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1.  Mechanisms Underlying the Endothelium-dependent Vasodilatory Effect of an Aqueous Extract of Elaeis Guineensis Jacq. (Arecaceae) in Porcine Coronary Artery Rings 
This study was undertaken to investigate the vasodilatory effect of an aqueous extract of Elaeis guineensis Jacq (EGE) in the porcine coronary artery and elicit its possible mechanism(s) of action. Vascular effects of crude extract of dried and powdered leaves of Elaeis guineensis were evaluated on isolated coronary arteries on organ chambers. Determination of eNOS expression and the phosphorylation level of eNOS were determined by Western blot analysis. In the presence of indomethacin, EGE caused pronounced relaxations in endothelium-intact but not in endothelium-denuded coronary artery rings. Relaxations to EGE were significantly reduced by Nω-nitro-L-arginine (L-NA, a competitive inhibitor of NO synthase), slightly but not significantly by charybdotoxin plus apamin (two potent inhibitors of EDHF-mediated responses) and abolished by the combination of L-NA and charybdotoxin plus apamin. Relaxations to EGE were abolished by the membrane permeant, SOD mimetic, MnTMPyP, and significantly reduced by wortmannin, an inhibitor of PI3-kinase. Exposure of endothelial cells to EGE increased the phosphorylation level of eNOS at Ser1177 in a time and concentration-dependent manner. MnTMPyP abolished the EGE-induced phosphorylation of eNOS.
In conclusion, the obtained data indicate that EGE induces pronounced endothelium-dependent relaxations of the porcine coronary artery, which involve predominantly NO. The stimulatory effect of EGE on eNOS involves the redox-sensitive phosphorylation of eNOS at Ser1177 most likely via the PI3-kinase pathway.
PMCID: PMC3021152  PMID: 21304623
Elaeis guineensis; endothelium; eNOS; coronary artery
2.  Preliminary In Vitro Antisickilng Properties of Crude Juice Extracts of Persia Americana, Citrus Sinensis, Carica Papaya and Ciklavit® 
The antisickling properties of crude juice extracts of the edible portions of three commonly consumed tropical fruits namely Persia americana, Citrus sinensis, and Carica papaya were investigated in vitro alongside a new drug preparation called Ciklavit® that has antisickling activity. Four different solvent extracts of the crude juice of each fruit including aqueous, acidic, alkaline and alcoholic extracts were prepared and their antisickling effects on sickle cell trait (HbAS) and sickle cell disease (HbSS) blood samples checked alongside Ciklavit®. Blood samples were stabilized using normal saline and the antisickling effects were checked by counting the number of sickle cells remaining after incubation of the blood samples with the crude fruit extracts and Ciklavit® for twenty-four hours. The results showed that Ciklavit® produced a sustained reduction in the number of sickle cells in both HbAS and HbSS blood samples. Also the alkaline and alcoholic extracts of P. americana and C. papaya produced significant reduction in the number of sickle cells.
PMCID: PMC3021153  PMID: 21304622
Antisickling; Ciklavit®; Persia americana; Citrus sinensis; Carica papaya
3.  Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence Among HIV Patients in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa 
Adherence to antiretroviral medication in the treatment of HIV is critical, both to maximize efficacy and to minimize the emergence of drug resistance. The aim of this prospective study in three public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is to assess the use of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) by HIV patients and its effect on antiretroviral (ARV) adherence 6 months after initiating ARVs. 735 (29.8% male and 70.2% female) patients who consecutively attended three HIV clinics completed assessments prior to ARV initiation and 519 after six months on antiretroviral therapy (ART) Results indicate that the use of herbal therapies for HIV declined significantly from 36.6% prior to antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation to 7.9% after being on ARVs for 6 months. Faith healing methods, including spiritual practices and prayer for HIV declined from 35.8% to 22.1% and physical/body-mind therapy (exercise and massage) declined from 5.0% to 1.9%. In contrast, the use of micronutrients (vitamins, etc.) significantly increased from 42.6% to 87.4%. In multivariate regression analyses, ARV non-adherence (dose, schedule and food) was associated with the use of herbal treatment, not taking micronutrients and the use of over-the-counter drugs. The use of TCAM declined after initiating ARVs. As herbal treatment for HIV was associated with reduced ARV adherence, patients' use of TCAM should be considered in ARV adherence management.
