African Journal of Biotechnology

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African indigenous plants with chemotherapeutic potentials and biotechnological approach to the production of bioactive prophylactic agents

E Olatunde Farombi


Undoubtedly medicinal plants are relevant in both developing and developed nations of the world as sources of drugs or herbal extracts for various chemotherapeutic purposes. Also the use of plant-derived natural compounds as part of herbal preparations as alternative sources of medicaments continues to play major roles in the general wellness of people all over the world. The African continent contains some of the richest biodiversity in the world, and abounds in plants of economic importance and plants of medicinal importance which when developed would reduce our expenditure on imported drugs to meet our health needs. Herbal-based and plant-derived products can be exploited with sustainable comparative and competitive advantage. This review presents some indigenous African plants with chemotherapeutic properties and possible ways of developing them into potent pharmacological agents using biotechnological approaches.

Key words: Antioxidants, chemotherapy, medicinal plants, biotechnology, tissue culture, phytochemicals, prophylaxis, African plants, herbs, natural products.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 2 (12), pp.662-671, December 2003
AJOL African Journals Online