Substantiation of the ethnopharmacological use of Conyza sumatrensis (Retz.) E.H.Walker in the treatment of malaria through in-vivo evaluation in Plasmodium berghei infected mice

Pone Kamdem Boniface, Anirban Pal
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2013 January 9, 145 (1): 373-7

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Scientific validation of ethnopharmacologically used plants and their utilization for therapeutic interventions can be a source of affordable treatment especially for neglected diseases in endemic areas. Conyza sumatrensis is a plant which finds its use in treating malaria like fevers but lacks proper scientific validation. Our study has tried to address this gap by authenticating its traditional use for the treatment of malaria.

AIM OF THE STUDY: Evaluate the antimalarial activity of extracts derived from Conyza sumatrensis for its ethnopharmacological validation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Shade dried leaves were extracted with varying concentrations of ethanol and concentrated for bio-evaluation. Swiss albino mice infected with 1 × 10(6) parasitized red blood cells, were orally administered with test extracts for 7 days in two sets of experiments. The first set was used to evaluate alcoholic, hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts while the second set was used to evaluate the dose response of alcoholic extract ranging from 500-1600 mg/kg. Mean survival time, parasitaemia and haemoglobin levels were considered to interpret the antimalarial potential. Phytochemical analysis for the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids tannins, total phenolics, riboflavin and thiamine was also carried out.

RESULTS: Among the three extracts administered at 1000 mg/kg, chemo suppression was significantly (p<0.001) observed in the alcoholic extract (62.59 ± 12.52%) followed by hydroalcoholic (41.81 ± 19.04%, p<0.01) and aqueous (32.04 ± 19.04%, P<0.05) indicating that the active constituents leach out in ethanol. The dose response study involving the ethanol extract concluded the optimum dose to be 1000 mg/kg, as also evidenced by the haemoglobin levels.

CONCLUSION: The plant exhibits moderate antimalarial activity which can be further prospected for active fractions or pure molecules for adjunctive therapy.

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