ambrosioides), Microglossa pyrifolia (M. pyrifolia) and Mimosa pudica (M. pudica) are plants used in traditional medicine in Cameroon to treat insomnia, epilepsy, anxiety, and agitation. They were evaluated for their anxiolytic like activity in mice. Animal models (elevated plus maze and stress-induced hyperthermia tests) were used. The four plants showed anxiolytic activity. In stress-induced hyperthermia test, A. laxiflora, C. ambrosioides, M. pyrifolia and M. pudica significantly antagonised the increase of temperature. ΔT° decreased from 0.75°C in the control group to 0.36°C at the dose of 110 mg/kg for A. laxiflora; from 1°C in the control group to −1.1°C at the dose of 120 mg/kg for C. ambrosioides; from 1.7°C in the control group to 0.2°C at the dose of 128 mg/kg for M. pyrifolia and from 1.3°C in the control group to 0.5°C at the dose of 180 mg/kg for M. pudica. In the elevated plus maze test, the four plants increased the number of entries into, percentage of entries into, and percentage of time in open arms. A. laxiflora, C. ambrosioides and M. pudica also reduced the percentage of entries and time in closed arms. In addition, C. ambrosioides, M. pyrifolia and M. pudica showed antipyretic activity by reducing the body temperature. The results suggested that C. ambrosioides, M. pyrifolia and M. pudica posses anxiolytic-like and antipyretic activities while A. laxiflora possesses only anxiolytic-like properties. These plants could be helpful in the treatment of anxiety and fever in traditional medicine in Cameroon.
Anxiety; Agitation; Medicinal plants; Traditional medicine
Prior to the introduction of cosmopolitan medicine, traditional medicine used to be the dominant medical system available to millions of people in Africa in both rural and urban communities. However, the arrival of the Europeans marked a significant turning point in the history of this age-long tradition and culture. This paper examines the trends and challenges of traditional medicine in Africa. The impact of colonialism on African traditional medicine is also examined. Although the paper is on Africa, references are drawn around the world to buttress the growing demand for traditional medicine. The paper concludes that to minimise the current distrust between modern and traditional doctors and to achieve the objective of regulation, standardisation and cooperation, both traditional and modern doctors must acknowledge their areas of strengths and weaknesses from which they operate and be genuinely concerned about the difficult but necessary task of being human.
Traditional medicine; challenges; Africa
The word Rasashaastra literally means the “Science of Mercury”. It is a specialized branch of Ayurveda dealing mainly with materials which are known as ‘Rasa dravyaas’. The products dealt under this discipline are an important component of Ayurvedic therapeutics. Considering the importance of this discipline in Ayurvedic therapeutics and the fact that there is dearth of comprehensive review on the subject an attempt has been made in this review to provide a brief but all encompassing coverage of different aspects related to it. The subjects covered in the review are: historical background of the evolvement of Rasashaastra as a specialized branch during different time periods; different aspects of classification ‘Rasa dravyaas’; processing of metal and mineral products with a note on the methods used during different time periods; information about methods of pre and post preparation procedures for different kinds of ‘Rasa dravyaas’; importance of mercury in Ayurveda, its processing methods and different preparations along with therapeutic indications. In addition attempt has been made to provide basic information on the metal and mineral based preparations mentioned in Ayurvedic Formulary of India; recent development in the field of Rasashaastra and future requirements for the proper development of the discipline. The main focus is to familiarize the readers, from non-ayurvedic background, on different aspects of this specialized discipline.
Rasashaastra; Rasa dravyaas; Traditional systems of medicine; Mineral and metal based formulations Ayurvedic formulations; Iatrochemistry of Ayurveda
Dysmenorrhea is painful menstrual cramps, which negatively impacts the quality of life of a large percentage of the world's female population in reproductive age. The paper reviews the plants used in the Malian traditional medicine for the treatment of dysmenorrhea. Some medicinal plants were effective for treatments of dysmenorrhea with minimal side effects. Conventional therapy for dysmenorrhea, which usually includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), provides symptomatic relief, but presents increasing adverse effects with long-term use. This article is in the framework of a study supported by International Foundation for Science (IFS) on three medicinal plants used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea in Mali: Maytenus senegalensis Stereospermum kunthianum and Trichilia emetica.