PMCID: PMC3021154  PMID: 21304624
Traditional; complementary; alternative medicine; antiretroviral treatment adherence; HIV patients; KwaZulu-Natal; South Africa
5.  Attitudes Towards African Traditional Medicine and Christian Spiritual Healing Regarding Treatment of Epilepsy in a Rural Community of Northern Tanzania 
Most people with epilepsy (PWE) live in developing countries with limited access to health care facilities. In sub-Saharan Africa with approximately 12 million PWE, 90% do not receive adequate medical treatment. In this context, traditional medicine, being easily accessible, plays an important role. However, in sub- Saharan Africa, studies on the attitude of people (both affected and not affected by epilepsy) towards traditional medicine for treatment of epilepsy are scarce. In this study, 167 people (59 PWE, 62 relatives, 46 villagers) were interviewed at the hospital and in the community with a semi-structured validated questionnaire regarding the prevailing attitude towards traditional medicine for treatment of epilepsy in a rural area of northern Tanzania. Various traditional healing methods (THM) could be ascertained, i.e. traditional herbal medicine, spiritual healing, scarifications and spitting. 44.3% (n=74/167) of the interviewed people were convinced that epilepsy could be treated successfully with THM. Interestingly, 34.1% (n=57/167) thought that Christian prayers could cure the cause and/or treat symptoms of epilepsy. Significantly more PWE and their relatives were in favour of THM compared to villagers not knowing about epilepsy or not being immediately affected by epilepsy (χ2-test, p=0.004). Further factors influencing people's attitudes towards THM were gender, tribe, religion and urbanity of people's dwellings. Our study demonstrates that not only THM but also prayers in the Christian sense seem to play an important role in people's beliefs regarding successful treatment of epilepsy. Factors influencing this belief system have been identified and are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3021156  PMID: 21304629
epilepsy; traditional medicine; Tanzania
6.  Evaluation of the Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antiproliferative Activities of the Acetone Extract of the Roots of Senna Italica (Fabaceae) 
Senna italica, a member of the Fabaceae family (subfamily Caesalpinaceae), is widely used traditionally to treat a number of disease conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases and some forms of intestinal complications. The roots of Senna italica were collected from Zebediela subregion, Limpopo province (S.A), powdered and extracted with acetone by cold/shaking extraction method. The phytochemical composition of the extract was determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC). The chromatograms were visualised with vanillin-sulphuric acid and p-anisaldehyde reagents. The total phenolic content of the extract was determined by Folin-Ciocalteu method and expressed as TAE/g dry weight. The extract was assayed for the in vitro anticancer activity using Jurkat T cells, antioxidant activity using DPPH assay and antibacterial activity by bioautographic method and the microtitre plate method. The acetone extract of the roots of Senna italica inhibited the growth of Jurkat T cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The extract also had free radical scavenging activity as well as reasonable antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus with MICs ranging from 0,08 to 0.16 mg/ml in the same order as ampicillin the positive control. The biological activities observed in the acetone extract validated the ethnomedicinal use of Senna italica.
PMCID: PMC3021157  PMID: 21304625
Senna italica; Antibacterial; Antioxidant; Antiproliferative
7.  A Survey of Medicinal Plants Used by Kavirajes of Chalna Area, Khulna District, Bangladesh 
Kavirajes or traditional medicinal practitioners form the primary healthcare providers of the predominantly rural population of Bangladesh. Kavirajes use a variety of medicinal plants for treatment of different ailments. The formulations prepared from medicinal plants vary considerably between Kavirajes of different regions of the country. The objective of this study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey amongst the Kavirajes of Chalna area, Khulna district, Bangladesh. That area is known to contain a diversity of medicinal plants. Information on 50 plant species was obtained. These medicinal plants belonged to 49 genera and 33 families. Twenty five plants were used to treat skin diseases and twenty three plants for treatment of intestinal tract disorders, which included constipation, indigestion, stomachache, diarrhea, and dysentery. Fourteen plants were also used by the Kavirajes to treat cancer or tumor. Nine plants were used as insecticide, eight for rheumatoid arthritis, and seven for wounds. Five plants were used to treat jaundice. Five plants were also utilized to treat animal and snake bites, which included tiger bites. Six plants were used to treat diabetes, and two each for the treatment of leprosy, and sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea. Five plants were used to treat impotency, while one plant was used as an abortifacient. Three plants were used to treat helminthiasis, which we found to be quite common amongst the population, while four plants were used to treat heart disorders. Taken together, these plant species offer considerable potential for discovery of novel compounds of pharmacological interest.
