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1.  Antimicrobial Activity of the Solvent Fractions from Bulbine Natalensis Tuber 
Bulbine natalensis Baker has been acclaimed to be used as an antimicrobial agent in the folklore medicine of South Africa without scientific evidence to substantiate or refute this claim. In view of this, the in vitro antimicrobial activity of solvent fractions (ethanol, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water) from Bulbine natalensis Tuber against 4 Gram positive and 12 Gram negative bacteria as well as 3 fungal species were investigated using agar dilution. The ethanolic extract, n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions inhibited 75, 87.5 and 100% respectively of the bacterial species in this study. The ethanolic, n-butanol and ethyl acetate fractions produced growth inhibition at MIC range of 1–10, 3–10 as well as 1 and 5 mg/ml respectively whereas the water fraction did not inhibit the growth of any of the bacterial species. Again, it was only the ethyl acetate fraction that inhibited the growth of Shigelli flexneri, Staphyloccus aureus and Escherichia coli. The ethanolic, ethyl acetate and n-butanolic fractions dose dependently inhibited the growth of Aspergillus niger and A. flavus whereas the water fraction produced 100% growth inhibition of the Aspergillus species at all the doses investigated. In contrast, no growth inhibition was produced on Candida albicans. The growth inhibition produced by the solvent fractions of B. natalensis Tuber in this study thus justifies the acclaimed use of the plant as an antimicrobial agent. The ethyl acetate fraction was the most potent.
PMCID: PMC3746651  PMID: 23983381
Bulbine natalensis; ethylacetate fraction; antimicrobial agent; asphodelaceae
2.  In Vitro Antioxidant Activity of Extracts From the Leaves of Felicia Muricata Thunb. an Underutilized Medicinal Plant in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa 
Felicia muricata is a medicinal plant used for the management of different human and livestock diseases in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The antioxidant potential of the leaves from this herb was investigated using its water, methanol, acetone and ethanol extracts. All the extracts were rich in phenols, proanthocyanidins and flavonols but low in flavonoids. The water extract exhibited low DPPH scavenging activity while the methanol, acetone and ethanol extracts showed higher activities. Again all the extracts showed high ABTS scavenging activity with a correlation between total phenolic content (R2=0.9965), DPPH (R2 =0.982) and ABTS (R2=0.927). Traditionally, however, plant extracts are prepared with water as infusions, decoction and poultice. Our results have shown that both the water and ethanol extracts from Felicia muricata displayed strong antioxidant activity. Therefore, it would seem likely that both solvents were able to extract those compounds which are responsible for the antioxidant activity of F. muricata.
PMCID: PMC3005399  PMID: 21731160
Felicia muricata; antioxidant; DPPH; ABTS; radical scavenging activity
3.  Effect of Administration of Aqueous Extract of Hippobromus Pauciflorus Leaves in Male Wistar Rats 
The effect of administration of aqueous extract of Hippobromus pauciflorus (L.f.) Radlk (Sapindaceae) leaves at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight for 14 days on some biochemical parameters in male Wistar rats was investigated. The extract at all the doses tested did not significantly (P>0.05) alter the levels of white blood cells, red blood cells, mean corpuscular volume, platelets, neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes and large unstained cells. While the levels of haemoglobin, packed cell volume and basophils increased significantly (P<0.05) at specific doses, the mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration and eosinophils decreased significantly (P<0.05). Again, the extract did not significantly (P<0.05) alter the computed liver- and kidney-body weight ratios, sodium, chloride and total protein, though, the levels of potassium, inorganic phosphorus, globulin, urea, total and conjugated bilirubin increased significantly (P<0.05) at certain doses. In contrast, the levels of albumin and creatinine also decreased significantly (P<0.05) at specific doses. While the activities of alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyl transferase and alanine aminotransferase remained significantly (P<0.05) unaltered in the serum, aspartate aminotransferase activity increased only at 200 mg/kg body weight. The atherogenic index as well as the concentrations of cholesterol, high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the serum of the animals were not significantly (P>0.05) altered. However, the extract significantly (P<0.05) increased the concentration of triacylglycerol. The results suggest that the extract has mild and dose specific haemato-, hepato- and nephrotoxic effects and may not be completely safe as oral remedy at the doses investigated.
PMCID: PMC3005378  PMID: 21304611
Hippobromus pauciflorus; haematotoxic; hepatotoxic; nephrotoxic; oral remedy

Results 1-3 (3)