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1.  Laxative Activities of Cassia Sieberiana and Senna Obtusifolia 
Background
The root and stem bark of Cassia sieberiana DC. (Caesalpiniaceae) and the root of Senna obtusifolia (Linn) Irwin and Barneby (Caesalpiniaceae), used for constipation in Nigeria, were assayed for laxative properties in male albino rats using the official senna leaf (Senna alexandrina Mill. family Caesalpiniaceae) as the reference standard. This is with a view to finding alternative laxative drug to official senna which is presently being imported into Nigeria from the United Kingdom.
Materials and Methods
The mean percentage of wet faeces in rats, an indication of laxative activity, were obtained using established methods. The laxative activity was established at 500 mg/kg after the infusion of the drug was orally administered on male albino rats following established methods while a set of data was analyzed at 95 % confidence level.
Results
At 500 mg/kg, Senna obtusifolia root gave about 45 % wet faeces while Cassia sieberiana root gave about 40 % wet faeces while at the highest dose of 700 mg/kg, they produced 60 % and 38 % wet faeces, respectively. At these two doses, the official Senna gave 50.6 % and 66 % wet faeces, respectively. Thus, S. obtusifolia and C. sieberiana roots exhibited 89 % and 80 % of the potency of S. alexandrina (the official drug), respectively. The analysis of variance revealed a significant statistical difference in the levels of wet faeces produced by rats dosed with C. sieberiana root.
Conclusion
The results have shown that the roots of the two species could be developed as mild laxative drugs for children and pregnant women for whom the official senna will be contraindicated.
PMCID: PMC4202395  PMID: 25392579
Cassia sieberiana; Senna obtusifolia; Gastrointestinal; Laxative
2.  Cytotoxicity of Selected Medicinal Plants Used in Mt. Frere District, South Africa 
Background
In South African traditional medicine, some are plants known to combat pediatric diseases and are commonly used by traditional healers. The aim was to evaluate cytotoxicity effects of plants.
Materials and methods
The ground plant material was exhaustively extracted using methanol, acetone and water separately for 72 hrs. These organic solvents were removed from filtrates using a rotavapour. Stock solutions were prepared at 40 mg/ml Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and test solutions were transferred into vials and 10 brine shrimps introduced in each. The number of dead shrimps was counted to ascertain toxicity. Ten A. salina nauplii (larva) were transferred into each sample vial and filtered brine solution was added to make 5 ml. The nauplii were counted macroscopically in the stem of the pipette against a lighted background. A drop of dry yeast suspension was added as food to each vial. Probit analysis was used to determine the concentration at which lethality to brine shrimp represents 50 % (LC50).
Results
All the tested extracts showed that the concentration is directly proportional to death of brine shrimps. Fifty percent lethality (LC50) of the tested crude extract ranged between 4.1 and 4.6 µg/ml with methanol extract of B. abyssinica being the lowest and T. acutiloba the highest.
Conclusion
This study revealed that 100% of plant crude extracts screened for activity against Artemisia salina larvae showed strong cytotoxicity below 10 µg/ml and plant species with LC50 values < 1000 µg/ml may not make good paediatric remedies due to their inherent toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4202398  PMID: 25392582
Medicinal plants; traditional pediatrics; cytotoxicity
3.  Study on Optimisation of Extraction Process of Tanshinone IIA and Its Mechanism of Induction of Gastric Cancer SGC7901 Cell Apoptosis 
The objective of this paper was to investigate the extraction process of tanshinone IIA and its mechanism of induction of gastric cancer SGC7901 cell apoptosis. Extraction process of tanshinone IIA was optimised by orthogonal experimental method, and its effect on gastric cancer SGC7901 cell apoptosis was observed using MTT assay and electron microscopy. The optimum extraction process of tanshinone IIA was as follows: addition of a 10-fold amount of 80% ethanol, one-time extraction, and extraction time of 45 minutes. The study concluded that tanshinone IIA can induce apoptosis of gastric cancer SGC7901 cells.
PMCID: PMC3847383  PMID: 24311868
Tanshinone IIA; MTT assay; gastric cancer SGC7901 cells
4.  A Study on the Protective Effect of Silybum Marianum Extract on Hepatic Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury 
The objective of the study was to study the protective effect of Silybum marianum extract on hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury. Rats were randomly divided into five groups; namely Silybum marianum extract high-, medium-, and low-dose protection groups, model group and control group. Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury model was prepared. Serum or plasma AST, ALT, MDA, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 levels were measured. The results revealed that after liver injury, AST, ALT, MDA, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels significantly increased in succession, showing significant differences. We concluded that inflammatory cytokines participate in liver injury and that Silybum marianum extract can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, and thus can have a protective effect on hepatic ischemia and reperfusion.
