Rhus semialata Murr. (Anacardiaceae) is a deciduous tree of north eastern India. The fruit of this plant is traditionally used to control diarrhoea and dysentery. The Present study was undertaken to evaluate anti-diarrhoeal potency of methanol extract of fruits of R. semialata using Wister albino rats to substantiate folklore claims. The extract at graded doses (100, 200, 400 and 600 mg/kg body weight) was investigated for anti-diarrhoeal activity in term of reduction in the rate of defecation in castor oil induced diarrhoea. To understand the mechanism of its antidiarrhoeal activity, the gastrointestinal transit and PGE2-induced intestinal fluid accumulation (enteropooling) were further evaluated. At graded doses, the extract showed a remarkable anti-diarrhoeal activity evidenced by the reduction in the rate of defecation up to 80.70 % of control diarrhoeal animals at the dose of 600 mg/kg body weight. Results are comparable to that of standard drug diphenoxylate (50 mg/kg body weight). Extract produced profound decrease in intestinal transit (8.02 – 47.05 %) at selected doses comparable to that of single intraperitoneal injection of standard drug atropine sulphate at doses of 0.1 mg/kg body weight. It significantly inhibited PGE2-induced enteropooling (21.98 – 56.03 %). The results indicated that the methanol extract of the fruits of R. semialata possesses significant anti-diarrhoeal effect and substantiated the use of this herbal remedy as a non-specific treatment for diarrhoea in folk medicine.
Atropin sulphate; Castor oil; Diarrhoea; Diphenoxylate; Rhus semialata
The methanolic extract of the roots of Asparagus africanus Lam (Liliaceae) which contains mainly saponins and carbohydrate showed significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities (P<0.05) in the tail-flick/hot-plate test and egg albumen-induced rat paw oedema tests that were comparable to the test drugs (morphine 20mg/kg and indomethacin 50mg/kg respectively). These results indicate that the extract possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Asparagus africanus; roots; analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities
Direct detection of saponins in medicinal plants using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is reported in this paper. Crude dry plant powders were mixed with potassium bromide (KBr) powder and compressed to a thin pellet for infrared examination. FTIR spectra of the test samples showed -OH, -C=O, C-H, and C=C absorptions characteristic of oleanane triterpenoid saponins. The C-O-C absorptions indicated glycoside linkages to the sapogenins. Phytochemical analysis confirmed the presence of saponins in the tested specimens. Entada leptostachya was used as a reference sample. Dry plant powder was extracted sequentially with hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol. FTIR spectra of the reference sample powder and its organic solvent extracts showed characteristic saponin absorption peaks. These results indicated that direct detection of saponins in medicinal plants was possible by infrared analysis. Lengthy exhaustive chemical analyses necessary for detection of saponins could be avoided.
Medicinal plants; saponins; infrared spectra; potassium bromide; glycoside
Chronic alcohol ingestion is known to increase the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby leading to liver damage. Antioxidant enzymes act individually or in combination to reduce or counter the effect of these ROS. Chronic administration of alcohol at (40% v/v, 1ml/100g), for 6 weeks showed a significant (p<0.05) elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and total bilirubin (TB). There was also a significant (p<0.05) decreased levels of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase compared to control rats. Pre-treatment of rats with 200, 400 mg/kg body weight of aqueous leaf extract of Ziziphus mauritiana or 100 mg/kg silymarin resulted in a significant (p<0.05) decreased levels of ALT, AST, ALP, and TB with levels of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase showing a significant (p<0.05) increase compared to group administered alcohol only. Histopathology of rat liver administered with alcohol only resulted in severe necrosis, mononuclear cell aggregation and fatty degeneration in the central and mid zonal areas which was a characteristic of a damaged liver. Pre-treatment with the aqueous extract of Ziziphus mauritiana or silymarin reduced the morphological changes that are associated with chronic alcohol administration. The presence of tannins, saponins and phenolic compounds observed in the plant extract could be responsible for the observed effects of decreasing the levels of injured tissue marker and lipid peroxidation.