PMCID: PMC3021158  PMID: 21304618
Traditional medicine; Chalna; Khulna district; Bangladesh; medicinal plants
8.  Microbial Burden of Some Herbal Antimalarials Marketed at Elele, Rivers State 
Herbal antimalarials still remain an alternative to our traditional communities who can not afford orthodox antimalarials. This study was aimed at investigating the microbial quality of six herbal antimalarials using standard microbiological methods. Of the six preparations analyzed, “schnapps”, palm wine and water were the media of preparation; the water base preparations recorded higher microbial load. The mean microbial load was 159.5×105 cfu/ml and 217.4×102cfu/ml in water and alcohol base preparations respectively. The microbial profile of the preparations showed that the schnapps base preparations were predominantly contaminated with Bacillus sp (Aerobic spore bearers) and Mucor spp. The palm wine preparation harboured Bacillus sp, yeasts and Mucor spp while the water base preparations had several isolates such as Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli 0157H7, Proteus mirabilis, Enterococcus feacalis, Serratia marcensces, Staph. aureus, Bacillus spp and Mucor spp. Conclusively, this study underlines the public health importance of these preparations given the high burden of such human pathogen as Ecoli O157H7, Ps aeruginosa, Stahp aureus, etc. in the preparations.
PMCID: PMC3021159  PMID: 21304626
antimalarials; herbal; microbial; Elele
9.  Evaluation of a Safer Male Circumcision Training Programme for Ndebele Traditional Surgeons and Nurses in Gauteng, South Africa: Using Direct Observation of Circumcision Procedures 
The aim of this study was to assess the safety of traditional male circumcision practices among Ndebele traditional surgeons following a five days training by direct observation of circumcision procedures. The sample included eight Ndebele traditional surgeons and traditional nurses and 86 initiates (abakhwetwa) from two districts in Gauteng province in South Africa. A structured observations tool was administered by a trained research doctor during circumcisions and (wound) care of the initiates of the trained traditional surgeons. Results indicate that from the observations of 86 traditional male circumcisions a high number (37%) of adverse events were recorded (excessive bleeding, excessive skin removed and damage to the penis) and in six cases the use of one instrument for the circumcision was observed. Before scaling up and/or considering integration traditional male circumcision services into medical male circumcision services in South Africa, a careful strategy to minimize unnecessary morbidity, and fundamental improvements on current traditional male circumcision techniques, are required. In addition, legislation and control of traditional male circumcision in Gauteng province, where the study took place, are recommended to make traditional male circumcision safer and to prevent adverse events to happen.
PMCID: PMC3021160  PMID: 21304627
10.  Chinese Medicinal Herbs in Treating Model Rats with Hepatic Fibrosis 
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of Chinese medicine formula-Yu Zhang Dan (YZD, composed of Herba Lysimachiae, Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati, Radix Curcumae) on the model rats with hepatic fibrosis. Forty male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were used in the present study, and they were separated randomly into 4 groups: a normal control group (Group A, n=5), a model control (Group B, n=15), a high dose of YZD (Group C, n=10), and a low dose of YZD (Group D, n=10). Hepatic fibrosis in rats was induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). The variation of the serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), hyaluronate acid (HA), laminin (LN), type • • procollagen peptide (P• •NP), L-Glutathione (GSH) was respectively measured with radioimmunoassay (RIA) and detection of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and smooth muscle alpha actin (α-SMA) was conducted with immunohistochemistry. The ALT, AST HA, LN and PIII NP levels in the serum of the model control group were significantly higher than those of the normal control group (P<0.05), and both of the high dose of YZD and low dose of YZD significantly decreased the ALT, AST HA, LN and PIII NP levels of the model rats (P<0.05). The TGF-β1 and α-SMA levels of the model control group were significantly higher than those of the normal control group (P<0.05), and both of the high dose of YZD and low dose of YZD significantly decreased the TGF-β1 levels of the model rats (P<0.05) , and only the high dose of YZD significantly decreased the α-SMA levels of the model rats (P<0.05). The expression of TGF-β1 and α-SMA in the liver tissues of the rats were in the cytoplasm of the cells. It may be through decreasing the ALT, AST, HA, LN and PIII NP levels in the serum of the model rats and decreasing the expression of TGF-β1 and α-SMA in the liver tissues of the model rats that YZD significantly relieved the hepatic fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3021161  PMID: 21304620
Chinese medicinal herbs; Yu Zhang Dan (YZD); Hepatic fibrosis
11.  Antibacterial Activity of Extracts of Three Croton Species Collected in Mpumalanga Region in South Africa 
