An Evaluation of Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Effects of Natural Foods and Medicinal Plants of the Ilkisonko Maasai Community, Kenya
Kimondo, Julia W
MetadataShow full item record
Background The Ilkisonko Maasai are a pastoralist community in Kajiado County, Kenya that uses indigenous plants for ethnomedicinal interventions. Methodology An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in Loitokitok sub-county using a semi-structured questionnaire to collect information on plants with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic or adaptogenic activity. Plants were collected and underwent preliminary screening by assessing the phenolic content, flavonoid content and antioxidant activity via the Folin and Ciocalteu’s method, aluminium chloride colorimetric method and 2, 2- Diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl test respectively. From the assays, plant extracts with the highest antioxidant activity were selected to undergo in vivo testing. Anti-inflammatory activity of the methanol extracts of these plants was evaluated via the carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema. After this, one plant was subjected to chromatographic fractionation and isolation of the active ingredients. Spectroscopic techniques were used for structural elucidation of the isolated compounds. Results The ethnobotanical survey yielded 30 plant species from 21 families and 25 genera reportedly used as food and/or medicine. Some of the commonly treated ailments included body pains, stomach aches, constipation, joint aches, back aches, and sexually transmitted infections. The plants were also used as adaptogens, digestives, and restoratives. In the phytochemical assays, the methanol extracts had a higher phenolic content with the exception of a few plants in which the phenolic content in the water extract is higher. Acacia nilotica methanol and water extracts had the highest phenolic content and antioxidant activity, while Acacia reficiens had the highest flavonoid content. In the anti-inflammatory assay, the selected plants all exhibited anti-inflammatory activity at early phase of inflammation. Grewia villosa extract underwent chromatographic isolation to give two pure compounds. Conclusion and recommendations This study has shown a positive correlation between the polyphenolic content and the antioxidant effect of plants and hence their health benefits in humans. This might encourage xiv growing and consumption of these foods. Thus, it is vital to perform a large-scale systematic screening of these herbs to add new knowledge on nutraceuticals. Further, the isolated bioactive compounds may act as starting points in drug development by providing templates for semi-synthetic derivation of more active compounds.
university of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
The following license files are associated with this item: