Evaluation of the use of Ocimum suave Willd. (Lamiaceae), Plectranthus barbatus Andrews (Lamiaceae) and Zanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. (Rutaceae) as antimalarial remedies in Kenyan folk medicine
Kiraithe, Micheni N
Nguta, Joseph M
Mbaria, James M
Kiama, Stephen G
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Ethnopharmacological relevance Crude extracts from the leaves of Ocimum suave Willd (Lamiaceae) and the root barks of Plectranthus barbatus Andrews (Lamiaceae) and Zanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. (Rutaceae) were studied to ascertain the ethnopharmacological standing of their antimalarial usage in Kenyan folk medicine. Materials and methods Aqueous and Chloroform: Methanol (1:1) extracts of the plants were used in this study. Toxicity of the extracts was investigated by using brine shrimp lethality test and acute oral toxicity in mice. The antimalarial activity at a dose of 100 mg/kg was screened in Swiss albino mice against chloroquine sensitive Plasmodium berghei (D6) using Peters 4-day suppressive test. Chloroquine, at a dosage rate of 20 mg/kg was used as a reference drug. Results The extracts showed some signs of acute toxicity in the brine shrimp lethality test. However, no signs of toxicity were observed in the mice at a dose of 2000 mg/kg of the crude extracts. The results revealed that all the tested crude extracts were safe. Z. chalybeum aqueous extract and P. barbatus organic extract showed chemosuppressive activities of 81.45% and 78.69%, respectively. This antimalarial activity was not significantly different from that of chloroquine (P<0.05). Conclusion The findings suggest that the Kenyan folkloric medicinal application of these plants has a pharmacological basis. Bioactivity guided fractionation and isolation of bioactive molecules from the two species could lead to new hits against Plasmodiumfalciparum malaria.
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