Antioxidant enzymes; Ziziphus mauritiana; alcohol; liver damage
Bidens pilosa L. is an Asteraceae growing in tropical zones, and traditionally utilized worldwide in herbal medicine. The present work is based on its traditional use during child birth as a labour facilitator. In vivo tests of acute toxicity showed a weak toxic effect for both extracts but the toxicity of the ethanol extract (LD50=6.15g/kg) was upper than that of the aqueous extract (LD50=12.30g/kg). The three-days uterotrophic assay on immature mice showed body weight gain followed by a concentration-dependent decrease up to 4mg/g and a concentration dependent uterine wet weight increase. The ethanol extract exhibited the higher body weight gain representing 22.8±0.7%, (P≤0.001), at the concentration of 500µg/g/day, while the aqueous extract was significantly more efficient on the uterine wet weight gain of 0.24±0.001% (P≤0.05), at the concentration of 1000µg/g/day. In vitro isometric contraction measurement of oestrogen-primed rat uterine strips showed a significant high aqueous extract-induced contractile effect from 0.03–1.97mg/ml: on the amplitude of contraction (EC50 = 0.44±0.10mg/ml, P≤0.05), and on the rate (1.21±0.25mg/ml, P>0.05). Inspite of the higher effect of the aqueous extract on the tonus (57.23±23%), the ethanol extract showed a high effect (EC50=0.34±0.09mg/ml, P≤0.05). The weak toxicity, the estrogenic-like and the oxytocic-like activities observed could explain the empirical use of Bidens pilosa leaf aqueous extract as an uterotonic preparation to enhance labour, probably due to the presence of biologically active compound(s) which act directly on the uterine muscle.
Bidens pilosa L. Leaf; Uterotrophic; Uterotonic; Mouse; Rat
The antigenotoxic effect of ferulic acid was carried out by evaluating the cytogenetic markers, the micronuclei frequency and chromosomal aberrations, in the bone marrow of hamsters in 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) induced genotoxicity. Genotoxicity was induced in experimental hamsters by single intraperitoneal injection of DMBA (30mg kg−1 b.w). Pretreatment of ferulic acid orally at a dose of 40mg kg−1 b.w for five days significantly reduced the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MnPCEs) and the percentage of chromosomal aberrations in hamster's bone marrow. Our results thus suggest that ferulic acid has potent antigenotoxic effect in DMBA induced genotoxicity in golden Syrian hamsters.
DMBA; ferulic acid; genotoxicity; chromosomal aberrations; lipid peroxidation; antioxidants; hamster
Ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts of unflowering aerial part of Macfadyena unguis-cati L. (Fam. Bignoniaceae) were found to be rich in phenolic compounds. From ethyl acetate extract, six flavonoids were identified, 8, methoxy, acacetin, 7-O glucoside; 6, methoxy apigenin 7-O glucoside; 4‵-O methyl scutellarin, 6-O apiosyl galactoside; acacetin, 7-O glucosyl, 8-C rhamnosyl, 3-O-α arabinofuranoside; 4‵-methyl, 6- methoxy kaempferol, 7-O, 8-C diglucoside and vicenin II were isolated, while 6, methoxy, acacetin 7-O glucoside; and quercitrin were isolated from ethanol extract. These compounds were characterized and identified by their physicochemical and spectral data. The crude ethanol extract exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity (80.47%) and moderate cytotoxic activity against lung cell line.
Macfadyena unguis-cati L.; Bignoniaceae; flavonoids; anti-inflammatory; cytotoxicity
The use of herbal remedies had increased significantly in the last one decade in Nigeria. This has led to the production of herbal products with bogus claims. The microbial quality and antibacterial properties of two Nigerian herbal remedies with such claimed efficacy of curing all manners of microbial diseases were assessed. The herbal remedies were discovered to be contaminated with the following microorganisms: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus cereus, Basidiobotrytis sp, Oedocephalum sp, Varicosporium sp and Articulospora inflata. Antibacterial analysis using the killing rate revealed that the herbal remedies had bacteriostatic and not bacteriocidal effect. Qualitative phytochemical screening of the herbal remedies revealed the presence of saponin, tannins, alkaloids, anthraquinone and cardiac glycosides which suggest possible antimicrobial effect. However, the presence of microbial contaminants in the herbal remedies suggests that they may serve as source of infection to end users.
