Investigation of some medicinal plants traditionally used for treatment of malaria in Kenya as potential sources of antimalarial drugs.
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Malaria is a major public health problem in many tropical and subtropical countries and the burden of this disease is getting worse, mainly due to the increasing resistance of Plasmodium falciparum against the widely available antimalarial drugs. There is an urgent need for discovery of new antimalarial agents. Herbal medicines for the treatment of various diseases including malaria are an important part of the cultural diversity and traditions of which Kenya′s biodiversity has been an integral part. Two major antimalarial drugs widely used today came originally from indigenous medical systems, that is quinine and artemisinin, from Peruvian and Chinese ancestral treatments, respectively. Thus ethnopharmacology is a very important resource in which new therapies may be discovered. The present review is an analysis of ethnopharmacological publications on antimalarial therapies from some Kenyan medicinal plants.