Nigerian Ethnomedicines Used Against Tuberculosis – A Collaborative Assessment


Some Nigerian anti-tuberculosis ethnomedicines: a preliminary efficacy assessment

Ibekwe NN, Nvau JB, Oladosu PO, Usman AM, Ibrahim K, Boshoff HI, Dowd CS, Orisadipe AT, Aiyelaagbe O, Adesomoju AA, Barry CE 3rd, Okogun JI; collaboration with 73 Visited Herbalists
J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Aug 8;155(1):524-32
PubMed Central PMC4154137

Investigators from the Nigerian National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, University of Ibadan, U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Pax Herbal Clinic & Research Laboratories, George Washington University, and Sheda Science and Technology Complex, in collaboration with 73 herbalists, carried out a preliminary modern scientific evaluation of the efficacy of a number of Nigerian ethnomedicines used by traditional medicine practitioners in the management of tuberculosis and related ailments.

The team collected ethnomedicinal recipes from traditional medicine practitioners in four geographical regions of Nigeria under a collaborative understanding, and screened extracts against Mycobacterium bovis, BCG, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Abrus precatorius
Abrus precatorius [source: Wikimedia Commons, USGS Plants of Hawaii]
They identified 12 plants that screening found to be particularly active: Abrus precatorius, Anogeissus leocarpus [Anogeissus leiocarpa], Cassia siberiana, Combretum molle, Erythrina senegalensis, Garcinia kola, Khaya grandifolia, Pentaclethra macrophylla, Pterocarpus osun, Securidaca longepedunculata, Tapinanthus sessifolia, Terminalia avicennioides, and Tetrapleura tetraptera.

From the conclusion:

“Our study clearly showed that Nigerian herbalists have recipes that have likely been effective to some extent for the management of tuberculosis among the rural population of the Country. The recipes need to be fully analyzed for the purpose of potentially identifying new antituberculosis drug scaffolds and in the process, assist in the standardization of the local antituberculosis herbal recipes. The case has been made for applying ‘omics’ technologies to phytomedicines and traditional recipes which have historically been used over decades or centuries for the treatment of tuberculosis symptoms as a starting point for the discovery of new drugs and drug scaffolds. We anticipate that using ‘omics’ technologies in systems biology approaches combined with chemical informatics of various scaffolds characterized in active at least partially purified extracts, could make studies initiated around plants and indigenous herbal recipes relatively efficient in the rapid identification of new drug leads for tuberculosis…

“The following criteria are recommended for the prioritization of the plants for further studies: (i) potency of the extract based on the MIC values, (ii) published work on the biology and chemistry of the plants, (iii) novelty of information of the plant’s use as anti-TB remedy and (iv) the frequency of occurrence of the plants in the collected recipes. Using these criteria, the following plants are recommended for the initial further studies: Ficus sur, Pavetta crassipes, Combretum molle, Waltheria indica and Crotolaria lachnosema [Crotalaria lachnosema], Anogiessus leocarpus [Anogeissus leiocarpa], Calliandra portoricensis, Cassia sieberiana, Abrus precatorius and Cussonia arborea.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

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