Microbial; load; antibacterial; herbal; remedies
The aqueous extracts from medicinal plants commonly used by herbalists in Mbeere, and Embu districts of Eastern province, Kenya, were tested for their inhibitory activity against three selected strains of bacteria. All the selected plant extracts (infusions: 1.0g sample in 100 ml water) investigated showed activity against Escherichia coli with inhibition zone diameters ranging from 5.8 – 18.0 mm. Terminalia brownii gave the largest inhibition zones against E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Vernonia lasiopus and Tithonia diversifolia were inactive to S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. Eighteen and sixteen plants showed sensitivity of greater than 10 mm against S. aureus and B. subtilis, respectively. All control discs gave zones of inhibition of 12 – 24 mm, which were larger than those of the extracts. The present study validated the use of the selected medicinal plants by the herbalists in the treatment of bacterial ailments caused by the strains of bacteria investigated. Medicinal plants used for non-bacterial diseases also exhibited sensitivity towards bacterial strains tested. This implied they could be used as multi-purpose medicinal plants.
Terminalia brownii; inhibition zone; aqueous extract; Escherichia coli; Kenya
The present study was aimed at investigating the antioxidant activities of the various fractions of the hydromethanolic extract of the leaves of Coccinia grandis L. Voigt. (Cucurbitaceae). The antioxidant activities of the fractions have been evaluated by using nine in vitro assays and were compared to standard antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol, curcumin and butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT). All the fractions showed effective H-donor activity, reducing power, free radical scavenging activity, metal chelating ability and inhibition of β-carotene bleaching. None of the fractions exerted an obvious pro-oxidant activity. The antioxidant property depends upon concentration and increased with increasing amount of the fractions. The free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities may be attributed to the presence of phenolic and flavonoid compounds present in the fractions. The results obtained in the present study indicate that the leaves of C. grandis are a potential source of natural antioxidant.
Coccinia grandis (Cucurbitaceae); free radicals; antioxidant; pro-oxidant
Phytochemical screening was carried out on the ethylacetate portion of the ethanolic extract of the leaves of Pseudocedrella kotschyii and then evaluated for its analgesic (acetic acid-induced writhing) and anti-inflammatory (raw egg albumin-induced oedema) activities in mice and rats respectively. Phytochemical screening of the ethylacetate partition portion of ethanolic extract revealed the presence of flavonoids, glycosides and tannins as major chemical constituents. Alkaloids saponins, cardiac glycosides, steroids were not dictated in the extract. The ethylacetate extract (50 and 100 mg/kg i.p) exhibited significant activity (p<0.05) against acetic acid-induced writhing in a dose dependent manner. In the anti-inflammatory activity the ethylacetate extract (50 and 100 mg/kg i.p.) caused a slight effect against the raw egg albumin-induced oedema. The effect was however observed not to be dose dependent. All these effects were compared with standard drug piroxicam (20 mg/kg i.p.).
Acetic acid-induced writhing; Analgesic; Anti-inflammatory; Meliaceae; Oedema; Phytochemistry; Pseudocedrella kotschyii
Ethnobotany; Kenya medicinal plants; Nandi people
Diabetes mellitus is a global metabolic epidemic affecting essential biochemical activities in almost every age group. Indian literatures like Ayurveda have already mentioned herbal remediation for a number of human ailments. Among Indian traditional medicinal plants several potential anti-diabetic plants and herbs are being used as part of our diet since prehistoric time. India has a long list of native medicinal plants with confirmed blood sugar lowering property. Some of these have proved remarkable for cure of diabetes and its complications. The current paper is aimed at providing a review on clinical and experimental studies carried out on the most effective and commonly used hypoglycemic plants and herbs species from traditional Indian flora. This write-up includes hypoglycemic and anti-hyperglycemic activities of plants, active hypoglycemic compounds and constituents along with their available toxicity status.