Dysmenorrhea; Maytenus senegalensis; Stereospermum kunthianum; Trichilia emetica; Mali; Dysmenorrhée; Maytenus senegalensis; Stereospermum kunthianum; Trichilia emetica; Mali
Many people have the mistaken notion that, being natural, all herbs and foods are safe; this is not so. Very often, herbs and food may interact with medications you normally take, result in serious reactions. During the latter part of this century the practice of herbalism has become mainstream throughout the world. This is due remove to the recognition of the value of traditional medical systems in the world. Herbal medicines are mixtures of more than one active ingredient. The multitude of pharmacologically active compounds obviously increases the likelihood of interactions taking place. Hence, the likelihood of herb-drug interactions is theoretically higher than drug-drug interactions because synthetic drugs usually contain single chemical entity. Case reports and clinical studies have highlighted the existence of a number of clinically important interactions, although cause-and-effect relationships have not always been established. Herbs and drugs may interact either pharmacokinetically or pharmacodynamically. The predominant mechanism for this interaction is the inhibition of cytochrome P-450 3A4 in the small intestine; result in a significant reduction of drug presystemic metabolism. An additional mechanism is the inhibition of Pglycoprotein, a transporter that carries drug from the enterocyte back to the gut lumen, result in a further increase in the fraction of drug absorbed. Some herbal products (e.g. St. John's wort) have been shown to lower the plasma concentration (and/or the pharmacological effect) of a number of conventional drugs including cyclosporine, indinavir, irinotecan, nevirapine, oral contraceptives and digoxin. The data available so far, concerning this interaction and its clinical implications are reviewed in this article. It is likely that more information regarding such interaction would crop up in the future, awareness of which is necessary for achieving optimal drug therapy.
Herbal drug; Herbal Preparation; herbal-drug interaction; drug-drug interaction; Cytochrome P-450
Pistacia lentiscus fatty oil (PLFO) is a well known natural remedy in eastern Algeria folk medicine. It is widely used in the treatment of respiratory disorders and dermal burns. The present study has been carried out to investigate effects of this oil on fasting glucose and some functional parameters of the liver and kidney in white male New Zealand rabbits (Initial mean weight 1.95 Kg). PLFO was applied to tested rabbits (PLFO group) via rectal route, once daily 5-day per week, for six consecutive weeks at the dose of 1ml/Kg body weight. The same number of animals (n=6) was not treated and served as control (CRL group). The results showed that PLFO was tolerated by rectal route. No significant differences were observed in body weights of the two groups. Biochemical analysis showed that aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) were significantly decreased in blood plasma at (P< 0.05) and (P< 0.01) respectively in PLFO group (Mann-Whitney test). On the other hand, the fasting glucose level (GLU) was significantly increased (Mann-Whitney test, P< 0.05), while the rest of the tested parameters (Albumin, total proteins, creatinine, urea) was not significantly affected. However, these variations have not biologic signification toxicity. The study concludes that PLFO is tolerable via rectal route; it is safe with no adverse effect on liver functions and renal functions with possible anti-glycogenesis activity.
Pistacia lentiscus; fatty oil; glycemic index; LFT; RFT; rabbits
Three of the factors limiting the rational use of herbal medicine are uncertainty on effectivity, uncertainty on safety and variation in quality of the product. Because many herbal medicines have been used over centuries by indigenous peoples, the safety and effectivity is frequently not such a big concern. With more people collecting and distributing herbal medicine, the offered product is however, frequently not what the label indicates either through a genuine mistake, but also through fraud especially where expensive herbal medicine is concerned. Some wrong identifications have already led to serious side effects and deaths. Planar chromatography or thin layer chromatography [TLC] is widely used to verify the identity of plant extracts by determining the chemical fingerprint of the extracts. In a leading publication 17 different extractants, 41 solvent systems and 44 spray reagents have been used to verify the identity of important herbal preparations. We investigated whether a simplified system could not be developed to aid small laboratories in identifying different herbal medicines. We compared the efficacy of different extractants, identified and developed three TLC solvent systems that would separate compounds with low, medium and high polarity and then also investigated the use of several spray reagents. With acetone as extractant and benzene:ethanol:ammonia [9:1:0.1], chloroform:ethylacetate:formic acid [5:4:1] and ethylacetate:methanol:water [10:1.35:1] as TLC solvent system and vanillin-sulphuric acid as spray reagent the identity of 81 samples of more than 50 herbal preparations could be verified on the basis of the chromatograms. The same product from different suppliers usually gave similar chromatograms. More importantly in several cases it was clear that products with the same label were so different that a mistake must have occurred in the labelling. This method has found application in the quality control of the most important African medicinal plants in the recently published African Herbal Pharmacopoeia produced by the Association for African Medicinal Plant Standards (AAMPS).