The antibacterial activities of three Croton species were compared using bioautography and the serial microdilution methods. The methanolic extracts of all the species had low activity against Escherichia coli. The highest activity was observed with Croton megalobotrys against Enterococcus faecalis with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.02 mg/ml. Croton steenkapianus extracts were the least active of the species investigated, only managing an MIC value of 0.625 mg/ml against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Croton megalobotrys leaf powder was serially extracted using solvents of various polarities. The lowest MIC value (0.06 mg/ml) of the serially extracted fractions was observed with acetone against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The liquid-liquid fractions of the methanol extract of Croton megalobotrys were also tested. The lowest MIC value of 0.02 mg/ml was observed with n-hexane fraction against Enterococcus faecalis. The carbon tetrachloride fraction was further fractionated using column chromatography with silica as the immobile phase. The resulting seven fractions were tested for activity following the bioassay-guided practice, and it emerged that the first three fractions had active compounds against Staphylococcus aureus when the bioautography method was used.
PMCID: PMC3021162  PMID: 21304619
Croton megalobotrys; C. steenkapianus; C. silvaticus; antibacterial activity
12.  Effect of Cuscuta Reflexa Stem and Calotropis Procera Leaf Extracts on Glucose Tolerance in Glucose-Induced Hyperglycemic Rats and Mice 
Cuscuta reflexa (whole plant) and Calotropis procera (leaves) are used in folk medicine of Bangladesh to control blood sugar in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. The hypoglycemic effects of methanol and chloroform extracts of whole plants of Cuscuta reflexa, and methanol extract of leaves of Calotropis procera were investigated in oral glucose tolerance tests in Long Evans rats and Swiss albino mice, respectively. Both methanol and chloroform extracts of Cuscuta reflexa whole plant demonstrated significant oral hypoglycemic activity in glucose-loaded rats at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight. The methanol extract of leaves of Calotropis procera, when tested at doses of 100 and 250 mg/kg body weight did not demonstrate any oral hypoglycemic effect when tested in glucose-loaded mice.
PMCID: PMC3021163  PMID: 21304621
Cuscuta reflexa; Calotropis procera; hypoglycemic activity; oral glucose tolerance test
13.  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
14.  Antimycobacterial Evaluation of Fifteen Medicinal Plants in South Africa 
Fifteen plant species were collected from the Nelspruit Botanical Garden based on a list of plants provided by Phytomedicine Programme at the University of Pretoria and their ethnopharmacological information. Hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), acetone and methanolic extracts were screened for antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis. The acetone extract of Milletia stulhimannii was the most active, showing activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.13 mg/ml. Acetone extracts for all plants had lower MIC values ranging between 0.11–1.25 mg/ml against M. smegmatis. Milletia stulhimannii, Albizia gummifera, Xanthocercis zambesiaca and Barringtonia racemosa have shown great potential as anti-tuberculosis agents. They were active against M. smegmatis with average MIC values of acetone extracts of 0.13 mg/ml.
PMCID: PMC3005379  PMID: 21304610
Tuberculosis; Antimycobacterial activity; Milletia stulhimannii; Minimum inhibitory concentration
15.  Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used by Sabaots of Mt. Elgon Kenya 
Though the majority of people in Kenya and at Kopsiro Division in particular, rely on ethnomedicinal plant species to manage human ailments, the indigenous knowledge largely remains undocumented. Therefore, an ethnobotanical study was conducted on medicinal plant species used to manage human ailments at Kopsiro Division Mt. Elgon District Kenya. The objectives were to identify and document plants traditionally used for medicinal therapy by the Sabaots, to find out the method used for preparing and administering the drugs and to find out the conservation practices for the medicinal plants. Observations and semi-structured interviews were used to gather ethnobotanical data. 107 plants belonging to 56 families were identified and reported to be of medicinal value to the locals. Roots (47.3%) were the most frequently used parts of the plant followed by the bark (23.35%) then leaves (22.75%). The whole plant (1.8%), seed (1.2%), fruit (1.2%), sap (1.2%), flower (0.6%) and wood (0.6%) are least used in that order. The study revealed other hitherto undocumented medicinal plant species that may be new records for treating various ailments. Traditional medicine in Kopsiro division offers cheap, accessible and convenient remedy that suits the traditional lifestyle of the local community in comparison to the conventional medicine. Most medicinal plant species reported in this study were found to be under threat and this calls for urgent conservation measures so as to maximize the sustainable use of these vital resources in the study area.