Ayurveda; Anti-diabetic; Hypoglycemia; India; Traditional herbs
The activities of total extracts and lupane triterpenes, isolated from the stem bark of Acacia mellifera, were evaluated against Plasmodium berghei strain ANKA in a female Swiss mouse model. Five isolated compounds and the crude extracts were evaluated for antimalarial activity and Quinine hydrochloride was used as a positive control. Only betulin and the methanolic extract produced considerable antimalarial activity in mice infected with P. berghei parasites. This study demonstrated the presence of bioactive agents in Acacia mellifera.
Acacia mellifera; lupane triterpenes; Antimalarial activity; mice
Hydrodistillation of berries and leaves of Juniperus phoenicea grown in Sinai yielded volatile oils in the yield of 0.36 and 1.96%, respectively. Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry technique, fifty eight compounds were identified in berry oil representing 99.2% of the oil composition. α-Pinene was the major compound in berry oil (39.30%) followed by sabinene (24.29%). Berry oil composed mainly of monoterpenoids which amounted to 90.53%, of which 72.85% was monoterpene hydrocarbons. The sesquiterpenoids accounted for about 8% of the total oil composition. Leaf oil was composed of about 66 compounds representing 99.16% of the total composition of the oil. α-Pinene was the major constituent of leaf oil at concentration of 38.22%, followed by α -cedrol (31.23%). The monoterpene hydrocarbon was the predominant chemical group (41.29%) followed by the oxygenated sesquiterpenes (32.21%). Both oils showed very high cytotoxic activities against all cell line tested. They showed equal activities against brain (0.6 µg//ml) and cervix (5.0 µg//ml) human cell lines, while berry oil was slightly more active than leaf oil against lung (0.6 and 0.7 µ/ml, respectively), liver (0.7 and 0.9 µg//ml, respectively) and breast human cell lines (0.8 and 1. µg//ml, respectively).
The antimicrobial activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of leaf and berry oils were also determined. The oils showed high activity against most of the tested strains.
Juniperus phoenicea; Cupressaceae; essential oils; berries; leaves; antimicrobial; cytotoxic; GC-MS analysis
Four plants (Amphimas pterocaroides, Harungana madagascariensis, Myrianthus arboreus, and Cussonia barteri) that are commonly used in Cameroon for the management or reversal of anaemia were screened for their phytochemical content and antioxidant potential. Four extracts (methanolic, hydro-ethanolic, aqueous, and hydrolysed) from each of the plants were prepared and analysed. Qualitative phytochemical tests were used to detect the presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides and phenols, while three quantitative methods; Folin, Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) and diphenyl -1, 2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) were used to determine the antioxidant potential of these extracts. With the exception of the extracts of Cussonia barteri (negative for triterpenes and phenols) and the aqueous extract of Harungana madagascariensis (negative result for cardiac glycosides and glycosides), all other extracts contained the phytochemicals tested. The highest antioxidant activities were observed in the hydrolysed extracts of each plant, while the aqueous extract showed the least activity irrespective of the method used. The presence of active phytochemical substances with antioxidant activities may provide substantial basis for the use of these plants in ethnomedicine.
