Tag Archives: malaria

Medicinal plants of Babile Wereda, Eastern Ethiopia

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Medicinal plants potential and use by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Erer Valley of Babile Wereda, Eastern Ethiopia

Belayneh A, Asfaw Z, Demissew S, Bussa NF
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2012 Oct 22;8:42
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3549935

Researchers at Haramaya University and Addis Ababa University undertook an ethnobotanical study centered around the potential and use of traditional medicinal plants by pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in the Babile Wereda district of eastern Ethiopia, with a goal of setting up of conservation priorities, and preservation of local biocultural knowledge with sustainable use and development of the resource.

Azadirachta indica
Azadirachta indica (Source: Wikimedia Commons User J.M. Garg)

Working with traditional herbalists, the authors identified 51 medicinal plant species used for 54 human ailments, in addition to some used in vector control. Aloe pirottae, Azadirachta indica and Hydnora johannis were the most cited and preferred species.

A high percentage (71%) of the preparations are made for the most common human health problems of the area, including internal parasites, diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia, abdominal pain, dermal infections, eye diseases, and infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissues.

The authors note that many of the region’s ethnomedicinal plants, and the associated knowledge about them, are endangered:

“…like else where in the country, nowadays the natural stands of the Erer Valley are becoming negatively impacted as a result of agricultural expansion, livestock population pressure and human settlement. Medicinal plant species of the woodland (for example Hydnora johannis) are highly threatened and that might be related to the decline in the population of host trees such as Acacia nilotica and Acacia tortilis. Visual inspection shows that woodland trees including Balanites eagyptiaca and B. glabra are locally threatened due to selective cutting of the mother trees for charcoal making. The riverine tree species, Acacia robusta and Tamarindus indica, are locally threatened due to selective cutting for charcoal making and house construction given the increasing population in the Erer Valley. Along with the loss of the natural vegetation of the valley we are bound to loose the huge potential of the medicinal plants and the associated knowledge. Therefore, the study area calls for urgent measures to be taken to rehabilitate and conserve the remaining vegetation with special regard to the key medicinal plants and preserve the indigenous knowledge.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Endangered Ethnomedicinal Plant Demonstrates Anti-Mosquito Properties

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Screening of selected ethnomedicinal plants from South Africa for larvicidal activity against the mosquito Anopheles arabiensis

Rajendra Maharaj, Vinesh Maharaj, Neil R Crouch, Niresh Bhagwandin, Peter I Folb, Pamisha Pillay, and Reshma Gayaram
Malar J
2012 Sep 10;11:320
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3472289

Investigators from the South African Medical Research Council, CSIR and University of KwaZulu-Natal undertook a study to establish whether any South African ethnomedicinal plants used traditionally to repel or kill mosquitoes demonstrate effective mosquito larvicidal properties.

Toddalia asiatica
Deforestation is making the ethnomedicinal plant Toddalia asiatica vulnerable to extinction (Nabwami J et al, African Crop Science Conference Proceedings 8: 2057-2061, 2007). (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons User Vinayaraj)

The authors tested 381 crude plant extracts, consisting of plants found native or naturalized in southern Africa, for their larvicidal effect on Anopheles arabiensis. They successfully identified one plant, Toddalia asiatica, that demonstrated superior larvicidal activity and that is now being further studied with the goal to isolate the active compound and develop a malaria vector control tool.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Essential Oils Against Malaria

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Anti-plasmodial and insecticidal activities of the essential oils of aromatic plants growing in the Mediterranean area

Mario Dell’Agli, Cinzia Sanna, Patrizia Rubiolo, Nicoletta Basilico, Elisa Colombo, Maria M Scaltrito, Mamadou Ousmane Ndiath, Luca Maccarone, Donatella Taramelli, Carlo Bicchi, Mauro Ballero, Enrica Bosisio
Malar J
2012 Jul 2;11:219
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3441327
Sardinia
Sardinia (Source: Wikimedia Commons User: TUBS)

Researchers at Università degli Studi di Milano, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Università degli Studi di Torino and Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire undertook a screening study to evaluate the anti-plasmodial activity of aromatic plants traditionally used in Sardinia against malaria: Myrtus communis (myrtle, Myrtaceae), Satureja thymbra (savory, Lamiaceae), and Thymus herba-barona (caraway thyme, Lamiaceae).