PMCID: PMC3847421  PMID: 24311841
Silybum marianum; hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury; protective effect
5.  The Efficacy of Crude Extract of Aloe Secundiflora on Candida Albicans 
In-vitro studies on the efficacy of crude extracts of Aloe secundiflora on Candida albicans was conducted. Five mature leaves of Aloe secundiflora were collected and the crude extract was prepared, then autoclaved. The extract was then tested on Candida albicans grown on solid media. The results from these studies revealed complete inhibition of Candida albicans growth caused by Aloe secundiflora crude extract on solid media. The findings from this study suggest that the crude extract of Aloe secundiflora can inhibit the growth of Candida albicans. Further studies are required to establish the in-vivo activity of the crude extract, the active ingredient, dosage and safety of Aloe secundiflora, before recommending for clinical use.
PMCID: PMC2816467  PMID: 20606782
Aloe secundiflora; alternative medicine; opportunistic infections; crude extract
6.  Cytotoxic Activity of Selected Nigerian Plants 
Cancer is one of the most prominent human diseases which has stimulated scientific and commercial interest in the discovery of new anticancer agents from natural sources. The current study investigates the cytotoxic activity of ethanolic extracts of sixteen Nigerian plants used locally for the treatment of cancer using the MTT assay on the HeLa cell line. Sapium ellipticum leaves showed activity comparable to the reference compound Cisplatin and greater cytotoxic activity than Combretum paniculatum, Celosia trigyna, Drymaria cordata, Cyathula achyranthoides and Cyathula prostata. Justica extensa, Pupalia lappacea, Hedranthera barteri leaves, Alternanthera sessilis, Ethulia conyzoides leaves, Combretum zenkeri root, Sapium ellipticum stembark and Lannea nigritana stembark showed very low activity while Combretum molle, Adenanthera parvoniana and Lannea acida showed no activity. The results justify the use of Sapium, Combretum, Celosia, Drymaria and Cyathula in traditional treatment of cancer.
PMCID: PMC2816471  PMID: 20606772
Medicinal plants; Cytotoxicity; Cancer; Sapium; Combretum
7.  Antidiabetic Activity of Gladiolus Psittascinus in Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rats 
The methanol extract of Gladiolus psittascinus bulb was evaluated for its antidiabetic activities in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Blood glucose levels of the glucose loaded and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were estimated over 180 minutes using the O-toluidine and glucose-oxidase methods. The methanol extract at 1g/kg dose exhibited 16.2% decrease in blood glucose level in the glucose loaded rats and a peak effect of 78.9% in the alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The extract exhibited significant blood glucose lowering effects in the oral glucose tolerance test and type 2 diabetic rats. This study shows a possible beneficial effect of Gladiolus psittascinus in the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM).
PMCID: PMC2816533  PMID: 20161931
Gladiolus psittascinus; hypoglycaemic activity; diabetes mellitus
8.  Screening of Traditionally Used Endemic Soqotraen Plants for Cytotoxic Activity 
Thirty extracts obtained from 10 endemic plant species belonging to 8 plant families used in the traditional medicine in Socotra have been tested for cytotoxic activity against FL-cells. Extracts of Eureiandra balfourii and Commiphora ornifolia showed the strongest activity against FL-cells with IC50 < 10 µg/ml and 39.3 µg/ml respectively.
PMCID: PMC2816517  PMID: 20161922
Cytotoxicity; Soqotra; Fl-cells
9.  Naphthaquinones of Alkanna Orientalis (L.) BOISS 
The roots of Alkanna orientalis (L.) Boiss yielded α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin (compound 1) and alkannin acetate (compound 2). The compounds were identified by UV, MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. Quantitative determination of α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin and alkannin acetate in Alkanna orientalis (L) Boiss roots was established by TLC densitometry.
PMCID: PMC2816436  PMID: 20162072
Alkanna orientalis; naphthaquinones; NMR; α- methyl-n-butyl alkannin; alkannin acetate; TLC densitometry

Results 1-9 (9)