Exploring the potential use of whole plant therapies, Cymbopogon citratus, as alternatives/complements to antimalarial pharmaceuticals: A preliminary report

  • U.M. Chukwuocha
  • F. Orlando-Buendia
  • O. Fernandez-Rivera
  • J. Aguilar-Castro
  • I.N.S. Dozie
Keywords: Cymbopo gencitratus, prophylactic agent, safe herb.


Parasite resistance, toxicity/adverse reactions, adulteration as well as limited affordability and accessibity to common antimalarial drugs necessitate continuous search for better options. We evaluated the antimalarial potential of Whole Plant (WP) Cymbopo gencitratus (Lemon grass)as well as its combination with the old antimalarial chloroquine in a rodent malaria model, Plamodium chabaudi CR. WP C. citratus exhibited delayed but significant (p<0.001) and sustained activity against established infection compared with controls and chloroquine respectively. Significant increase in heamoglobin concentration (p<0.01) and maintenance of normal body temperature (p<0.01) in the WP treatment group coincided with the period of antimalarial activity of the Whole Plant. Contrary to our expectations but interestingly, the WP C. citratus and chloroquine combination did not yield significantanti malarial activity. These preliminary results suggest that WP C. citrates may be more effective as a prophylactic agent with useful implications for intermittent preventive treatments and requires further investigation. The outcome of the WP/Chloroquine combination on the other hand suggests the induction of a redox environment that may have reduced the potency of both treatments when combined. This however requires further investigation as it may have some implications for antimalarial treatment protocols, origins of antimalarial resistance and future antimalarial options in endemic areas.

Keywords: Cymbopo gencitratus; prophylactic agent; safe herb. 


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eISSN: 1117-4145