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1.  Screening of Traditionally Used Plants for In Vivo Antimalarial Activity in Mice 
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.
PMCID: PMC2816569  PMID: 20209008
Antimalarial activity; Plasmodium berghei; traditional medicines
2.  Brine Shrimp Toxicity Evaluation of Some Tanzanian Plants Used Traditionally for the Treatment of Fungal Infections 
Plants which are used by traditional healers in Tanzania have been evaluated to obtain preliminary data of their toxicity using the brine shrimps test. The results indicate that 9 out of 44 plant species whose extracts were tested exhibited high toxicity with LC50 values below 20µg/ml. These include Aloe lateritia Engl. (Aloaceae) [19.1µg/ml], Cassia abbreviata Oliv. (Caesalpiniaceae) [12.7µg/ml], Croton scheffleri Pax (Euphorbiaceae) [13.7µg/ml], Hymenodactyon parvifolium Brig (Rubiaceae) [13.4µg/ml], Kigelia Africana L. (Bignoniaceae) [7.2µg/ml], and Ocimum suave Oliv. (Labiatae) [16.7µg/ml]. Twelve plants gave LC50 values between 21 and 50µg/ml, 11 plants gave LC50 values between 50 and 100 µg/ml, and 18 plants gave LC50 values greater than 100 µg/ml.
PMCID: PMC2816448  PMID: 20162095
Brine shrimp test; Toxicity evaluation; Traditional antifungal plants
3.  Anticonvulsant Activity of Diospyros Fischeri Root Extracts 
Diospyros fischeri Gurke (Ebenaceae) is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of epilepsy. Dichloromethane, ethylacetate, and ethanol extracts of the roots, at doses between 100 and 1600 mg/kg BW, inhibited convulsions induced by the γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAa) receptor antagonist, pentylenetetrazole (PTZ), in a dose dependent manner. The extracts also exhibited low toxicity against brine shrimps giving LC50 values between 45.4 and 95.4 µg/ml. These results provide evidence for the potential of D. fischeri extracts to treat absence seizures, especially given their seemingly innocuous nature.
PMCID: PMC2816445  PMID: 20162096
Diospyros fischeri; Pentylenetetrazole; Anticonvulsant activity; Brine shrimp toxicity
4.  Anticonvulsant Activity of Extracts of Diospyros Fischeri Stem Bark 
Evaluation of extracts of Diospyros fischeri Gurke (Ebenaceae), which is used traditionally for the treatment of epilepsy shows that the aqueous extract of the tem bark has no effect againstpicrotoxin induced convulsions in mice. However, an 80% ethanol extract of the bark caused dose-dependent suppression of convulsions induced by 10 mg/kg body wt picrotoxin, at doses between 100–3200 mg/kg body wt. Petroleum ether, 1:1 dichloromethane:methanol, and methanol extracts also suppressed picrotoxin-induced convulsions, but had a slightly lower inhibitory effect. The petroleum ether extract was the most active, but all were less active than the ethanol extract. Unlike phenobarbitone, which at 50 mg/kg body wt completely suppressed convulsions induced by 10 mg/kg body wt picrotoxin, none of the plant extracts completely suppressed convulsions in the mice. These results support the traditional uses of D.fischeri for the treatment of epilepsy. Given the seemingly innocuous nature of the extracts more work is suggested to ascertain their clinical application.
PMCID: PMC2816419  PMID: 20162077
Diospyros fischeri; Picrotoxin; Anti-convulsant activity

Results 1-4 (4)