Medicinal Plants Used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Treat Infectious Diseases


Ethnobotanical and antimicrobial study of some selected medicinal plants used in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) as a potential source to cure infectious diseases

Khan N, Abbasi AM, Dastagir G, Nazir A, Shah GM, Shah MM, Shah MH
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 4;14:122
PubMed Central PMC3977958

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan [source: Wikimedia Commons, TUBS]
Investigators at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, University of Peshawar, Hazara University Mansehra, and Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad conducted antimicrobial screening of medicinally important plants used by the inhabitants of district Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for infectious diseases.

The authors note the need for new sources of antimicrobial agents:

“In countries where the infectious diseases are prevalent, there is a need to develop some medicine of plant origin against persisting infectious diseases, which may be comparable to modern medicines and antibiotics. Medicinal plants used in the traditional medicines offer a great reservoir for the discovery of new plants having antimicrobial properties comparable to antibiotics used in modern medicines. Since almost all the antimicrobial agents are being imported and by considering the availability of medicinal plants in these countries, a lot of foreign exchange may be saved. In addition the cost of treatment is steadily increasing and it is becoming unaffordable by common user. Therefore, development of therapeutic agents from our own indigenous resources will be of great help.”

Artemisia maritima
Artemisia maritima [source: Wikimedia Commons, Sten Porse]
Based on information collected from local residents, the team evaluated in vitro antimicrobial effects of 10 medicinal plants: Artemisia maritima, Azadirachta indica, Bergenia ciliata, Caloptropis procera, Cedrela toona, Eucalyptus globulus, Melia azedarach, Neolitsea chinensis, Nigella sativa, and Punica granatum.

In their conclusion, the authors note that several of the plant extracts show promising antimicrobial activity justifying their usage in traditional medicines, and that they will continue the study to identify more plants with potential antimicrobial components.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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