India has a rich tradition of plant-based knowledge on healthcare. A large number of plants/plant extracts/decoctions or pastes are equally used by tribals and folklore traditions in India for treatment of cuts, wounds and burns. The resistance of the microorganism has increased due to the indiscriminate use of commercial antimicrobial drugs commonly used for the treatment of infectious diseases. Resistance to antimicrobial agents has resulted in morbidity, mortality, from treatment failures and increased health care costs. There is an urgent need to discover novel, effective plant-based antimicrobial drug to the increasing problem of drug resistance. This situation forced the scientist to search for new antimicrobial substances from various sources including medicinal plants. Iresine herbstii, Ecbolium linneanum , Chrozophora rottleri have been used in folk remedies and is reported to have a broad range of therapeutic effects. Therefore this paper attempts to bridge the lacunae in the existing literature and offers immense scope for researchers engaged in validation of the traditional claims and development of safe and effective therapeutic agent.
Medicinal plants; Iresine herbstii; Ecbolium linneanum; Chrozophora rottleri; Medicinal properties
As aculturization and globalization continues, there is an urgent need to carefully record and delineate traditional pharmacopeias so that their true worth is understood and protected and any possible benefits related to their commercial development are equitably distributed. In the past most of these endeavors resulted in a list of plants with their associated uses without providing further explanations as to the extent of this knowledge within the traditional group, or if this knowledge was known elsewhere. This practice tended to generate the notion of finite exclusivity without providing proof that this was actually the case. Moreover, since the talents and methods of those conducting these initial studies varied widely, little effort was made to provide adequate information on how selective processes and preferences as well as modes of collection, preparation and use were achieved. Without these data, the potential of their clinical worth, bioreactive capacities or chemical compositions were often compromised. This frequently led to expending much time, effort and treasure on a pharmacopeia's evaluation without guidance on how these efforts could be optimized to achieve its best possible medicinal potential. This paper will review how types of dereplications and other techniques are helpful in amplifying this process.
Withania somnifera (Ashawagandha) is very revered herb of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine as a Rasayana (tonic). It is used for various kinds of disease processes and specially as a nervine tonic. Considering these facts many scientific studies were carried out and its adaptogenic / anti-stress activities were studied in detail. In experimental models it increases the stamina of rats during swimming endurance test and prevented adrenal gland changes of ascorbic acid and cortisol content produce by swimming stress. Pretreatment with Withania somnifera (WS) showed significance protection against stress induced gastric ulcers. WS have anti-tumor effect on Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell carcinoma. It was also found effective against urethane induced lung-adenoma in mice. In some cases of uterine fibroids, dermatosarcoma, long term treatment with WS controlled the condition. It has a Cognition Promoting Effect and was useful in children with memory deficit and in old age people loss of memory. It was also found useful in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzeimer's diseases. It has GABA mimetic effect and was shown to promote formation of dendrites. It has anxiolytic effect and improves energy levels and mitochondrial health. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent and was found useful in clinical cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Large scale studies are needed to prove its clinical efficacy in stress related disorders, neuronal disorders and cancers.
Withania somnifera; rejuvenator; adaptogen / anti-stress; anti-tumor; neuroregenerative; anti-arthritic
Unani Tibb is a holistic traditional system of medicine. Ever since 1976, WHO has adopted its policy of promoting traditional medicine, Unani Medicine has enjoyed an upsurge of interest, especially in India, where it has been practiced as one of the Indian systems of medicine. Ali et al (2007) opined that “in Tibb, ‘temperament’ is a notion of primary importance, though a difficult theory as it indicates the properties of an atom, a molecule, a cell, a tissue, an organ and human body as a whole”. Temperament of a person represents its physical constitution and tendencies. It is believed in Tibb that imbalance in temperament predisposes human body to various diseases by producing a biotic imbalance with in body. Causes of initial imbalance in temperament lies in more subtle elements of life like air, water, food, rest, activity, work, evacuation of wastes, sleep etc. To quote Bhika (2006a) “health can be preserved and maintained as long as overall quality of humours is in harmony with overall quality of the temperament of the individual and humoural balance is influenced by lifestyle factors.” Hence temperament acts as a guiding force for maintenance and preservation of individuals' health.
Temperament; Unani; Tibb; Humour; Lifestyle factors
For a very long time, family planning methods have paid little attention to the needs of men, but instead focused primarily on women. A bulk of contraceptives on the market today is women oriented. Probably, many providers assume that women have the greatest stake and interest as far as family planning is concerned. Worst still, there is a misconception that men are indifferent or even stand in opposition to family planning. The consequences of this long neglect of developing acceptable and reliable male contraceptives in poor developing countries has been lack of or less participation of males in family planning. Recently, it has come apparent that neglecting men in matters of family planning is a losing strategy with adverse consequences for both men and women. As Africa is grappling with rapid population growth, it is now recognized that giving attention to females only can not solve the problem.
