Antimicrobial and toxicological studies of Epa-ijebu. a “wonder – cure” concoction used in south-west, Nigeria
Abstract‘Epa-ijebu’ is regarded as a “wonder cure” concoction used in curing many diseases and as an antidote to scorpion and snake bites among the Yoruba’s in South West, Nigeria. Initial report had indicated antibacterial activity of the concoction against some common bacterial pathogens. This present study screened for fungicidal activity against Candida albicans, Microsporum spp, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Aspergillus fumigatus as well as bactericidal activity against Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella Typhi, Salmonella Enteritidis, Shigella flexneri, and Enteroheamorrhagic Escherichia coli . Toxicity of the concoction was also tested . The disc diffusion method and the Agar well diffusion technique were employed for screening the Epa-Ijebu against clinical isolates of the four fungi .Both the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimal Fungicidal Concentration (MFC) were also determined. A comparison between the MFC of the Epa-Ijebu and three marketed antifungal drugs (Griseofulvin, Nystatin and Itraconazole) was made. Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) and Minimal Bacterial Concentration (MBC) were determined using serially diluted Epa-Ijebu concoction. Acute toxicity of the Epa- Ijebu
was also tested by feeding it to one week old laboratory mice. The Epa-Ijebu concoction at 25.0 – 50.0 mg/ml inhibited the growth of the fungi and was recorded to be fungicidal at 50.0 – 100.0 mg/ml for all the fungi screened. These figures compare favorably with the known antifungals. The concoction inhibited the growth of all the bacteria
at the concentration used and was found to have an MIC of between 15.6 - 125 mg/ml and MBC of between 31.25 and 250mg/ml. However, toxicological assays showed that the concoction was toxic to the animals at high concentrations of 0.2 -0.8 g/ml leading to the deaths of the animals within 24hrs of being fed. Histological examination of the stomach, liver and kidney showed that profound erosion of the tissues with marked area of karyolysis and karyorrhesis. The study confirms the antifungal and antibacterial properties of the “wonder cure” concoction but its use as an antidote to many ailments need to be moderated because of its toxicity.