JOURNAL ARTICLE

The in vitro pharmacological activities of 12 South African Hermannia species

A B Essop, R L van Zyl, S F van Vuuren, D Mulholland, A M Viljoen
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2008 October 28, 119 (3): 615-9
18640257
Hermannia species are widely used in traditional medicine in southern Africa, however no extensive study has been conducted on this genus. The acetone extracts of 12 indigenous Hermannia species (flowers, stems and leaves combined) were evaluated for various pharmacological activities. All investigated species displayed promising antimicrobial activity, with Hermannia saccifera being the most active against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC=19.5 microg/ml), Bacillus cereus (MIC=19.5 microg/ml) and Enterococcus faecalis (MIC=125 microg/ml). Time-kill studies on H. saccifera against S. aureus indicated bacteriostatic activity at 1.25, 2.5 and 5.0%, and a concentration of 7.5% achieved complete bactericidal activity after 4h. Ten of the 12 species indicated good free radical scavenging activity, with H. cuneifolia demonstrating the most promising activity in the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH():IC(50)=10.26 microg/ml) and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS(+)/TEAC: IC(50)=10.32 microg/ml) assays. In addition, all species exhibited moderate anti-inflammatory activity in the 5-lipoxygenase assay with the exception of H. cuneifolia (IC(50)=15.32 microg/ml). Overall, the selected species were low in cytotoxicity, except for H. saccifera and H. trifurca. Several Hermannia species indicated promising in vitro biological activity which relate to their traditional use in treating a number of disease states.

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