Contraceptives; herbal medicines; fertility; family planning
Herbal drugs have been used since ancient times as medicines for the treatment of a wide range of diseases, for both human and livestock. A study conducted in the Lake Victoria Basin Kenya revealed vast knowledge and reliance on traditional medicine as a source of healthcare. The study documented 34 medicinal plant species distributed among 21 botanical families and 34 genera, used in the management of human ailments. The highest numbers of species were from the families Asteraceae and Leguminosae. The most commonly harvested plant parts were leaves (46.51%) and roots (34.88%). The most common growth forms utilised were herbs (40.54%) followed by shrubs (27.03%). The major methods of herbal drug preparation were concoction (31.03%) and decoction (24.14%) administered mainly through oral and dermal routes, (64.29%) and (32.14%) respectively. The use of herbal drugs as mixtures was reported to be a common practice by the herbal practitioners; 57.14% of the preparations were dispensed as mixtures while 42.86% of the preparations composed of single plants. A rich knowledge of medicinal plants was recognized and phytochemical and bioactivity analyses of these herbal plants are recommended to determine their safety and efficacy.
Indigenous knowledge; health care; ethnomedicine
The high potential variability of chemical composition of the plant material involved in the manufacture of homoeopathic mother tinctures (a common source of homoeopathic medicines), renders both their quality control and assurance a significant challenge (Pande and Pathak, 2006). The absence of significant regulations regarding the quality of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) in South Africa contributes to this challenge (Gqaleni et al, 2007). In order to assess any quality differences between local and international manufacturers, the following homoeopathic mother tinctures, Artemisia absinthium, Rosmarinus officinalis e foliis recentibus, Salvia officinalis and Sambucus nigra, were chosen on the basis that they can be grown both locally in South Africa and internationally and are prepared according to the German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (GHP), method 3a. Colour analysis was followed by thin layer chromatographic (TLC) analysis on each selected sample and relevant reference sample using both aluminum-backed TLC plates and glass-backed HPTLC plates. Photographs were taken of the resultant chromatograms, active components were identified, comparisons to the reference chromatograms were made and the overall quality of each homoeopathic mother tincture deduced. The quality of all nine of the selected samples manufactured internationally complied with the minimum quality standards set by the GHP. Five out of the six local samples complied with the minimum standards of the GHP._Notwithstanding the minimum GHP standards, the superior number of high quality international samples implies that their quality exceeded that of the locally manufactured tinctures. Greater regulation regarding the quality of these types of products has therefore been identified.
Artemisia absinthium; Rosmarinus officinalis e foliis recentibus; Sambucus nigra; Salvia officinalis; thin layer chromatography; quality; homoeopathic; mother tincture; South Africa
The present paper is based on the results of taxonomic research work conducted in Dera Ismail Khan District of KPK, Pakistan, during 2005 – 2007. The area was extensively surveyed in order to collect floating aquatic weeds. From the study area 11 floating aquatic weed species belonging to 9 genera and 9 families were collected and identified in the light of available literature. These plants include Bryophytes: 1 species, Ricciocarpus natans (L.) Corda; Pteridophytes: 2 species, Azolla pinnata R.Br. and Marselia quadrifolia L., and Spermatophytes: 8 species, Lemna aequinoctialis Welw., L. gibba L., Marselia quadrifoliata L. Nelumbo nucifera Gaerth., Nymphoides cristata (Roxb.) O. Ketze. Nymphoides indica (L.) Kuntze:, Pistia stratiotes L. Potamogeton nodosus Poiret and Spirodela polyrrhiza (L.) Schleid. Floating weeds on one hand cause serious problems and on the other hand they are used for various purposes. Data inventory consists of botanical name, family, major group, habit and habitat, flowering period, availability, distribution in D.I.Khan, Pakistan and world, beneficial and harmful effects. Key to the floating aquatic species of the area was developed for easy and correct identification and differentiation.
Biodiversity; Floating aquatic weeds; Dera Ismail Khan; Pakistan
Folk medicinal practitioners form the first tier of primary health-care providers to most of the rural population of Bangladesh. They are known locally as Kavirajes and rely almost solely on oral or topical administration of whole plants or plant parts for treatment of various ailments. Also about 2% of the total population of Bangladesh are scattered among more than twenty tribes residing within the country's borders. The various tribes have their own tribal practitioners, who use medicinal plants for treatment of diseases. The objective of the present survey was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes and tribal practitioners to determine which species of plants belonging to the Verbenaceae family are used by the practitioners. The Verbenaceae family plants are well known for constituents having important bio-active properties. The present survey indicated that 13 species belonging to 8 genera are used by the folk and tribal medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh. A comparison of their folk medicinal uses along with published reports in the scientific literature suggests that the Verbenaceae family plants used in Bangladesh can potentially be important sources of lead compounds or novel drugs for treatment of difficult to cure debilitating diseases like malaria and rheumatoid arthritis.
Verbenaceae; folk medicine; Bangladesh; medicinal plants