The authors found evidence for the use of essential oils for treating malaria and fighting the vector at both the larval and adult stages, opening the possibility for further investigation aimed at the isolation of natural products with anti-parasitic properties.

From the discussion:

“Among the three plants, S. thymbra showed the highest in vitro anti-plasmodial activity, especially against the [Chloroquine]-resistant strain. Moreover, the time of collection (before, during, and after flowering) did not influence the anti-plasmodial effect, which appeared to be mainly associated with thymol, one of the components of the [Essential oil]. These results are in agreement with a recent report that the [Essential oil] of Oreganum compactum, rich in thymol, shows anti-plasmodial activity in vitro. Such a conclusion is corroborated by the data obtained with the [Essential oils] of M. communis and T. herba-barona since the latter, which does not contain thymol, possesses lower activity against P. falciparum. Moreover, the activity of thymol was selective against the parasites with low cytotoxicity against human dermal fibroblasts.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Antimalarial Plants Used in Portuguese-Speaking Countries

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A review of antimalarial plants used in traditional medicine in communities in Portuguese-speaking countries: Brazil, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe and Angola

Jefferson Rocha de A Silva; Aline de S Ramos; Marta Machado; Dominique F de Moura; Zoraima Neto; Marilene M Canto-Cavalheiro; Paula Figueiredo; Virgilio E do Rosário; Ana Claudia F Amaral; Dinora Lopes
Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz
2011 Aug;106 Suppl 1:142-58
PubMed PMID: 21881769
Chromolaena odorata
Chromolaena odorata (Source: Wikimedia Commons user Ashasathees)

Researchers from the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (Brazil), Farmanguinhos (Brazil), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) and Instituto Oswaldo Cruz-Fiocruz (Brazil) compiled an extensive catalog of phytochemical studies of medicinal plants used to treat malaria in traditional medicine from the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Their analysis indicates that seven families (Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Meliaceae, Myristicaceae and Pi-peraceae) have species commonly used in these countries to treat malaria. “The Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae and Solanaceae families are represented by botanical species used primarily within African countries. Further, there are reports of other families of plants restricted to some countries: Angola (Annonaceae and Cochlospermaceae), Guinea-Bissau (Combretaceae and Hypencaceae) and Brazil have the most references to species belonging to the seven botanical families.”

A detailed table lists the studied species, tested parts and scientific data from vitro and in vivo research.

Read the complete article at PubMed.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Folk Medicines Used to Treat Malaria in Calabria

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Tagarelli G, Tagarelli A, Piro A.
Folk medicine used to heal malaria in Calabria (southern Italy).
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010 Sep 18;6:27.
PubMed PMID: 20849654; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2949813. [Free full text via PubMed Central.]

Researchers at Istituto di Scienze Neurologiche-CNR identified folk medical cures that were used by the Calabrian people for the treatment of malaria, as evidenced in writings produced between the 19th and 20th centuries.

The authors identify 53 plants used by Calabrian people to treat malaria, and note that some of these plants are still currently used in Calabrian folk medicine to treat various diseases.

From the Discussion:

“The methodology based on the analysis of historical sources regarding Calabrian folk medicine remedies for the prophylaxis and treatment of malaria, if not compared with similar studies, can be considered a case study where the ordinary methodologies of ethno-medical-biological research are combined with the methodologies pertaining to historical-anthropological sciences. In addition, this is part of a debate regarding the association between ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology and other disciplines, to improve our understanding of the human usage of plants.”

Free full text is available via PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.