PMCID: PMC3005380  PMID: 21304606
Ethnobotany; ethnomedicine; indigenous knowledge; medicinal plant; traditional medicine; Sabaots
16.  Assesssing Herbal Medical Practitioners in Professional Qualifying Examination in Ghana, a Model 
About 70% of Ghanaians depend on Alternative health practice for their primary health care needs. Hence, there is the need to streamline and regulate these practices. Graduates from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (K.N.U.S.T), Kumasi-Ghana were assessed by the Professional Qualifying Examination Board of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), Ghana, after two years of internship training. A model of assessment took into consideration, the scope of the university training, internship and the primary health care needs of the society.
PMCID: PMC3005381  PMID: 21304617
Practitioner; Model; Professional Qualifying Exams; Herbal Medicine
17.  Detection of Antimicrobial Compounds by Bioautography of Different Extracts of Leaves of Selected South African Tree Species 
The hexane, acetone, dichloromethane and methanol extracts of Combretum vendae A.E. van Wyk (Combretaceae), Commiphora harveyi (Engl.) Engl. (Burseraceae), Khaya anthotheca (Welm.) C.DC (Meliaceae), Kirkia wilmsii Engl. (Kirkiaceae), Loxostylis alata A. Spreng. ex Rchb. (Anacardiaceae), Ochna natalitia (Meisn.) Walp. (Ochnaceae) and Protorhus longifolia (Bernh. Ex C. Krauss) Engl. (Anacardiaceae) were screened for their antimicrobial activity. The test organisms included bacteria (Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus), and fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Microsporum canis and Sporothrix schenckii). A simple bioautographic procedure, involving spraying suspensions of the bacteria or fungi on thin layer chromatography (TLC) plates developed in solvents of varying polarities was used to detect the number of antibacterial and antifungal compounds present in the extracts. All the extracts had antimicrobial activity against at least one of the test microorganisms. This activity was denoted by white spots against a red-purple background on the TLC plates after spraying with tetrazolium violet. Twenty seven TLC plates; 9 for each solvent system and 3 different solvent systems per organism were tested in the bioautographic procedure. Of the bacteria tested, S. aureus was inhibited by the most compounds separated on the TLC plates from all the tested plants. Similarly, growth of the fungus C. neoformans was also inhibited by many compounds present in the extracts. Loxostylis alata appeared to be the plant extract with the highest number of inhibition bands when compared with other plants tested against both bacteria and fungi. This species was selected for in depth further study.
PMCID: PMC3005382  PMID: 21304615
Bioautography; Medicinal plants; Antifungal; Antibacterial; Synergism
18.  Teratogenic Effect of the Water Extract of Bitter Gourd (Momordica Charantia) on the Sprague Dawley Rats 
It has been reported that the water extract of the whole unripe fruit of Momordica charantia can significantly reduce blood glucose levels. However the safety of its use during pregnancy has not been fully investigated. The aim of this investigation is to determine the safety of this extract during pregnancy. The water extract of the unripe fruit was given to pregnant Sprague Dawley rats on days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of gestation. The litter size was determined for each group and the litters were examined for gross malformations. The gross and histological examinations of various organs of the litters were also carried out. Results show that 8.65% of the litters from experimental animals were malformed as against 1.62% of control. It also showed that 31.2% of all the malformed litters had multiple congenital malformations. It also showed that the experimental rats had nine resorption sites while control had none. This demonstrates that the water extract of Momordica charantia is teratogenic in Sprague Dawley rats and should be used with caution in man.
