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Background: Herbal medicines have been in use for many years and remain widespread in developing countries; whereas, the use of complementary alternative medicine is on the increase in developed countries. Senna didymobotrya is important for its medicinal benefits among most communities in treating a wide range of ailments.
Materials and methods: Plants were collected from a cluster in Siaya, Nandi and Nakuru counties (Kenya). Stem bark, root bark, leaves, flowers and immature pods were obtained; air-dried and ground into fine powder. Methanol was used to extract the plant extracts. The extracts were reconstituted in water and incorporated into growth media to obtain 0%, 2.5%, 5%, 7.5% and 10%. Bioassays were carried out on T. tonsurans (ATCC 28942) and C. albicans (14053). The growth of cultures on the plates was measured over a period of sixteen days. The area under disease progress stairs was determined and subjected to ANOVA and comparison of means using LSD.
Results: Results indicated that the growth of C. albicans was not significantly affected by the plant extracts. Growth of T. tonsurans was completely inhibited by immature pods extract at 10%, the leaves and flowers extracts inhibited the growth at 7.5%. The stem and root bark extracts inhibited growth at low dosages of 2.5- 5 %.
Conclusion: There is need to carry out research on root and stem barks to identify the active phytochemicals that contribute to their high efficacies. On species conservation, harvesting of roots may lead to depletion of S. didymobotrya.
Keywords: Senna didymobotrya, ringworms, candidiasis, tinea capitis