Phytochemical and anti‐plasmodial screening of three selected tropical plants used for the treatment of malaria in Oshogbo, south-western Nigeria
The use of herbal remedy is featuring prominently as alternative to orthodox medicine but little is known on scientific validation of their efficacies in malaria treatment. Questionnaire survey was conducted in Osogbo metropolis to identify the frequently used antiplasmodial herbal remedies. The aqueous extracts of the three frequently used antimalaria herbs, Mangifera indica leaves, Lawsonia inermis leaves and Enanthia chlorantha stem bark were prepared as described by herbal vendors and subsequently analyzed for phytochemical constituents and antiplasmodial efficiencies using mice model. The qualititave phytochemical analysis of the extracts showed differences in the phytochemical constituents of the three plants. The comparison of the parasite load before and after treatment showed that the parasitamia level reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in the mice treated with E. chlorantha and M. indica but increased significantly (p = 0.012; p < 0.05) in the group treated with L. inermis while no parasite was detected in the group treated with chloroquine (antimalaria drug) after treatment. The treated groups had higher concentrations of creatinine, urea, bilirubin, Aspartate aminotransferase and Alkaline phosphate in comparison with the control, an indication of the plant extracts cyto‐toxicity. The results therefore showed that the extracts of E. chlorantha and M. indica only possess chemosupressive not curative antimalaria potential while L. inermis did not show any antiplasmodial effect. Further screening on antimalaria herbal remedies therefore becomes imperative so as to guide the policy on malaria treatment regime in Nigeria.
Key words: Phytochemistry, antiplasmodial, plant extracts, biochemical markers