PMCID: PMC3005383  PMID: 21304609
Momordica charantia teratogenicity
19.  Glabridin from Chinese Herb Licorice Inhibits Fatigue in Mice 
The inhibiting effect of glabridin from Chinese herb Licorice on fatigue was investigated in male BALB/c mice. Mice were divided into the following 4 experimental groups: control group (CG), low dose group (LG), middle dose group (MG) and high dose group (HG,). The control group was given 0.5% Tween 80 solution and the treatment groups (LG, MG, HG) were given various doses of glabridin (5, 10, 20 mg/kg) for 28 consecutive days. Body mass, blood lactic acid (BLA), serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN), liver glycogen and muscle glycogen concentrations in mice were determined. Results showed that glabridin significantly inhibited fatigue, which extended the exhaustive exercise time of mice, effectively delayed the elevation of blood lactic acid and increase in the storage of liver and muscle glycogen.
PMCID: PMC3005384  PMID: 21304608
glabridin; inhibits; fatigue; mice
20.  Traditional Management of Tuberculosis in Ogun State of Nigeria: The Practice and Ethnobotanical Survey 
An ethnobotanical survey was conducted on plants used traditionally for the management of tuberculosis in five local government areas of Ogun State, Nigeria, in a bid to document herbs used in the management of tuberculosis with the aim of identifying possible drug lead from the phytomedicine of these communities. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain the required information on the use of herbal remedies for the management. A total of 50 respondents made up of herbalists (40.0%), herb sellers (52.0%) and traditional medicine practitioners (8.0%) were interviewed in the study. The dominant age of respondents was in the range of 21–40 years (72.0%). Duration of treatment of tuberculosis with herbs was between 2–12 weeks. A total of 36 plants belonging to 20 families were proffered for the management of tuberculosis. Eighty four percent (42%) of the 50 respondents interviewed said that their clients observed no side effects and that the herbs were either available in the forest or purchased from the markets. Cola acumminata (fruit), Garcinia kola (leaf), Vitallaria parodoxa (oil), Costus afer (stem), Pycnanthus angolensis (stem bark) and Aframomum melegueta (fruit) were the most frequently mentioned herbs. The ethnomedicines of the studied areas of Ogun State, Nigeria seem to have a high potential as a source of drug discovery of anti-tuberculosis. This is of utmost importance because people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are susceptible to tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC3005385  PMID: 21304616
Ethnobotany; Tuberculosis; Traditional Management; Ogun State; Medicinal Plants
21.  Traditional Medicine as an Alternative Form of Health Care System: A Preliminary Case Study of Nangabo Sub-County, Central Uganda 
This study was conducted in Nangabo sub-county of Wakiso district. The purpose was to document the common Traditional Medicine (TM) practices; assess the local people's preferences for TM versus western medicine (WM) and lastly to determine the awareness about the importance of TM by local people. Data were collected using semi-structured administered face-to-face with respondents. A total of 120 interviewed. Six focused group discussions (FGDs) were held to validate the questionnaire responses. Data were analyzed descriptively using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings indicated that most (43%) respondents derive their livelihoods from traditional medicine practices. Three forms of TM were reported-herbalism (67%), spiritual counseling (23%) and bone setting (10%). Although the majority (81%) of respondents were quite aware of the importance of TM in the sustenance of health care system, majority (55%) of them shunned TM in preference to WM, largely because of the belief that TM is evil-founded and devilish in nature. Only 45% of the respondents preferred TM to WM. The main reasons given for visiting TM practioners rather than western medical practitioners were that TM is sometimes more effective than WM and that in many instances it has very minimal side effects on the human body. There is, however, a need for Ugandan government to legitimize the practice of TM since it contributes a lot to health care needs in areas where western medicine is insufficiently provided. In addition, there is a need for further research into the efficacy and safety of traditional medicines if it is to be adequately integrated into western medicine.
PMCID: PMC3005386  PMID: 21304607
Traditional medicine; health care; herbalism; spiritual counseling; bone setting; Uganda
22.  Microanatomical Effects of Ethanolic Extract of Cola Nitida on the Stomach Mucosa of Adult Wistar Rats 
The study investigated the microanatomical effects of the extracts of Cola nitida on the stomach mucosa of adult male Wistar rats. Twenty adult male wistar rats were randomly divided into four equal groups of A, B, C and D (n=5). Animals in experimental groups B, C and D were given 600mg/kg body weight of crude extract of Cola nitida each by oral intubation for five, seven and nine consecutive days respectively, while group A (control) received equivalent volume of distilled water. Twenty four hrs after the last administration, the animals were sacrificed; tissues were harvested and fixed in 10% formol saline for histological analysis. The study revealed necrotized surface epithelium, degenerated gastric mucosa, and loss of glandular elements in the stomachs of experimental groups' vis-à-vis the control group. These observations were days-dependent; as those groups which received the extract for higher number of days were seen to be adversely affected. In conclusion, Cola nitida at 600mg/kg body weight can cause gastric lesion in animals. This lesion may be pronounced if the administration continued for days. Cola nitida should, therefore, be taken with caution to avoid gastric complications.