Phytochemicals; Antioxidant; Folin; FRAP; DPPH
Decoctions and infusions of Artocarpus communis (Forst.) (family: Moraceae) root-bark are commonly used traditionally among the Yoruba-speaking people of Western Nigeria as folk remedies for the management, control and/or treatment of an array of human diseases, including type 2, adult-onset diabetes mellitus. Although numerous bioactive flavonoids have been isolated from the roots, stem-bark and leaves of A. communis, to the best of our knowledge, the effects of the plant's root-bark extract on animal model of diabetes mellitus and on liver tissues have hitherto, not been reported in the biomedical literature. In view of this, the present study was undertaken to investigate the glycaemic effect of, and hepatic tissue ultrastructural, morphological and metabolic changes induced by, A. communis root-bark aqueous extract (ACE) in Wistar rats. The ultrastructural, morphological and metabolic effects of ACE have been compared with those induced by streptozotocin (STZ) in rat experimental paradigms. Four groups (A, B, C and D) of Wistar rats, each group containing 10 rats, were used. Diabetes mellitus was induced in the diabetic groups B and C animals by intraperitoneal injections of STZ (75 mg/kg body weight), while group A rats received A. communis root-bark aqueous extract (ACE, 100 mg/kg body weight, i.p.) alone. Control group D rats received distilled water in quantities equivalent to the volume of ACE administered intraperitoneally. The rats in group C were additionally treated with ACE (100 mg/kg body weight i. p.) daily from day 3 to day 10 after STZ treatment. Hepatic glucokinase, hexokinase, glutamate dehydrogenase, succinate dehydrogenase, β-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, serum insulin and blood glucose levels of the animals were measured and recorded before and after ACE, STZ and STZ+ACE treatments. Hepatic tissues were also processed for transmission electron microscopy. Electron microscopic examinations showed toxic, deleterious alterations in the ultrastructures of groups A, B and C hepatic cells, the most prominent deleterious effects being on the hepatocytes. Ultrastructural changes observed within the hepatocytes of groups A, B and C rats include disrupted mitochondria with increase in lipid droplets, extensive hepatocellular vacuolation, scanty rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and ribosomes. Large glycogen clusters were also noticed displacing the mitochondria and RER in group A rats. Group A rats also developed significant hyperglycemia (p<0.05) immediately after ACE administration, while groups B and C rats developed hyperglycemia 24 hours after STZ treatment. When compared with the control group D rats, the activities of all the three subsystems were disrupted, leading to overall inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation of the liver mitochondria in groups A, B and C rats, but remain normal in the untreated group D control rats. The findings of the present study indicate that A. communis root-bark aqueous extract induces hyperglycaemia in the experimental animal model used, and that the plant's extract disrupts the ultrastructural characteristics and architecture of hepatocytes as well as oxidative energy metabolism.
Artocarpus communis; streptozotocin; hyperglycaemic effects; hepatic tissues; ultrastructural and metabolic changes
Poverty is present everywhere but the kind in Africa is of great magnitude both in its spread and destitutive dimension. In other places any manifestation of poverty is a challenge to move forward but in Africa, the reverse is the case. Therefore the continent and international community are not happy about it, hence various programmes and strategies were put in place. Ironically there is little to show for it. For instance, about ten years before the end of millennium, the common slogan in Africa was ‘water for all, food for all, education for all, health for all and so on by the year 2000’. The ‘miracle’ year 2000 has come and gone and water, food, education and health are not enjoyed by many citizens of the continent. Development is still illusive. In this paper I examine the issues of poverty and development in the context of deforestation/biodiversity a consequent effect of global warming being one of the major threats to humanity. Some questions are raised with a view to proffer recommendations that may move the continent forward. These are: What are the roots of poverty in Africa? Why should there be a symbiotic relationship between poverty and development in Africa? Can Africa really develop?
Development; sustainable development; poverty; symbiotic relationship; Environment; population
The solvent partitioned purified fractions of the hydro-acetone root bark extract of the African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) were evaluated for hypoglycemic activities in normal and diabetic albino rats. Fasting blood glucose levels were estimated by the use of a glucometer at pre-determined intervals after oral administration of the test extracts/fractions. Results revealed that the test fractions have only a slight effect on blood sugar level of normal rats. On short term and chronic administration in diabetic rats however, diethyl ether-soluble (DEF) and the water-soluble (WSF) fractions significantly reduced the fasting blood sugar levels (p<0.05) at differing rates when compared with the control group of animals. The diethyl ether soluble fraction (10 mg kg−1 dose level) was found to exhibit the highest activity giving 69.4% reduction in blood sugar level (at 240 hours) which was in comparable range with the reference standard glibenclamide (0.5 mg kg−1) which reduced blood sugar levels by 65.8% below the initial baseline values.
Treculia africana; Moraceae; hypoglycemic activity; alloxanized albino rats
Anthocephalus cadamba (Roxb.) Miq. Syn A. chinensis (Lamk) A. Rich (Rubiaceae) is ethnomedicinally widely used in the form of paste by tribe in western Ghats for treating skin diseases. In this context, antimicrobial potential of A. cadamba against a wide range of microorganisms was studied. To validate the ethnotherapeutic claims of the plant in skin diseases, wound healing activity was studied, besides antioxidant activity to understand the mechanism of wound healing. The alchoholic and aqueous extract of this plant showed significant antibacterial and antifungal activity against almost all the organisms: Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and four fungi Candida albicans, Trichophyton rubrum—dermatophyte fungi, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus nidulans—systemic fungi, with especially good activity against the dermatophyte (Trichophyton rubrum) and some infectious bacteria (Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis and Staphylococcus aureus) with an MIC of 2.5 µg/disc. The results show that A. cadamba extract has potent wound healing capacity as shown from the wound contraction and increased tensile strength. The results also indicated that A. cadamba extract possesses potent antioxidant activity by inhibiting lipid peroxidation and increase in the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activity.
Anthocephalus cadamba; Antimicrobial activity; Antioxidant; Wound healing
This paper analysed the twin-problems of unemployment and poverty. The methodology adopted in the analyses was a combination of the historical and logico-mathematical research perspectives. The results showed that the technologically advanced nations (TANs) experienced mass unemployment, low productivity, high inflation and prevalent poverty problems for many centuries before they achieved industrial revolution (IR). When they achieved the modern IR, not only did the mass unemployment problem disappear, but also, there were not enough adults persons to fill the employment openings created by the industrialisation. Consequently, industrialists resorted to employing children who worked in factories for many hours everyday, and prevented them from receiving education. Unemployment and poverty, therefore are symptoms of stagnation and lack of industrialisation (the disease). The long-term solution to mass unemployment and poverty therefore is industrialisation, for there is no industrialised nation that is poor. The short-term solution is promoting sustainable economic growth and competence-building. However, because achieving sustainable economic growth, competence-building and industrialisation are learning processes, Nigeria and other developing nations need to develop good educational systems. They should also establish suitable frameworks for training university graduates, scientists and engineers in particular in a curriculum-based scheme to acquire complementary practical skills in the economy outside campuses. This is how the poor nations can achieve sustainable growth, build-up individual and national competence, promote industrialisation and eliminate unemployment and poverty problems, speedily.
Sustainable economic growth; Industrialization; Unemployment; Poverty
The leaves of the plants Daniellia oliveri (Fabaceae) and Ficus sycomorus (Moraceae) used in diarrhea treatment in Hausa ethnomedicine of Northern Nigeria were investigated. The study was carried out on parfused isolated rabbit jejunum and castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice. The n-butanol extracts: NBD and NBF (0.16–3.2mg/ml) caused a dose-dependent relaxation of isolated rabbit jejunum. The acute toxicity test for NBD and NBT in mice established an i.p LD50 of > 4000mg/kg for D. oliveri and 1131.4mg/kg for F. sycomorus. In castor oil-induced diarrhea, 80% protection was observed for D. oliveri at doses of 200mg/kg and 60% protection was observed at 100mg/kg and 50mg/kg respectively. For F. sycomorus 100% protection was observed at doses of 120mg/kg and 60mg/kg, for the n-butanol extract. The antidiarrheal activity was comparable to loperamide 5mg/kg. The result revealed that the extracts have pharmacological activity against diarrhea.
Anti-diarrhea; castor oil; n-butanol extracts; tissue relaxation
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.
Cytotoxicity; Soqotra; Fl-cells