PMCID: PMC3005387  PMID: 21304612
Cola nitida; necrotized; degenerated; stomach mucosa; microanatomy; glandular elements
23.  Studies on the Antioxidant Properties of Tualang Honey of Malaysia 
Honey has been used since ancient times for its nutritional as well as curative properties. Tualang honey is collected from wild honey bees' hives on Tualang trees found in the Malaysian rain forest. It has been used traditionally for the treatment of various diseases, where its therapeutic value has partly been related to its antioxidant properties. This study therefore assessed the colour intensity, total phenolic content, antioxidant activity and antiradical activity of gamma irradiated Tualang Honey. The colour intensity at ABS45O was 489.5 ± 1.7 mAU, total phenolic content was 251.7±7.9 mg gallic acid /Kg honey, total antioxidant activity by FRAP assay was 322.1±9.7 (µM Fe(II)) and the antiradical activity by DPPH assay was 41.30 ± 0.78 (% inhibition). The data confirms that the antioxidant properties of gamma irradiated Tualang honey are similar to other types of honeys reported in the literature.
PMCID: PMC3005388  PMID: 21304614
Tualang honey; Malaysia; Total antioxidant activity; Gamma radiation; Phenolic content; DPPH assay
24.  Antifungal Activity of Crude Extracts of Gladiolus Dalenii van Geel (Iridaceae) 
Bulb extracts of Gladiolus dalenii reportedly used in the treatment of fungal infections in HIV/AIDS patients in the Lake Victoria region were tested for antifungal activity using the disc diffusion assay technique. Commercially used antifungal drugs, Ketaconazole and Griseofulvin (Cosmos Pharmaceuticals) were used as standards. Dichloromethane (CH2CL2)/Methanol (MeOH) in the ratio 1:1. Soluble extracts showed antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger. Direct bioautography on silica gel Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and appropriate spraying agents were used to identify the active component in the extract. The activities of both the extracts were higher than that of Griseofulvin. CH2CL2 soluble extract in addition showed ability to delay sporulation in A.niger. The active group of compounds in the extracts was identified as alkaloids, which offer immense potential for development of new and valuable pharmaceutical products.
PMCID: PMC3005389  PMID: 21304613
G. dalenii; Aspergillus niger; Antifungal activity
25.  Chlorella Vulgaris Modulates Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced DNA Damage and Telomere Shortening of Human Fibroblasts Derived from Different Aged Individuals 
The objective of this study was to investigate the modulatory effect of Chlorella vulgaris on cultured fibroblast cells derived from young and old aged individuals focusing on DNA damage, telomere length and telomerase activity. Dose-response test of the algal extract on cells in both age groups revealed that optimum viability was observed at a concentration of 50 µg/ml. Results obtained showed that Chlorella vulgaris exhibited protective effects against H2O2-induced oxidative stress as shown by the reduction in damaged DNA caused by H2O2 treatment (p<0.05) in Chlorella vulgaris pre- and post-treated groups (p<0.05). Pre-treatment of Chlorella vulgaris resulted in a significant decrease in DNA damage suggesting a bioprotective effect against free radical attacks. A decline in DNA damage was observed in post-treated cells which proves Chlorella vulgaris to present bioremediative properties. In cells induced with oxidative stress, telomere length decreased significantly coupled with a concomitant decline of telomerase activity (p<0.05). However, these reductions were prevented with prior and post treatment of Chlorella vulgaris. Therefore, we concluded that Chlorella vulgaris exhibited bioprotective effects especially in cells obtained from young donor but were more bioremediative for cells obtained from old donor as indicated by DNA damage, telomere shortening and reduction in telomerase activity.
PMCID: PMC2816465  PMID: 20606778
Chlorella vulgaris; DNA damage; telomere; telomerase; ageing

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